Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Dutch Pinball Museum

When I was offered the chance to work in Holland I was ridiculously nervous but also a little excited about working abroad and possibly getting some time to explore when not in the lab. Of course this led me to looking into the local area and what there is to do in Rotterdam, let me tell you I had no idea it was a city filled with so much to do! I honestly just thought it would be like a dutch Middlesbrough but it's more like London I guess. There are so many museums, so much to see and do you wouldn't believe, I'm actually considering writing a guide to the city once I've been over a few more times. However I did come across Rotterdam Tourist Information and discovered the Pinball Museum was a thing and that is when I decided it was my mission to visit it. 

The Dutch Pinball Museum is probably one of the best museums I've ever been to, I don't even care how nerdy it sounds, I've actually been twice now. The museum is situated just outside of Rotterdam Centre and is super easy to get to by metro, you just need to get off at Rijnhaven and it's situated by the docks next to the Fenix Food Factory (super convenient to pop to for food afterwards!) and opposite the Hotel New York. You pay for time within the museum which is a minimum of 1.5 hours to a day pass, your entry in gives you access to all 75 pinball machines so you could easily spend a day in here if you want to beat a high score or play every single machine. For me 1.5 hours is enough purely because I get way too stressed out and both times I've ended up spending 90% of my time playing the Addams Family one or The Twilight Zone. Each machine has a little card on top of it too telling you when it was made, history of the machine and the game itself, personally I had no idea there was such high demand for them! The Addams Family pinball machine is the best selling pinball machine of all time! Yet this is the only place I've ever seen it, to be fair though there was so many machines I'd never seen. One of my favourites was also the Baby Pacman machine this was both the classic Pacman joystick game with an added feature of the pinball machine, which made it even more fun which I had no idea it could be! 

Not all the machines are playable, the museum has two storeys and upstairs you can find some mega old pinball machines I thought they became a thing in the 80s but it was in fact the 30s! These machines are so basic but they're definitely worth having a look at, the museum houses so many classic machines and many modern from modern film such as the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings, there's also a Stars Wars Episode 1 machine and I think if I can understand dutch from translators they have a 'special' temporary machine which you do have to pay for on my first visit it was a Guardians of The Galaxy one and this time it was Game Of Thrones because I was very sad to see Guardians had gone as I didn't get chance to play it because someone was trying to beat a high score and played it constantly. That's one thing I do like about the place though, people gather to watch others when they've been playing for a while and you see how passionately people get into the games. 

If you're in Holland I'd definitely recommend giving the place a visit, it's around an hour away from Amsterdam and 15 minutes from Rotterdam Central. It's perfect for adults and kids, the atmosphere is great and you really do get caught up in trying to beat your last score, I forgot how fun pinball is.  Plus the whole place just looks really pretty with its purple backing lights and all the machines constantly flashing its great, definitely made me nostalgic for the arcade at the bowling alley we'd go to when I was a kid. 

I'm now on the hunt for more museums like this, if you have any recommendations please let me know because honestly it was just the most fun!

Monday, 11 June 2018

Postcards from May

So I've been a little absent the past few weeks and has been extremely unintentional, I planned to write this post in May but once I got back from Holland my laptop decided to update and then die on me which was far from ideal to be honest. It's been weird not having a laptop though, I had no idea what to do with my nights, I kept thinking about blogging but I couldn't and then I was just so exhausted and didn't feel my best so I ended up just laying around watching Netflix for like two weeks aha. I mean it wasn't all bad, I did manage to complete South Park Stick of Truth which was extremely enjoyable and I would 10/10 recommend it because lads it is just so much fun. Aside from that though I spent my time moping, being miserable and grumpy and sleeping when I wasn't in work because I am super fun like that haha.
However I am now back in Rotterdam and I have some exciting content planned for my blog, I got some time off yesterday and I took so many photos and visited so many places I really cannot wait to share them with you. These photos are from my trip back in May, I recently got a new camera so having a wander around the local area was the perfect chance to get used to the settings and to play about with editing. I didn't explore too far as I was completely exhausted and just wanted a break between being in the lab, so I stuck to the local area such as Spijkenisse and Vlaardingen, however both are beautiful areas. I can't get over just how much beauty there is in Holland, like everywhere is just so nice, the rivers and all the boats, the architecture and the sheer amount of greenery I just love it. It's perfectly picturesque. 
I am very exciting about sharing photos from this trip, I feel like taking this job opportunity has really given me a new perspective on things and just makes me feel much more inspired to write and take photos. For now though I'm just checking in to let you all know I'm fine I'm still here I just had some down time without a laptop but keep your eyes peeled for some city and travel guides!
What've you been up to recently? 

Monday, 21 May 2018

Hidden Gem Holiday Destinations*

Source:Holiday Gems

I'm not going to lie to you but I must spend about 80% of my time pricing up holidays, I mean who doesn't have mad wanderlust these days especially when it seems like everyone on your insta feed is always on holiday. I don't know about yours but I know my feed is full of holiday destinations filled with colour, grammable beaches and just everything looks super aesthetically pleasing that usually I end up googling all the destinations I see and doing research on them. I love a pretty city or beach but for me a holiday needs some culture, I'm not really the type of person who could go away and just lie on a beach or by the pool all day, eat, drink and maybe read a book nothing else. I love exploring, I love finding local places to eat, I love history and museums I love a good bus tour that kind of thing. If you want a relaxing do nothing holiday I am really not the person you want to go with haha. When I saw a campaign to write about finding those hidden gems on holiday I knew I had to give it a shot because I am forever holiday shopping and well I like dipping into travel blogging.

Source:Holiday Gems

Holiday Gems are a company I hadn't previously heard of, I'll admit I'm very guilty of going to the big names when looking into holidays, these however seem to always cost an absolute bomb. Holiday Gems have some amazing value for money deals, with flights from most major UK cities including Newcastle! For me being able to fly from Newcastle for a low cost is a big deal 'cause personally I find it difficult to find flights to most places for under £200! Holiday Gems have destinations everywhere from Florida to Mexico, Egypt and Africa. After spending a short while looking at their destinations I knew where I wanted to talk about, I mean yeah Florida is at the top of my list of places to visit because hello Disney World and Universal, Mexico too who doesn't want to visit the Mayan ruins?! However I saw Greece and was like yeah I wanna visit Greece I wonder what hidden gems they have there?

Source:Holiday Gems
Source:Holiday Gems

What I love about Greece is that it's not just attached to mainland Europe but also has tons of Islands that belong to it. Of course it has it's main Islands which are well known holiday destinations such as Zante which is highly popular with hen/stag parties and younger groups for lads/girls holidays as it's known for beaches and its party resorts such as Laganas. Mostly though Greece is filled with history and culture, and that's what I want to visit for.

Of course we all know about Greek Gods and how the Olympic Games originated there, the ruins but there is so much more than this, Greece has so much hidden beauty and history. The island of Crete is one I didn't realise had so much history, its filled with ancient ruins like those of the Palace of Knossos which are ruins of the Minoan Civilisation who were known for their pottery and with links to the mythological story of the labyrinth and the Minotaur. Elafonisi is a small Island just off Crete that holds a lot of history, there's war memorials from the Greek War Of Independence, you can visit the old ruins of the Light house which was destroyed during WWII by German Troops. The light house was built on the island purely because of a Ship known as the Imperatix was wrecked in the Islands waters, the wreckage of which is still there to this day waiting for divers to visit. Wreck diving is a huge thing in Greece, not only are there ships to visit but also planes, I would love to go diving and see how the sea creatures have taken over the wrecks and made their homes. Not only does it boast history but it also boasts beauty, they have pink sand. Pink Sand!! How amazing is that, imagine all the instagram worth snaps you could get there! It's very easy for you to day trip between the Islands around Crete as they're very popular tourist destinations, you can even walk to some when the water is shallow enough! The other Greek Islands are also beautiful several of them such as Skaithos were even used for filming of Mama Mia, now wouldn't you love to visit and dance around the streets pretending you're a part of the film? Haha.

Thanks to Holiday Gems I now really need to go on a trip to Greece and my bank balance is probably going to hate me since I discovered their amazingly priced City Break deals! My holiday window shopping is definitely going to get worse since discovering them. 
Do you have any holidays coming up or are you just window shopping like me?

*This post is a sponsored post and I have been paid to advertise Holiday Gems however all writing is my own as was the research into the country. The photos belong to Holiday Gems I take no credit for how beautiful those photos are!*