Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday, wherever you are in the world! Today I’m sharing my little trip to Eindhoven last weekend. I hope you all come along for the ride!
There were eight of us on the trip: myself, Jon, Simon, Holly, Claire, Alex, Nick, and Graham. Our purpose in Eindhoven was to see The Four Kicks–the cover band that Matt, my brother-in-law, is in–but we also wanted to explore the city a bit. I was quite excited, as it would only be my second trip to the continent! And it would be my second time being able to fly to AND from somewhere with Jon since that same first trip to the continent.
Graham and Nick picked us up just after 8am. It was a gorgeous, blue-sky morning. First thing was first: We stopped at McDonald’s so the lads could have breakfast, and I grabbed a coffee. Then it was a two hour drive south to London Stansted Airport.
We reached the airport and, since none of us had luggage to check in, we scanned our boarding passes at entry gates and made our way right to the security checkpoint.
I gotta tell ya… I don’t like the checkpoints. I seem to always fumble my way through them. Either I use one tray when I’m supposed to use two, or I use two trays when I’m supposed to use one, or I put something in the wrong part of the tray, or I move too slowly. And I always, ALWAYS forget to take something off and set off the metal detector! This time, the security lady groaned loudly and shook her head at me, shaking my bag of liquids at me because I’d put them in the wrong spot on the tray.
“At least I’ve taken all metal things off and am not wearing an underwire bra this time,” I thought in relief.
In the same instant that the metal detector beeped me, I remembered I was still wearing my watch. I wanted to smack myself! So it was the same thing that always happens to me: Put my watch in a tray, go get the x-ray, then get fully groped by a female guard. Argh. When will I ever learn? At least it wasn’t the same guard who was angry at me for having my bag of liquids two inches away from where it was supposed to be! 😛
When our gate was announced, we walked to the other end of the airport to get to it, and not long later we boarded.
I hate takeoff, I really do. No, I LOATHE it. However, we leveled out at 19,000 feet, so I was thankful we weren’t climbing for long. Then I was able to look out the window and enjoy the view on our hour-long flight!
Here’s the eastern coast of England:
And here’s a wind farm on the North Sea. What is this, a wind farm for ants?
A few minutes after we passed the wind farm, I could see a strip of land in the distance. I looked back past the engine and could still see the UK as well, which I thought was really neat! As an American/Canadian who is accustomed to everything being incredibly far away from me, it still amazes me that it takes so little time to get to so many places when living in the UK.
Not long later, we reached the Dutch coast.
We soon landed at teeny Eindhoven Airport and went through passport control. Then it was out into Arrivals, and to the entrance to our hotel that is built into the terminal. That hotel really couldn’t be more convenient!
We all checked in and then went to our respective rooms to drop our bags and head out again. Simon and Holly’s room was right next to ours!
Those curtains are very deceiving. That window is only as wide as the desk!
Jon and I both liked our room! He was weirded out by the black tub and toilet, though!
The sink was outside the bathroom. I really liked the cupboard lights!
We all met up again in the hotel lobby, then it was outside where we caught a taxi into the city.
I sat in front and was entranced by the modern city coming into view. We were dropped off at the train station, from where we started our walk. I really liked the dozens and dozens of bikes parked up, as well as the designated bike lanes on the road! Lots of people were riding double. I saw some biking ladies with lots of personal style, but they were going by too fast for me to get pictures!
We didn’t walk around long before we settled on a restaurant & bar called Barney’s. On the way, though, I had to snap a picture of this really cool dome building that houses a college lifestyle clothing shop. Eindhoven has some really neat buildings, and I’d like to go back to see more of them.
This cherry beer translates to “Instant Death”, but it was really quite nice! I didn’t get a picture of it in the glass, but it had a pink foam, and you know me with the colour pink 😉
I had a big salad for dinner, with beef carpaccio, king prawns, and a truffle mayonnaise. For dessert it was a super-decadent chocolate cake with cherry compote and a cloud of whipped cream! Wellp, so much for my decreasing waistline!
Later that night, we were off to the nearby village of Wintelre to Cafe d’n Babbel to see The Four Kicks play!
The Four Kicks were Nick and Claire’s backdrop. What a fun night it was!
We got back to the hotel sometime after one in the morning. Eindhoven Airport is closed overnight, and to our dismay that meant we were locked out of the airport and out of our hotel. Luckily, there was an intercom where we buzzed the security guard inside, and he came to let us in.
The next day we checked out at noon and met downstairs in the airport. We got a bit of breakfast in and I went into a souvenir shop called Aviflora to pick up a few things, and then we were off to the city again!
We saw the spires of Sint-Catherinakerk, a grand Catholic church, and went to check it out. It was open, so we walked inside and I felt the immediate, solemn hush within the great walls. I’d never been in a church that big before, and I was mindful of the few people who had come in to pray and very quietly took some photos of the beauty around me.
Check out this hot (junk) food vending machine! Jon and I couldn’t resist.
Jon got a bamiblock (the block part is named for its shape!) which consists of tightly-packed noodles, veg, meat, and spices and then breaded and deep-fried. We both really liked it! I had some kipkorn, which is poultry (mine was chicken) coated in corn bread crumbs and fried. There goes my waistline again!
We walked through Huevel Galerie before stopping in De Vooruitgang for a late lunch.
We all started off with drinks. I went for this lovely hazelnut coffee, the layers of which were so nice I hated messing them up!
The afternoon sun came blazing through one of the windows, so Jonno took my sunglasses for some brief respite.
I didn’t get a chance to look at the food menu before the server came over, and as everyone had already determined what they wanted, I panicked and chose something at random. I regretted getting something fried, but this chicken, cranberry, and apple salad was so delicious! It was pretty huge for being the small salad, too!
When we left the restaurant, it was already getting rather late. We decided to go check out the Philips museum, but when we were almost there we found out it was closing in seven minutes. Argh, weekend hours! So we stopped in Flying Tiger, then moseyed back to the same restaurant to have another round of drinks before we got a taxi back to the airport.
I had a similar coffee to the hazelnut one, but this time it was a Speccucinno made with speculoos (spiced shortbread biscuit) syrup. And then we all walked down to the train station where we got a taxi and returned to the airport.
Because it’s such a small airport, the security checkpoint and passport control were quick and simple. I didn’t get pulled aside for groping/X-raying this time, yay! We got through and waited for our flight as the sun set, and we noticed that ours was the last flight of the day.
The flight back was just as packed as the first one had been. But I swear the seats on this plane were even smaller, and I was in the middle with a lady in the window seat who didn’t seem to like having to sit next to a big woman, so it was a rather uncomfortable hour and ten minutes. At least it passed quickly! I got through UK customs within a couple minutes, as the guard just had to scan my passport bio page and BRP card and have me scan my thumb and index fingerprints. And then it was back in the car with Graham and Nick for the two hour ride back to Ravenstone!
Jon and I both would really like to return to the Netherlands soon to explore some more, hopefully to see the rest of Eindhoven and check out Amsterdam as well. Time to make travel plans! 🙂