Dutch diversion entertains

PICTURE PERFECT: Victoria-Rose Tucker takes in the scenery in front of a tulip field while on a trip to the Netherlands.
PICTURE PERFECT: Victoria-Rose Tucker takes in the scenery in front of a tulip field while on a trip to the Netherlands.

The most exciting thing that has happened over the last month was my trip to The Netherlands.

This opportunity came about when I met my host family's family from Holland who came to visit us in Spain.

I got along really well with the 19-year-old daughter and was invited to stay with them.

I arrived in Rotterdam at about 11pm. The first thing I noticed was that the houses were all so perfectly aligned, it was such a different atmosphere compared to Barcelona.

I somehow felt more at home. I think this might have something to do with the fact there was a lot more nature, but also because I have a little Dutch blood in me.

My first day in Holland, I rode my first typical Dutch bicycle. There are more than 13 million bikes in Holland and with a population of approximately 16.5 million this is almost one bike per person. There's honestly bikes in every direction.

My host cousin Francesca and I rode our bicycles to the metro station as we were going to go visit The Hague. I loved absolutely everything from the old style buildings to the bright blooming flowers. I don't really know what I expected to think about Holland but I think my expectations were not nearly high enough.

Francesca and I made plans to head out for the night. Francesca had warned me the type of party we were going to was quite a different kind of party. By this I mean people wore whatever they wanted; A onsie, a dressing gown, paper bag if you felt like it.

My second day in Rotterdam I woke up to a typical breakfast with toast and butter. There's never bread and butter in Spain, only oil and tomatoes.

The weather for the day looked like it would be alright so we decided to do some sightseeing.

First stop was the famous windmills. I couldn't go to Holland without seeing the windmills.

Before I knew it I was off to visit Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, we went around the central city and saw the typical things including red light district.

Overall, I thought Amsterdam was a really cool city, just like what I had thought it would be.

I did some souvenir shopping there and found some nice wee gifts for my family.

I am really struggling with the concept of repacking my bags for the trip back home. Even if I do leave the things I don't want behind, I am sure I will have to wear 10 layers of clothing on the plane to get away with all the shopping I have done.

The Timaru Herald