Well, this was a little spontaneous, a little exhausting, a little different, but on the other hand, very much appreciated, exciting and wanted. Let’s hit the road!
How and with whom?
So yeah, summer was arriving and I had not planned anything yet. As most of you know, have I been sick from the beginning of this year and therefore, was my mind somewhere else. However, a good Mexican friend, Renato, is living in Spain at the moment and after not being able to see each other for four years, we were eager to try to figure something out and meet. Renato is another friend from EF by the way. To even make it better, some other EF friends were free and wanted to join. Then the question was; what are we going to do?
Hoek van Holland – Rouen
It all started in Rouen, France, where Julie lives. Julie and I had not seen each other for two years by the way. I drove to Rouen myself in around five hours and when I arrived she had made my favourite cinnamon buns, but this time vegan ones. I had never ate them in this way, but well oh well I love them.
When you don’t see your friends very often, it makes it special that when you are together just doing something is already nice, because you are together and being able to spend that time together. The normal daily things are the things that we enjoy doing the most. So, yeah what did we do? We played games, cooked, watched Netflix, relaxed, went to the gym, met her friends, and went for an afternoon sight seeing in Rouen. A typical Normandy city. I really loved the buildings.
Rouen – Versailles – Rouen
Then a few days later was honestly the day we were both most looking forward to. The reunion with Renato after four years. He flew to Paris, but since we did not think that Paris would be a good idea during this time, we decided to still make something of our day and went to Versailles. People ask us many times how that always is; these reunions, and actually don’t we ever think about it like that. It just happens naturally. We were together for nine months, 24/7. Of course, we have changed, we all do and yes, with some people we aren’t so close anymore, but for us, it just always stayed the same, as beautiful as it was at that time.
Now Versailles, a place I never really had on my “bucket list”, but for sure didn’t mind to visit. My parents had already been there and were very enthusiastic about it and so became I. The information didn’t really stayed in the mind, because of the too many impressions, but we had a lovely day together and it was insane to imagine that people lived like that many many years ago.
Yes, masks very necessary in closed places. Even sometimes on the street when we felt it was too crowded, we started to wear masks. Something that was totally different to the regulations from the Netherlands.
The next day, we stayed at Julie’s grandmothers house who has a swimming pool. We played games again, I slept since I still needed to rest several times a day, and we ate lovely. Like all the other days in France, because yeah those baguettes jummiee. I also love it that I was able to experience the French culture from much closer now. We have been going on holiday to France for already many years, but (of course) it is different when you start “living” with French people. A difference in sense of food is, for example, that they have many times dessert after dinner. Whereas, in the Netherlands, we have like a cookie or chocolate around 20:30 when we have our coffee or cup of tea. After dinner I was always too full to have dessert, whereas, in France they say: “Dessert doesn’t go to the stomach. Dessert goes to your heart.” Well, I had to get used to that ha-ha. Oh and I also tried Raclette. For my other fellow cheese lovers overhere, you gotta try that once in your life.
Rouen – Hoek van Holland
After six fantastic days in France it was time to go back home and the best part of it all was that Julie and Renato came with me. We went with two cars and again, within around five hours we arrived. It was only until almost lunch break when I got hungry and started to eat the first part of baguette while driving. Then when we did stop for lunch Julie asked whether I wasn’t hungry and I told her I already ate a big part of my baguette. Her face expression drastically changed. Apparently, it is prohibited in France to eat and drink while driving ha-ha. I had no idea.
We arrived at the end of the afternoon and we were all a little tired. We stayed at home for dinner, talked with my parents, and went to the beach house after. Again, we continued playing Qwixx, our favorite game or maybe I should say, my favorite game of the trip. It was only a little cold and windy… ha-ha.
The next day, we had breakfast at my favourite breakfast place; Pelé Surf Shack and we played Qwixx again. After that, we relaxed in the sun at the beachhouse and spend the afternoon/evening in Rotterdam. I gave them stroopfwafels, poffertjes, and we ordered some Dutch beer and a typical “borrelplank”. Lots of fun, again!
The following day was the day I think they most looked forward to, Amsterdam! They both had never been there and to make it an efficient day, we started with a canal boat tour. After that, we went for a walk around the city, had lunch at the Vegan Junk Food bar (gosh, I was surprised by how delicious the food was), and finished our day at the Rijksmuseum. Gladly, Amsterdam wasn’t so busy and didn’t we need to wear our masks. Oh and of course, they ate stroopwafels again. The special ones from Van Wonderen. Loved it so much to see them enjoying themselves.
The other days were relaxing and did we hang out on the beach. I also had to work two mornings, but since the weather was great it was alright for them to stay together at the beachhouse. And yeah, I cannot say enough how much I loved showing them around and let them experience our way of doing things.
Hoek van Holland – Munich
Moving on to the next. Monday five in the morning we started driving from Hoek van Holland to Munich with one car, Julie’s. Fully packed. No space left, but it fit and we were on the road. I was sleeping at the back to the rest and Julie and Renato were changing for driver. Eight hours ahead to Munich. Although, while Renato was driving something happened.
Julie woke me up and told me to look ahead. The first thing I saw was a car with a blue siren on it and a text that said: “Folgen” and we Dutch people all know what that means.. ha-ha. So I told them it means ” Follow”. I asked Renato if he thought that he drove too fast but he didn’t think so. Our hearts started to beat faster, especially theirs, after I told them my parents always taught me not to just stop somewhere for “police” since there is also fake police. Gladly, that wasn’t the case and they went to a big parking place with restaurant.
So, me explaining with my good German that I understood that it looked a little weird; a full packed French car with a Mexican driver driving from the Netherlands to Munich with a French and Dutch girl. Yes, kind of suspicious. Still we all had to give our papers and later on Renato had to go with the two police men to their car. Julie and I were trying to stay calm and laugh the stress away, when from one moment to another Renato had to do a drug test. He had red eyes, which for Renato is normal because of the air differences, however, for the police men it was a reason to let him do the test. Everything was alright, obviously, and we could continue. Still, took some time for our hearts to calm down.
Now it’s time to include Carmen. I guess I don’t really have to introduce her though ha-ha. Since I have been to Munich already several times and Carmen doesn’t live in the city centre, I only joined them in either the morning or morning and evening, so that I could rest/sleep the afternoon and recharge my energy. This picture below is from the first night (yes yes, sleepy heads), but wanted to show you the beers they had. Yeah, the big German beers ha-ha, Renato couldn’t stop laughing and talking about how big and heavy they were. Oh and you see Qwixx there on the left, my buddy was joining us for the whole road trip ha-ha.
We stayed in Munich for around three and a half days. I joined them for walks around the city, we visited the BMW museum, and we went to a Beer garden in the Englischer Garten. One day at the end of the afternoon I woke up and they brought Kaiserschmarrn with them for me. The best friends!
Munich – Lyon
The last destination. Our last reunion of the road trip, because we were heading to Matthiays. Another friend who Carmen and I hadn’t seen for four years. Carmen’s friend Sophie went with us from Munich, so that Carmen wouldn’t need to drive home alone those seven/eight hours. The weather in Lyon was very different to the weather in Munich, by the way. Munich was on some days fifteen degrees and when we arrived in Lyon is was forty degrees. For me, all fine, since I love it and it reminds me of a holiday feeling, but others, were having a harder time getting their sweat away.
Although, I was only in Lyon for around two days, I have many pictures. So, this part is even going to be more pictures than text. I do also think that pictures already show a lot, especially since explaining our relationship is indescribable. Last thing, I find Lyon a very underrated city. It is so beautiful from it’s streets to buildings, churches, restaurants and shops. It has everything. So, if you want to go on a city trip, Lyon is definitely worth to visit.
Lyon – Amsterdam
Saturday at four in the afternoon they brought me to the airport of Lyon. After sixteen days on the road, it was time for me to go home. I cannot say enough how grateful I am to have them in my life, to experience all cultures with them and see them enjoying. It makes me utterly happy. In good and in bad times, you are in my heart. And as we always say (me still with tears): See you soon.