Holiday to South Holland
When people think of Holland, many think of Amsterdam, though it has gained a reputation for sex, drugs and gaydom; more so than the actual culture.
But there is so much more to Holland than Amsterdam, and if you travel further down south towards the Belgium side, you will find a beautiful culture that is just waiting to be explored; the more south you travel the less English will be spoken, so take that into account.
Holland is an unusual country filled with eccentric thinkers who are always finding new ways to think. The style of their buildings is typically Dutch, but the urban street is an amalgamation of Americanised style, British Style and Dutch, perfectly blended together to create a unique style all in its own.
It’s also a country obsessed with Bikes, and making the most of how to use those bikes; and how to get things on a bike from the supermarket and cycle home with it.
Train travel is average and cheaper than in England, and with a better service, but trains are more for long range travel, rather than short distances in the areas further south. Bear in mind that you have to buy the tickets from the electronic ticket machine prior to getting on the train or you will have to pay more when the conductor comes to check tickets; don’t expect the ticket offices to be open, or manned, as many are not and the ticket machines are the way to go.
They have Arriva buses that are all electronic card operated and you can’t pay the drivers using cash, so if you don’t know any Dutch and unsure of where to get these cards from you’re going to be in for a tough time. The best way to get these cards is at the local Albert Heijn, or ask at one of the larger train stations. Don’t get a taxi anywhere in Holland if you are a foreigner, as they will try to overcharge you and the service will be lousy.
Places to visit have to be Rotterdam for shopping and for stay, and Dordrecht to really get a feel of a Dutch town, the local cultures, the people and more.
When you’re in Rotterdam, please be aware that not everybody will be friendly and you will sometimes get random people driving by shouting and swearing at you out of a moving car for no reason; don’t be bothered by this as they are mostly speaking another language you don’t understand so no harm done. Also be on the lookout for pickpockets and thieves, they will tail you for miles looking for the right opportunity, so if in doubt just go to a cafe and people watch and they will get bored and find another target.
There are so many lovely places in the city of Rotterdam to go to, and no matter what you are looking for when shopping you will always find what you are looking for and need, but be smart and savvy of get ripped off.
Travel safe and have fun, don’t be deterred by the less finer points, as Holland has so much more to offer.