|Living the philosophy, “it’s all about the journey” in Rotterdam, Netherlands.|
It’s been said that in life, “it’s all about the journey, not the destination.” Yet when when it comes to travel, most people rush-rush-rush to get where they’re going. Not that I blame them, what with the tragic state of Americans’ vacations these days. (Who can relax in a week? Seriously. This needs to be re-examined.)
Minimizing layovers is a big part of that. And, journey be damned, if there’s a layover of more than an hour, most people will complain about it profusely.
I take a different stance on the whole thing: a layover is an opportunity to explore en route.
On a recent trip to Europe, a friend in the Amsterdam-area asked whether I had a layover in Schiphol, which I did: five full hours. So upon landing, she picked me up at the airport (once we found one another) and whisked me off to her ‘hood, which I had never before explored: Rotterdam.
|Whirlwind tour of Rotterdam. Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
It was a whirlwind tour: windows down, careening around corners, breathing in fresh, foreign air.
|Canal on the whirlwind tour of Rotterdam. Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
We squeezed in time for lunch, multi-course to be specific, which included a stroll through the market at my insistence. There, I sought out stroopwafels, which are my favorite Dutch treat! A gooey delight of thin waffle-like cookies with a syrupy center, served warm off the griddle.
|Stroopwafel. Resistance is futile. Photos by Charish Badzinski.|
And a raw fish sandwich, which my dear friend encouraged me to try. Hmmm. Interesting.
|I’m gonna need help with the name of this one. Raw fish, pickles, white bread.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
|Market fresh cheese! Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
|The quaint streets of Rotterdam. Photo by Charish Badzinski.|
I also got to visit her home, and tour Rotterdam on foot, however briefly.
I didn’t have long in Rotterdam, but I did have enough time to whet my appetite for more. And, I squeezed in a fabulous side trip, and time with a dear friend on my way to wherever it was I was going.
See? It really is all about the journey.
What are your favorite side trips or stop offs?