Rotterdam - Ruudterdamned!
For my first outing in Rotterdam I enlisted the help of my friend Ruud, who proved to be a fantastic tour guide! We named his tour the Ruudterdamned tour. Mixing some of the history of the city with the contemporary hipster coolness, we actually saw quite a lot for one day.
Rotterdam is a relatively newly built city because it was mostly destroyed during World War II. The disjointed architecture sets it apart from other Dutch cities, though the uniqueness of some of the buildings is really lovely. Rotterdam Centraal Station, the Erasmus Bridge, the Markthal and the Cube Houses are all unique architectural finds in the city.
We started our day with a coffee and quick walk near the Hofplein, the location of the former train station. After that we checked out the Markthal where I had my first kibbeling. The Markthal is the largest indoor market in Europe. The interior of the building is made of large panels with brightly colored images of fruit, these images are so large they had to be made up at the Pixar studios in order to be high enough quality for the large scale print.
After a beer we headed toward a small harbor and took a water taxi to Hotel New York, the site of departure for ships traveling the Holland-Amerika Lijn. It is now a hotel and restaurant that boasts delicious oysters and calamari, among other things. Across the bridge we had a beer at Fenix Food Factory, an open market style place with a selection of small restaurants and bars.
To kill time before dinner we visited the S.S. Rotterdam, a docked ship that now serves as a hotel. The former ocean liner was launched by Queen Juliana in 1959 and served until 2000. It was restored and placed permanently in Rotterdam as a hotel and museum. It is interesting, but not my favorite part of the city.
We headed back on the fast water taxi to the city and went out for a night of dancing in one the best scenes in the world! It was a long, fun night!
December 5, 2016.