For those who are curious about what the area around our home is like, picture a suburb on the edge of a larger city. While we are actually considered to live in the city, we are in one of the districts outside of the main downtown center. Just like in suburbs, we still have shopping and restaurants in our “neck of the woods” (all within a 5-10 minute bike ride), but our district has more of a suburban residential feel and is a bit more nature and recreation filled than some of the others. We have many parks and lakes, biking and walking trails, a bowling center, paintball facility, gyms and tennis courts, a children’s farm and an outdoor amusement center. There are also lots of fields for soccer and field hockey.
Yesterday, as the sun was shining and the temperature was warm enough for short sleeves and no jacket, lots of people were outdoors engaging in adventurous activities, and we decided to bike around the area. Our bike ride began in the park near our home (just a 5 minute ride). There were many people out with their dogs and several people riding horseback through the park. Next to the park’s large, lakeside restaurant, there is a remote control car race track. On this day, they were hosting a race and there were many racers and spectators.
We headed out of the park to bike along the street. While it was a street, there was probably more traffic on the bike paths than the road. We biked along a large golf course, many houses, some of which had sheep, horses and cows on their property, and an outdoor ski simulation and intertube “sledding” facility. The skiing looked scary, but I would definitely try the sledding!
It was a very scenic bike ride with lots of wildflowers and blooming trees.
Further down the path, we reentered a section of the park and found the other side of the facility that operates the skiing and sledding. At this side of their facility, there is an area for renting kayaks and canoes, playing some sort of water sport with nets, doing a massive climbing wall and an adventure obstacle course. There is also a large lake and numerous mountain biking trails. There were a couple of people out paddleboarding on the lake as well.
Finally, we ended up back at the restaurant in the park by our house. It was packed with people (and dogs) just sitting outside enjoying some food and drink, and there were also people using a paddle boat on the lake as well as someone driving a small remote-operated boat. There is also a sandpit, climbing areas, a playground and small swing bridge for kids near the water and restaurant and the children were out in droves putting all of it to use.
After relaxing for a bit with a snack, we headed back home through the nature trail. It was a lovely, relaxed afternoon, and we realized that Rotterdam and it’s surrounding cities are great, and while we enjoy going into the city center for shopping, food and other activities, we are very happy with the amenities and overall feel of our district and feel fortunate that it is what we currently call home.