For my first trip of the year, I had the privilege of travelling to Durban to meet up with Crawford College La Lucia ahead of their Hockey trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
As I arrived at the airport, I was met by a bunch of enthusiastic and cheerful hockey players from Crawford college who were about to venture to a destination that boasts some of the best hockey teams and structures in the world. We landed at a chilly Schipol Airport in Amsterdam after our flight via Istanbul.
We headed for a quick snack before our first training session at the newly amalgamated HC Schiedam. After a well-structured and intense training session, the Crawford College tour headed to Rotterdam for the next few nights as we settled into our accommodation at the famous “Cubed” houses in the city center. For the next few days we got to explore the city with its modern architecture, large waterways and the many unique sculptures that are scattered across the city.
Next up the Crawford College tour was to head south to Belgium. We would be staying in Antwerp for a few nights, but we decided to first head to Brussels for the day. We were met with glorious weather in the country’s capital as we explored the many markets, shops and food stalls that Brussels had to offer. After another wonderful meal, we had a short trip back north to the city of Antwerp. We enjoyed a walking tour through the beautiful streets of the city and the girls fell in love with the many fashion stores that lined the streets.
After our days in Antwerp, it was time to head across the border to Germany. We headed to Cologne for the day where we also had a walking tour through the historic streets of one of the prettiest cities in Europe. We ended the day by enjoying the delicious Chocolate that the Lindt Museum had for us.
We spent 2 nights in Dusseldorf and then we headed back into The Netherlands for our second last city of the trip, Utrecht. This city remains a tourist’s favorite with the narrow streets and many canals that add to the vibe. We explored the city by canoe as we used the canals to see the outskirts of the old city. We then had the opportunity to explore the city in the traditional Dutch way, by bicycle.
One of the highlights of the trip was our time spent at Snowworld in Zoetermeer. A few of the travelers had skied and snowboarded before but there were many that found the skills required quite difficult to navigate. After a cold time on the ski slopes, we headed to our final city, Amsterdam.
We had a full schedule in Amsterdam as we took in as much of the city as possible. We started with a trip to the suburb of Amstelveen where we had a choice of two Hoofdklasse hockey matches, Amsterdam vs Klein Zwitserland and next door, Pinoke taking on Log leaders Bloemendal. This was a unique experience for many of the hockey players as they have never seen big crowds like these for hockey matches.
The next day we went on a unique pancake cruise where we travel on the canals in Amsterdam while eating as many pancakes as your heart desires. We then headed to the Amsterdam Dungeons to explore the dark past of the city. Being in the city center, shopping was the main attraction and a good few hours was spent spending the last bit of Euros before the long journey back to Durban.
I would like to thank Justin Collins, the Staff and the rest of the travelling party from Crawford La Lucia for a wonderful trip the Europe. The behavior of the learners on the trip was exceptional and every Dutch person had huge praise for the learners. This is something to proud of and I look forward to sharing many memories like these with Crawford in the future.
TEAM Sports Travel