It’s a Small World

Rotterdam. It’s the second largest city in the Netherlands and has the largest port in all of Europe. Most of the city was destroyed in bombings during WWII, so it’s a very new city with a modern architectural style. Cool place, but not exactly the number one tourist destination in all of Europe. Which is why it was so surprising to see TWO people from my hometown while I was there on Friday.

After class on Friday (which consisted of field trips to Interface tile factory and Rondeel chicken farm) Amber and I took a train to Rotterdam to meet up with my childhood best friend from home, Kelly, who is traveling around Europe by herself this summer. We had planned to meet up months ago and booked a hotel together for that night. The hotel, called H2Otel, was a converted ship that was floating in one of the canals. Very cool.

The three of us and two other people who came along from the program wandered through a market in the city, grabbed dinner, and went to a sky bar called Euromast. Euromast has an elevator that goes to the very top of the needle for amazing views of the city. The last ride for the day goes up at 9:45. We made to the elevator in a running dash at 9:45. The view of the city at night is amazing- it looks like a mini New York City.
We hung out in the sky bar afterwards, chatted and enjoyed the amazing views. After sleeping on the H2Otel boat that night Amber and I woke up to do our long run through the city. It was a great run and we got to see a lot of the city that we would have missed just walking. The only downside was the winds; there were gusts of up to 60 MPH. Hurricane force winds, for us Floridians.

Due to the bad weather we decided to call it a day early and head back to the train station to go back to Utrecht. Standing in the ticket line I heard someone yell, “Taylor?!” It was my high school track coach and recent UF grad Josh, who had been traveling Europe this summer too. Lives 15 minutes down the road from me in my tiny hometown of Sebring. Just happened to run into him in Rotterdam of all places. So it’s a super small world, which I love. You never have to look far to find something that reminds you of home.
I’m on the plane on the way to Rome for a week with the class as I write this. I’m hopeful that my life will mirror the Lizzie McGuire Movie, or at the very least, another crazy coincidence like Rotterdam.