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Tag Archives: Mass River

Today we were up early again. It seems we are almost always the first ones to breakfast. Our goal for today is a short train trip to Rotterdam. I guess I hadn’t done my homework because I was very surprised to find a modern vibrant city. It is unlike any of the other cities that we visited with the possible exception of The Hague. The ultra modern central train station was opened in 2014 and in an imposing structure.

 

More photos from Rotterdam can be found on my website.

Our plan was to follow Rick Steve’s walking tour of Rotterdam but as is usually the case we were lost before we had gotten very far. We ended up following Coolsingel street for quite a ways. This is a fantastic wide walking area filled with trees and surrounded by imposing modern buildings.

 

 

Our initial goal for our visit was the Open Market so we walked along Coolsingel until we reached the Koopgoot shopping area. My wife can’t stand Burger King but I love it so I managed to get my photo taken. Unfortunately it was too early for lunch.

 

We walked down into the underground shopping area before exiting by the World Trade Center.

 

We continued on to the the Rotterdam Open Market. It was not as large as the one in The Hague but it was impressive and a market that most American cities would be proud to have. Of course there was lots of cheese and vegetables.

 

Seafood was also abundant.

 

As is always the case flowers were abundant.

 

There were a few dry goods vendors.

 

If you only had one place to visit I would say this would be the area. Much of what we wanted to see could be found in this small area. At the end of the Open Market we found the Cube Houses. We waked through the area. One was open but we didn’t think we had the time to visit.

 

Just opposite the Cube Houses is Market Hall. We were impressed with the open market but even more impressed with Market Hall. The market is in the center of the building and most of the windows you see on the outside of the horseshoe are apartments. You can rent apartments for long and short stays. Doing so would put you in the center of a very vibrant area of Rotterdam.

 

The inside of the building is adorned with an 11.000 m2 of artwork by Arno Coenen. The artwork is named Hoorn des Overvloeds.  The work was made using digital 3D-techniques. Producing it required a file of 1,47 terabytes and required special servers. The digital 3D-animation was separated in 4000 pieces and then printed on perforated aluminum panels which were mounted on the ceiling inside the building.

 

The basement levels house one of the larger parking garages in Rotterdam.

 

In addition to the spectacular ceiling the market also provides a wide range of food and many restaurants.

 

A common site in Europe are the chess sets on the street.

 

Also in the same are is the public library. Just inside the door is another chess set. It had attracted a crowd to watch a game in progress. the last shot is the checkout desk. It appeared to be self checkout and self check in.

 

The first shot is of the public library and the transit station and was taken from the front of the Market Hall. It provides a good idea of how close everything is. The Blaak Transit Station sits at one end of the plaza and is between the markets, library and the Old Harbor area. The open market is in front of the public library.

 

I wondered ho folks were able to store their bikes on the second level of the storage racks. This question was answered when the young lady walked over and pulled the unit down, placed her bike on it and easily pushed it back up for storage.

I couldn’t resist having ice cream after walking past all of the food stalls inside the Market Hall. After the ice cream we walked across the street to the old harbor area. You can see how close things are. The Cube Houses are in the background of the first photo. Lots of house boats in the old harbor. It was apparently laundry day because a number of people were hanging out laundry as we walk by.

We were walking along the canals in hopes of finding the ticket office for the harbor tours. Unfortunately we ended up in a dead end and had to backtrack. In doing so we noticed a crowd gathering at the Maritime Museum which was our next stop. On the way we encountered a number of hotel and restaurant ships. The most interesting thing was the floating hot tub.

We were heading over to the open air exhibit at the Maritime Museum when we heard a band playing and noticed a large crowd outside the Museum. Ever curious I decided we should go over and find out what was going on. A ceremony was taking place similar to the one we encountered on Remembrance Day when visiting Breukelen. After the ceremony we started talking with someone and found out that it was Remembrance day for the bombing of Rotterdam by the Germans. Central Rotterdam was destroyed and the decision was made to reconstruct it as a modern city much like some American cities. We were really fortunate to be able to participate in both the Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the bombing of Rotterdam.

After the ceremony we walked through the open air section of the Museum.

 

We finally found the harbor cruise line and purchased tickets for the cruise. We had to walk under The Swan bridge to find the ticket office. The cruise was an hour and a half on a beautiful spring day. As usual we wanted to be first in line so we could get the best seats but as it turned out there were not that many people on the cruise so we had the run of the ship. The port is the busiest in Europe so there was a lot to see.

 

After the harbor cruise we walked over to a little marina to check out the sailing ships. We also encountered an Egyptian Goose sleeping on the grass.

 

 

We then walked over to Ze Hielden Koers park which offered some nice views of the Erasmus Bridge and the start of the Parade of Flags along the Boompjes Promenade.

The views of the Mass River waterfront were very nice. The island across the river was largely spared by the German bombing and provides a glimpse of what central Rotterdam would probably look like today had it not been destroyed.

 

It was getting late in the day so we decided to walk back to the Market Hall and find a restaurant for dinner. When we finished eating we did encounter a slight problem. Neither one of us typically carries money when traveling because we pay for everything using our credit card. Unfortunately the waiter failed to mention that they only take Dutch credit cards. The waiter held me hostage while my wife had to go find an ATM to get some cash. This was the second time on this trip that we had this happen to us.

 

After dinner we started working our way back to the central station. We did manage to get lost on the way back. We took what we thought might be a shortcut but it turned out not to be. We departed Rotterdam about 12 hours after starting our journey in Delft early in the morning. We found Rotterdam a refreshing change from the large number of tourists that we encountered in Amsterdam.