If there is something major wrong with me, I think my friends would agree that it’s my love of airports. It’s not just being gateways to new places or revisiting a favourite haunt, it’s the large spaces themselves. They have served as formal introductions between soon to be lovers. And to me specifically, it’s been that first taste of some delectable things.
I’ve had some impressive pizza in Naples, Italy, amazing Turkish Delights in Istanbul, to-die-for cannoli’s with preserved lemon and ricotta near the foot of an active Sicilian stratovolcano. These experiences are some of which made my travels so fantastic for me.
But bring on the time for specific comparisons and its bratwurst in Cape Town from the German butcher, at a BBQ in the Ruhr Valley and a VFL Bochum football game. Now, the car speeding down the autobahn is bringing us towards the Dutch border where I’m looking forward to treating myself and my little traveller to some Bitterballen, stroopwaffels and plenty of cheese. The Germans, however, seem to associate the Dutch with weed, patats, hookers and cheese (not in that order!) and most importantly their national sport of camping. This immediately gives me an impression of what I’m in for.
Moving on swiftly, I came to the distressing conclusion that my Little Traveller doesn’t like it when I eat cheese. Two rough days in the Netherlands where I tried to discover what I could eat except fresh tomatoes and pickles. Neither was a very appetising option since I enjoy discovering the local cooking first and the scenery second.
The scenery turned out to include: A train trip followed by my whirlwind experience of Amsterdam – churches, the Rembrandt House, a leisurely boat tour through the canals in the rain. A little walkabout and we ended up bang in the red light district. More than I expected but less than I had thought.
I think is was all as erratic as it sounds, but here comes the catch again. I was about 8 or 9 weeks pregnant at the time of this trip, and a few days in, nap time and snack time became more appealing than even visits to historical German war time sites. (The experience also left me with some tips and tricks on how to travel when pregnant – more on that in a future post.)
The trip to Germany and Holland may have been the furthest I’ve been from home and this time not only as far as distance is concerned. But it did connect the dots for what home was about to become.
Next time I promise to experience more.