From the Dam to the Rotterdam

Rotterdam Travel Blog

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So it took close to an hour to get to Rotterdam Centraal. The tram stops are right in front of the station, but I had to wait 15 mins extra for the next 25 going to Limbrekthoek and near Frank's place. I called him when I got on the tram to tell him I'll be there when it reaches. He came to the tram stop about 5 mins after I got off.. and it was about a 5 min walk to his place from there. It was already late afternoon by then. I met his guests - his ex-flatmate and a russian gal.

He left for dinner with his parents, and I got some chinese takeout nearby. The rest had already eaten when I got back, so I ate half of my chinese meal in the meantime, and I was full already. I had a bit of rest till Frank returned. We stay up late into the night just talking and watching some random crap on TV - first a Dutch cookery show, then 'Arachnia' a terrible almost B grade porn like horror movie, and part of another really crappy horror movie... they were so miserable it was funny even, making comments about how pathetic it was. I wonder why we watched it, but heck it was funny in a weird braindead sort of way. Anyway I got to the couch/bed late then and stayed in late as well...

.... January 2nd, 2009 ....
Next day, around noon is when I got up. The plan was to head into the city for some shopping. We basically walked through a part of the city while Russian gal did some shopping, we split up after some time. Frank showed me through the shopping area near the world trade centre, the funny Santa with a "butt plug" (or something that looks like that). We walked through the shopping streets, then to one of the older churches that hadn't been flattened in the war and the statue of Erasmo, then off to the old harbor near Blaak station, and the "cube houses" (or the Blaak forest). From there we walked to the river and along the river through the promenade with the flags of the world, and took the next bus home.

I had the rest of my dinner, while Frank did his usual dinner with his parents. I got a quick nap in as well, while the Russian gal and Frank got back and got ready for the evening. Around 20:00 I got ready as well and we headed out shortly after that, back to the city. The plan was to meet Willem and his couchsurfer somewhere. They were already in the city at some bar already that Frank didn't know the exact location of. Anycase we ended up at Stadthuisplein (where a lot of bars are). The Russian gal skated a while in the ice rink there, and meantime Willem and Martina (from Italy) came over to meet us there. Me, Frank, Willem and Martina headed off to an Irish Pub, leaving Russian gal to her "favorite club". There was a live band at the Irish pub, it was pretty cool. After a couple of drinks and some chatting, Willem and Martina headed back with one of the last trams back. We went back to the club near Stadthuis to hang out with Russian gal again. The music was a strange mix of many popular songs, mostly Dance, Trance, House, bit of Hip hop and Dutch carnival songs though. All in all quite fun though, especially with people dancing on a raised bench/platform on the side, and even on the damn bar for some time. We stayed at the club drinkin beers till basically they shut down at around 04:00.

After stepping out, there was some looking around for someplace to eat. We got a bit of food from a Vietnamese mobile stall by the street and later at a Turkish place I shared a Doner with Frank. There were no more night buses at this hour, so after some arguing about taking a cab home, Frank and I just decided to wait for the first tram at about 06:15 and took that home. It was still miserably cold that night, but hey I didn't mind waiting half an hour more... when we got back it was really foggy and all the cars were frosted over. The fog was also quite strange, it was like there were crystals and not vapour floating in the air, it was somehow shimmering in the lights... beautiful.

.... January 3rd, 2009 ....
I had planned on leaving not too late, back to Amsterdam, so that I could hang out with Wendy at a comfortable time. However I couldn't really wake up before 13:00 or so. And left soon after that, after saying bbyes to everyone and signing Frank's guestbook. Talked to Wendy on the way back and met her at Ibis hotel at Centraal station shortly after 16:00 or so. The plan was to meet Eric and someone else at Leidseplein at a pancake place. But I wanted to check in and drop my bag at the hostel Zeeburg... so Wendy decided to accompany me there. Umm... didn't turn out as quick and as well as I had planned it to be. But I was very glad that Wendy came along, after a bunch of walking and looking for trams and tramstops and searching and asking many times we finally made it there, guess it took us about an hour instead of the 30-40 mins I had hoped for. Wendy was quite upset at this point because we were getting late and it was frustrating to find the place, but kind as she is she still went along cheerfully, just glad to be on the tram to Leidseplein to meet the rest.

The "rest" were basically Eric and Bill, we joined them at this American bar place and decided to pig out on all you can eat ribs. We had a couple of drinks and gorged ourselves on the ribs, while Wendy daintily chose to eat some Dutch Poffertjes instead and getting some "ribbing" from Eric :-). After seeing her off as she left towards Centraal and then home, around 20:00, me, Eric and Bill decided to go for a couple of drinks more. So we walked towards Koningsplein and went into an old looking bar. We ran into a group of older couples, mostly Irish and English and it was funny because they were singing pub songs and we (especially Eric) got dragged into the singing as well. After the group left, it was pretty dead, so we decided to head over to our hotel/hostel. Took a tram to Opera house, but I was still up for a drink more so we walked back to Rembrandtplein and had a drink in an Aussie pub, but it was kind of dead there as well. Went to a coffee shop and I smoked a joint and we had a tea/coffee. Pretty tired/sleepy at this point, so we bid our farewells and I took the tram 9 back to the hostel. I made my bed and walked a bit through the hostel wondering if I should or shouldn't go online (it was kinda expensive). But then I found my instructions to/from the hostel and the maindesk had a helpful map so I just decided to wake up early and deal with it.

-- Ashish Bhambhani
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Rotterdam
photo by: polvandenwirre