Rotterdam

Rotterdam Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 61 › view all entries

Peter, Kati and I went to Rotterdam on Saturday, and I liked it a lot.  Rotterdam has a lot more cranes than I'm used to seeing in the Netherlands, and a lot less in the way of postcard-pretty buildings.  And yes, I know why that is.  Everyone keeps pointing it out and teasing me about it, and the only sensible reply I've been able to think of is "oh, you mean like Coventry?" because it's kind of hard to know what else to say. 

Rotterdam is very modern, and full of strange cubic buildings and interesting architecture.  Having seen the photos of Rotterdam after the war, there were very, very few buildings left standing and they had a massive need to reconstruct the city pretty much from the ground up.

The Erasmusbrug
  Despite this, the city has a real sense of character to it; you'd know where you were if you arrived blindfolded, and there's a real sense of atmosphere around. 

The new building at centraal station meant that getting out of the station itself took a little imagination.  The area round the station reminded me a bit of the area around the Boston Aquarium a couple of years ago, when the big dig was still in full swing - not all that high-rise, but enthusiastic with the hoardings and full of a confused sort of energy.  Having found the tourist information, we set off to find the cathedral.

The Laurenskerk is stunning.  When they rebuilt it, they made it very simple inside; soaring white walls and pale coloured glass, except for the one window high behind the alter.

a tree - proof it is october, despite the sun!
  When we visited they were setting up a theatre in the middle of the nave, but the church still shows every sign of being alive, and actually used, rather than the rather warehouse like atmosphere you can get in St Pauls and Canterbury in England.  Behind the church is the Grote Markt - now officially top of my list of places to go back to if I get the chance on my own  Markets are tricky with company, because you have to keep track of each other and can't stop to get properly overexcited about antiques, spices, amazing random foodstuffs or hot mussels.  But when I can go back, I will.  It's one of the largest city-centre markets I've been to, very eclectic, bustling, and smells amazing.  Definately go. 

next, after a certain degree of wandering about looking at weird cubist buildings, we found our way to the maritime museum, which I'll write a proper review about otherwise this entry will be far too long.

View from the maritime Museum
  I'm also going to write a proper review of the euromast (next stop on the trip).  This is mostly because if I write about the euromast here, there will be far too many exclamation marks, madly everexcited ramblings, and adjectives.  If we leave it at I wasn't that impressed with the maritime museum and I loved the euromast, that'll do.  It's also given me a new ambition - in summer, you can abseil off all 100-odd metres of the mast into thin air.  The thought makes me feel really quite sick, but I really want to do it.

After the Euromast we walked through the park and found a cafe next to the harbour to have a beer in.  The picture of the swan was taken there.  Then we had dinner in a chinese restaurant - it was very nice, and if I hadn't pulled my normal trick of forgetting where it was or what it was called I'd write a proper review! - and went home again. 

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The Erasmusbrug
The Erasmusbrug
a tree - proof it is october, desp…
a tree - proof it is october, des…
View from the maritime Museum
View from the maritime Museum
the swan
the swan
me, and an elephant
me, and an elephant
The Grotte Markt and the church
The Grotte Markt and the church
taken at the maritime museum - the…
taken at the maritime museum - th…
Rotterdam Sights & Attractions review
The maritime museum in Rotterdam is about 10 Euros to get in, although I used my museumkaart so it didn't cost me anything. On balance, I think I'm g… read entire review
Rotterdam Sights & Attractions review
The Euromast is very, very good. And I'm giving it five stars, because I have a new ambition. Just nobody tell my mum. ;-) The Euromast is a lar… read entire review
Rotterdam
photo by: polvandenwirre