Friday, September 9, 2016

Next stop - Rotterdam

We once again walked the couple of blocks from our hotel in Amsterdam to the Centraal Station and boarded a train.  This time, we had about a 40 minute trip over to Rotterdam.  The city was essentially used as an example by Hitler during the war, and he leveled it looks completely different than any of the other towns we'd seen - modern!  Starting immediately with the super fancy Centraal Station train station!

Here we were meeting up with some of our closest friends who live in England!  We were so excited to spend a few days together!  M hadn't met baby A (baby....she's 3.5yo!) and hadn't seen D in several years.  It was a great reunion! 

I couldn't get enough of this one!  You may remember her from a few of my Maine visits to see them when they come over to the states for a few weeks each year.  

First, after visiting the "ravey baby," this massive glowing baby doll, we went to the Rotterdam Market Hall

Photo source

We wandered all around, checking out the different vendors and stands - 100 fresh food stands, 15 food shops and 8 restaurants in total.  The ceiling was incredible - so many graphics of various foods.  The windows are actual apartment windows!  

We selected the Spanish tapas place, Pinchos, to grab a bite to eat before we headed out on our Rick Steves' guided walking tour!

We spotted the cubes, and just had to go see what they were up close!

These homes were designed and built by architect Piet Blom in the 1970s.  They sit tilted on a hexagonal pole.   

After exploring all around them, we decided to pay the fee and go into the cube museum!  Once you enter and go up the narrow staircase, the lower level is the kitchen and living area, middle is the sleeping rooms, and the top floor is a sunroom of sorts. They're each a total of 100 square meters, but because of their tilt, only about 1/4 of the space is usable.  

Once we had our fill of the cube museum, we continued on our trek around town.  It was quite chilly this day, but luckily sunny!  

We ducked in a coffee shop for a cake and coffee, and to warm up a bit!

After exploring the city for a bit, we decided it was time for dinner.  We boarded a tram and headed across the river to the Hotel New York.  It's the original Holland America Cruise Lines headquarters.  We hung out in the bustling bar area and snacked on several appetizers for dinner - delicious!  It was especially cool for me to go to the original HAL headquarters as a friend of mine is their president!  They had all kinds of old ship models and posters around - neat spot.

Photo source

The next day we were up and at it early to go check out the tulip fields - those deserve their own post, coming soon...

Our last day with our friends, we decided to show them a true Dutch town, so we piled into the car and headed off to Delft.  

Town square with City Hall in the background
Delft is know for it's historic canals and Delft blue pottery.  There are loads of stores that are just FULL of both authentic and replica pottery pieces.  
The leaning Olde Kerk

This is going to be wildly hard to believe, but we followed a Rick Steves' tour around the small town.

We stopped in this cute little cafe for lunch, as it was quite chilly outside!

I had a delicious and hearty beef stew, and of course we had to try their apple pie!

A little photo shoot after lunch!

The boys entertained the little one in the square while the girls did some pottery shopping.

And then we headed back to Rotterdam.  Our friends had decided they needed to stay one more night, and were able to rent a cube through Airbnb!  So we moved them into their space for the night!  We walked back to the food mart and picked up some snacks and drinks for a little happy hour in the solarium before we headed off to the airport.  One more selfie stick group photo, lots of hugs and a few tears, and we said goodbye. 

Thanks for an awesome few days, Rotterdamn, we were off to Vienna!

1 comment:

  1. Best post...ever!!! I want to do it all again!