Thursday, 26 April 2018

Netherlands - Day 7 Going Home

Final day in the Netherlands and being without a bike wasn't going to stop me getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the view of the amazing town, so I decided to go for an early morning run. I had brought my running stuff as I thought I'd get a chance to get out and enjoy a run on the flat in a different country. Having had the bikes had meant I didn't need to before that.

The final morning was beautiful, the sun was out and it was perfect conditions for a brief 5 km around Harderwijk. I'm so glad I did as on my run I spotted a market that was being set up. I thought, at the end of my 5km I would walk back to have a look before going back to get ready and packed up. What a stroke of luck as the market was a mixture of local produce, flowers, cheese, bakery, other foods, and clothes. We decided to have a breakfast from the market and enjoyed a pastry from the bakers and then sampled some of the cheeses and olives from one of the sellers.

A short walk to the beach for a cup of tea in the sun and we managed to say another goodbye to a couple of the other teachers that were leaving for Italy. It was a nice lazy morning after my run and after checking out of the hotel we sat and had lunch at Valhalla. A shack right on the beach made out of a couple of shipping containers and a central bar area that was really atmospheric. I can imagine in the summer months with a live band playing that this venue is packed both inside and out. Lunch here was really enjoyable and the staff were really attentive but also happy to let us sit and read rather than constantly ordering food and drinks. Definitely somewhere to come back to.

Then it was time for the last leg of our adventure, the journey back to the airport and the short flight home. Like our journey from the airport a simple train ride with one change that was far less daunting than the arrival journey as we were now really clued up as to how simple the trains were. The rest of the journey home was a nice time to reflect on the week and think about how a country so close to our own had such a different feel to it. I was immensely proud of our students and how they had changed in the week. I was also incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to go on this trip and especially for the staff that hosted us each day and how welcome I was made to feel. Could I consider changing and teaching in the Netherlands? If the opportunity came up I would have to consider it!

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