A collection of all my thoughts, concerns, excitements and questions about what my life will look, is like and was like ‘Living in The Netherlands.

10 July

My favourite places so far are Amsterdam and Utrecht.

So far we have travelled together to Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, and I’ve also seen some of The Hague. First thoughts? It is seriously insane to think that all these cities are within an hour away from each other, yet every one of them looks and feels as if they belong to a completely different country. Take Amsterdam and Rotterdam, for example. These are the two most known and busiest cities in the Netherlands. Yet one is prehistoric, full of canals, brick roads, leaning houses and beautifully historic architecture. The other? A futuristic city with modern skyscrapers, wide roads, crazy architecture and bright colours. This is a city where you will find modular, cube houses that are built to look like they are standing on their sharp edges, an office built above two previously erected structures, a glass office tower that is literally leaning on a pole and a suspension bridge that looks like a swan.

The reason for this ghastly difference is the fact that Rotterdam was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Germans in World War 2. After the war, town planners said they would rebuild the city into an architectural dream, with no two buildings looking the same, and every new structure with it’s own unique design feature. Amsterdam was spared destruction because the Germans got the message from the Netherlands to stop bombing just after they destroyed Rotterdam. They came to an agreement that no other Dutch city would be bombed.

Utrecht, on the other hand, is a bit of modern and a bit of historic. You’ve still got the brick roads, old houses and canals, but you’ve also got some architectural wonders which have snuck in not so long ago. I like Utrecht. Amsterdam is amazing, but where there are too many tourists there can be no atmosphere. In Utrecht, the vibes are peaceful and the atmosphere is casual. Here you can go for a stroll and some of the roads are actually empty. In Amsterdam? Nah mate.