Quite often, Ryanair put some huge deals on their website and I’m usually quite quick to jump on it. I flew to Brussels and back for £10, I’ve got a flight to Warsaw booked at the end of November for £20 return and the most recent trip was to Eindhoven in The Netherlands, for £20 return.
I had never been to The Netherlands, and I’m not too bothered about visiting Amsterdam, so when I saw the cheap flights to Eindhoven, I just bought them. I usually go on these short, 1 or 2 day trips on my own, and this was no different. Some people would get a bit anxious about going to a country where you don’t speak the language, and that you’ve never been to before, with no plans apart from checking in to the hotel, but it doesn’t bother me, I quite like spending time on my own just wandering around a new city.
As I landed at Eindhoven airport, I was through passport control within a few minutes and into the arrivals area of the airport. I had not booked any transfers, or bus tickets or anything. I was just stood looking for signs to follow, as there’s usually a bus service from the airport to the city centre in most cities, at least the ones that I’ve been to. I got to the bus stop and it was only 3,75€ each way and it said that the journey was 15 minutes each way. I jumped on the bus and it was like clockwork. The TV’s hanging from the ceiling of the bus had the bus timetable on, letting you know how long was left until your stop, it was pretty much perfect.
I arrived at the train station in Eindhoven, and just walked in the general direction of the hotel, but I quickly realised that I had forgotten to bring my phone charger, so I took a detour to the shopping centre to buy a phone charger. The place was pretty eerie, there were no people around. On a Wednesday afternoon in any city in Britain, you’ll see the high street and all shopping centres packed with people, but not in Eindhoven. I have no idea where the people were, it was completely dead. I maybe saw 100 people on the high street and in the stores. I found a small mobile phone repair shop and bought a cable for 10€, as I had actually brought the plug part. I then headed towards to hotel to drop my bag off.
As I was only going for one night, I literally took a small bag pack with toiletries, underwear and a change of t-shirt. I dropped my bag off in the hotel and just wandered back into town. The city centre was less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel, in a really quiet area, which is an odd thing to say about a city really. It was silent, and there were restaurants and pubs all around it, but they were empty.
I walked past a Taco Bell, a chain that I thought was only in America, and as I love Mexican food, I went in and grabbed a quesadilla, because, when have you never wanted a quesadilla? It was pretty cheap. I paid 7€ for a meal, and then wandered back down the high street looking for some stuff to take photos of, but there was only really a big church to take photos of. I walked around for a while and couldn’t find a park, or like any monuments, but I did spot this weird glass floor outside of the church with a skeleton in it (pictures below).
My phone was dying, and the high street was still dead at about 6pm, so I was walking back to the hotel to charge my phone, and a charity worked jumped out of nowhere like a ninja. Turned out he was working for a charity energy company who save you money whilst being green or something. Obviously he spoke better English than most people in England, because it seems all Dutch people do. Even in McDonalds and Taco Bell, perfect English. I asked him where I should go tonight, which bars or pubs to go to. He looked at me like I’d said something weird, and then asked why I was going out on a Wednesday night? I told him that pretty much every day in English cities would be busy, especially if the city has a University, which Eindhoven does.
I went back to the hotel to charge my phone, and whilst it was charging, I watched Stranger Things on Netflix on my iPad to waste some time before going out later on. I had originally booked to stay in a hostel, but a week before I went, I decided that I couldn’t be bothered staying in a room with other people, so I cancelled and found a hotel called Budgethotel de Zwaan, and it was a great choice. One night cost me 35€, for a big, comfortable room, with a fridge (I didn’t use it), a TV (tiny CRT TV), a wardrobe, a desk and a single bed. The bed was really comfortable, but, it was sideways against the wall, rather than having its back to the wall, and there was no headboard, so the pillow just kept falling off the end – this is something that really annoys me when staying places, a headboard is necessary.
The receptionist in the hotel was so polite and her English was excellent as expected. The whole hotel was very clean, and really quiet and if I returned to Eindhoven, I’d definitely stay there again, but I can’t see myself going back to Eindhoven to be honest, there just didn’t seem like there was anything to do there. One annoying thing is that I came back later on and there was a coke machine which just stole my money and wouldn’t return it, or vend a coke.
After my phone had charged, I took a wander to the bar area of Eindhoven, expecting there to be some people out, it was about 9pm. I walked down this long strip of bars, looking through the windows of the bars, which were all open, but there were absolutely no people in them. There was one bar with outside tables, and they were full, but inside that bar, it was empty. As I got to the end of the strip of bars, I turned around, then walked back slowly to see if anything else had changed, it hadn’t.
I wandered around the city for a bit more, trying to pass the time until people started to come out for their night out, but it just didn’t happen, it was totally dead. One really odd thing was that I didn’t spot on drunk person, one drug addict, or one homeless person at all, there were none.
I just headed back to the hotel, a there was literally nothing to do in Eindhoven on a Wednesday night, which is disappointing but I had hardly spent any money at all. I continued to watch Netflix until I fell asleep. I woke up, had a quick shower then headed off towards the train station to get the bus back to the airport.
Every Dutch person I’ve ever met has been really friendly and it didn’t change in Eindhoven. I may come back to The Netherlands one day, but it probably won’t be to Eindhoven – maybe I’ll have to check Amsterdam out as everybody says it is, even if you don’t do weed or bang prostitutes.