First few days

I arrived at about 5 Dutch time and decided to make Rotterdam my first stop. It wasn’t too far to drive and I’ve never been there before which seemed like a good enough reason to me. After two days in Rotterdam I drove East to Deventor which is where this post is coming from.

It’s been a revelation having a bicycle to explore a new city. I absolutely recommend it to everyone. I parked up in a random side street about 5 mins away from the city centre, popped the top and made a cup of tea, (I am British after all), and then took a cycle into Rotterdam. One of the first things I discovered is that they have a very lively night life and enjoy lots of street music.

Rotterdam-10

I spent most of the evening completely lost, in fact it wasn’t until the next day that I discovered the tourist information office, called the VVV, and bought a street map of the city. The addition of a map just meant was that everyone around me now knew that I was lost as I stood astride my bike, map spread across the handlebars and a confused look on my face. I did get my photo taken, just to prove it’s actually me.

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Near where that photo was taken is a very dubious statue which is supposed to be Santa Claus holding a Christmas Tree. The Dutch, however, refer to him as Kabouter Buttplug. Kabouter being Dutch for Gnome and he’s holding, well, you can see that for yourself.

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A bit of a tragedy occurred as I was getting some cash from the bank  on my first morning in Holland.

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That’s what’s left of my my iPad, it was inside a rucksack and also inside it’s protective case. Oh well, I’ll just have to join the rest of the people I know with broken screens on their phones and iPads who view the on-line world through a crazy paving overlay.

One thing I did do was go up the Euro mast, at 185 meters and it gives lovely views over Rotterdam. I arrived at the ticket office only to be greeted with the information that they didn’t take cash, cards only.A bit of a problem as I only had cash, luckily I managed to persuade a guy in the queue to buy my ticket on his card and I paid him in cash.

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The Dutch are famous for being bike friendly but this was free (or gratis) valet bike parking right in the centre of the city, not something I have ever seen in London or Cambridge.

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I used it while I was there but the attendant removed my reclaim ticket before he handed my bike back so I’ve no proof.

One of the benefits of using a bike to explore a city is that its easy (and quick) to get to the less well trodden areas away from the tourist hordes. A lovely area of Rotterdam is the old harbour or Oude Haven. This is a lovely, laid back section of Rotterdam and has many original Dutch barges sitting quietly in the still water. This is just minutes from the bustling city centre but an absolute contrast to the noise and bustle just around the corner.

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In the same area is a dock overlooked by this impressive building. I’ve no idea what it’s called or what it is but riding back to my van in the evening it caught my eye.

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It’s quite near to the famous “Cube Houses” and I’ve wandered around these trying to work out how people live in them. They do, but I’m really not sure how.

Rotterdam 1

Just up the road from the cube houses is the Erasmusbrug which leads into the heart of the city. I took this picture, at about 11 at night and used my camera bag as an impromptu tripod as the exposure took about 35 seconds.

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I’ll end with a disclaimer, I’m currently sat in the sun outside the Persee bar in Deventer and I’ve had a few beers while I’ve been writing this post so any mistakes in the writing are the fault of the barman and any bad photo’s are the fault of the sun, I accept no responsibility whatsoever.

 

 

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