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De Rotte

De Rotte

One day in December I rented a bike in Rotterdam andย followed the river Rotte (which Rotterdam is named after) almost all the way to its source. It’s a beautiful trip, especially on this frosty sunny day! A very Dutch landscape, with a lot of windmills…

Bike path along de Rotte

Panorama of the bike path along de Rotte

There are houses along some parts of the river. Must be a nice place to live!

Boats on de Rotte

Houses along de Rotte - must be a nice place to live!

Panorama of the pretty views along the road

I rented my bike from the train station. The train company has a very good deal on rental bikes, and I only paid 3,20 euro for 24 hours. So convenient!

The bike I rented for only about 3 euros!

Beautiful house on the river…

Nice house along de Rotte

At some point you reach the recreation area Rottemeren. A really nice area where no cars are allowed, and there are many jetties in the lake. Some were very fotogenic, I took a lot of photos of this nicely shaped jetty…

Jetty panorama

It was such a beautiful frosty day!

I took a lot of photos of this photogenic jetty

Another windmill along the way…

Another windmill along the way

Which also had a jetty next to it…

Windmill and jetty - there were a lot of similar jetties

Here I crossed a bridge over the river and returned along the path on the other side. Nice view from the bridge!

View from the bridge over de Rotte

Further along I saw this pretty bridge…

Pretty bridge over de Rotte

I cycled back along the Kralingse Plas, a really nice lake with amazing views of Rotterdam. Here they also built some jetties, and I love the Rotterdam skyline view on the other side.

The jetty at the Kralingse Plas - I love the view towards Rotterdam from here

A jogger on the jetty

After this, I cycled back to the central station to return my bike. The station is a really cool modern building…

Panorama of the very cool train station in Rotterdam

I had cycled 38 km – beautiful ride! Here is a map of the trip…

Map of my bike trip

Birthday Bike Ride

Birthday Bike Ride

My birthday was the day after we came back from Florida. Michiel had to work, and I was lazy most of the day. The weather was beautiful though – cold but sunny – so in the end I decided to go for a little bike ride around sunset. I don’t have my own bike in Rotterdam, but it’s very easy and cheap to rent one at the train station. This photo is from the short walk to the train station…

On the way to Rotterdam central station to pick up a rental bike

It took me a while to get out of Rotterdam, I lost my way a bit and ended up in some quite industrial areas. I was almost afraid I’d miss the sunset, but finally it started to get pretty when I reached the small village of Zweth.

Beautiful building housing a restaurant in Zweth

From here, I followed a very narrow walking/cycling path that follows the Berkelse Zweth (a small river). The path is so narrow you have to pay attention, as you could easily end up in the water! I loved the colours and the calm scenes along the river…

Along the narrow path

Behind me the sunset had become very beautiful and very red…

Beautiful sunset!

Passing a house while continuing on the narrow path…

Continuing on the very narrow path

One last look at the sunset from the bridge over the river…

One last look at the pretty sunset

After that I cycled back to Rotterdam quite quickly, as it was getting dark and much colder. I was glad I convinced myself to go for a bike ride and that I got to enjoy this sunset!

Rotterdam (Not Just Anywhere)

Rotterdam (Not Just Anywhere)

Sountrack for reading (and understanding the title of) this blog – Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) by the Beautiful South.

It had been years since I’d been to Rotterdam, so many that I can’t remember the last time I was there (other than changing trains on my way to Hook of Holland, but even that is 10 years ago). I tried to visit a few times, but it was almost like there was a curse: once I was stuck in a train on the way to Rotterdam for 5 hours, and then when we could finally move again the train went back to Amsterdam…

But curses are there to break, so when Chanita asked me if I wanted to spend a day in Rotterdam I said yes – and this time I reached my destination without any obstacles thrown in my way ๐Ÿ˜€ Chanita has lived in Rotterdam for more than 10 years and turned out to be the perfect tour guide: she really loves the city and she knows a lot about it!

Rotterdam is ever-changing. It’s not like other Dutch cities – it was nearly completely destroyed in 1940 during the German invasion. It was rebuilt in a very modern style, and I think it has made it very popular for architects to build there, as new projects keep popping up. Like the Market Hall (opened in 2014), which was one of the first places we stopped.

De Markthal in Rotterdam Looking up - love the view!

I love this building! The market inside is REALLY nice, the building is so impressive and the painting on the inside is just fantastic. You can actually live in the building, though I bet it’s not cheap ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lots of really yummy food and a view to another Rotterdam icon: the pencil Going down you can read about the history of Rotterdam on the side of the escalators Beautiful artwork called 'Hoorn des Overvloeds' - and those windows are from apartments!

After that we visited the library, an impressive building with lots of lights…

Inside the library I love the lights!

And then we went to the cube houses, some really modern houses shaped like cubes, which were built in the early eighties. I’d seen them before, and even visited one that’s open to the public. They’ve since turned some of them into a youth hostel! They don’t seem to be doing too well, there were lots of houses for sale (6 at the moment, click here if you’re curious to peek inside those that are for sale)

The famous cube houses in Rotterdam Old & new: the modern cube houses on the left, and the first high-rise building (built in 1898) in Europe on the right

The cube houses with the Pencil in the background The Veerhaven

We stopped for lunch and then continued to the Erasmus bridge. Near there, we stopped to look at the “fire line”, these small lights are placed all around the city centre and marks the perimeter of the burnt city centre after the bombing. You can often clearly see the line as well, with modern buildings on one side, and old ones on the other. Below you can see an example of the older buildings that survived – modern on the inside though! Rotterdam seems to be able to mix old & new in a beautiful way.

The outside/entrance of het Westelijk Handelsterrein Inside het Westelijk Handelsterrein with lots of restaurants

We crossed the Erasmus Bridge, nicknamed ‘the Swan’…

On the Erasmus bridge! Erasmus selfie with Chanita :)

Our next stop was Hotel New York, based in the former headquarters of the Holland America Lines – lots of hopeful emigrants used to leave for North America from here. It is now dwarfed by two huge skyscrapers…

Hotel New York Hotel New York is based in the former headquarters of the Holland Amerika Lijn / Holland America Lines

Panorama of the view in front of Hotel New York. Rotterdam is sometimes jokingly called “Manhattan on the Maas”, since it’s the only Dutch city that has some kind of skyline ๐Ÿ˜‰

Panorama view of 'Manhattan on the Maas', Rotterdam's nickname as it's the only Dutch city with some kind of skyline

My next destination is Canada, so I just had to take this photo ๐Ÿ™‚ and then it was time for apple pie & hot chocolate with ridiculous amounts of cream ๐Ÿ˜€

Lots of destinations were written along the quay - and this is my next destination so I had to get a photo! Time for a break - with way too much cream ;)

On the way back we passed the Maritime Museum with lots of cranes and a lighthouse in front of the museum.

A crane outside the Rotterdam Maritime Museum The Rotterdam Maritime Museum

A piece of artwork, and the ‘Koopgoot’ or ‘Shopping Gutter’ – a shopping street below street level that’s quite famous in the Netherlands.

Art 'De Koopgoot' aka 'Shopping Gutter' - a famous shopping area below street level in Rotterdam

Walking back to where Chanita lives, Rotterdam showed that it still has that classical Dutch city look in some areas ๐Ÿ™‚

Even though Rotterdam is full of modern architecture, there are still some areas looking more like the classical Dutch city...

What a fun day! Chanita was a fantastic guide, and I hope to come back for ‘part 2’ one day – we didn’t manage to see everything. And with all the museums Rotterdam has to offer I think it will take a long time to get bored of the city ๐Ÿ™‚