While in the Netherlands for a week, I ended up inadvertently staying in the windswept beach town of Noordwijk for five days. My original plan was to go out to Amsterdam as much as possible, but I ended up falling in love with Noordwijk, my hostel, and the people I met.
I got up late, checked out of my Amsterdam hostel, and went out to catch the shuttle to the Flying Pig Beach Hostel. [The hostel itself offers a €4 ride to and from their Amsterdam and Noordwijk locations, which is about €10 cheaper than public transportation.] They say you have to call, but if you’re on the go and don’t have an international plan, like me, asking reception is fine. The shuttle was kind of late, to the point where I just started waving at random unmarked vans passing the street, but it eventually showed up. The guy who picked me up was barefoot and wearing board shorts, so I knew instantly that I’d found my people.
The beach is two minutes away from the hostel on foot, so I settled in my room and left to go find some sun n’ surf. I found surf, but the sun was a little bit lacking. Also, the water was frigid. After a while I simply gave up and headed back to my hostel, where I met a fellow traveler and we awkwardly got some drinks that I could barely afford and ended up stealing leftover pasta from some guy [a new friend!]
As any experienced hostel-goer can tell you, that FREE HOSTEL BREAKFAST is the central hub of all social interaction. Aside from the bar. A few people I met at said FREE HOSTEL BREAKFAST decided to rent out bikes at €10 for the day and ride out to ESA’s Space Expo.
Unfortunately for me, I suck at bike-riding and it was four miles away and windy. So windy. We took this really scenic beach route which was gorgeous, but the combination of wind and fine Dutch sand were far too much.
The Space Expo itself was kind of random, pretty cool, and overall felt kind of like going on an elementary field trip, except in a tiny town in the Netherlands, for some reason. It cost around €15 and is definitely geared towards little kids, so I wouldn’t say it’s worth the trek out of any given major Dutch city or tourist area, but it was a fun, random little side quest.
After the Space Expo, our motley little crew split up, with two of us heading home [hi, that’s me] and two of us venturing out to The Hague like fools. The ride back was much easier.
We gathered up supplies for dinner—hot wings and a peach cobbler that didn’t quite bake right but was popular with the stoners anyway—and enjoyed a relaxed night in. My thighs still burned, but that’s fine.
It was the last day for all of my hostel friends, so we celebrated by doing nothing, save for take a few barefoot walks in the sand and complain about how cold it was. Life is good here.
Noordwijk made me lazy, so I stayed in while everyone left. I’m a pretty unexciting traveler; I like to make friends and do things but am also perfectly content with simply lying in the sand, listening to music, and drinking. The fact that the Flying Pig was so homey and chill wasn’t helping my motivation to go outside and explore, so I spent my last day packing and getting some beach appreciation in. My lunch and dinner were sandwiches I made with supplies from the FREE HOSTEL BREAKFAST. #thrifty.