Rotterdam in 300 Words and some Pictures

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Rotterdam in 300 Words

Those among you who read a lot of travel blogs will have seen quite a few posts recently about the Dutch city of Rotterdam. (Last week, Rotterdam hosted the Travel Bloggers Unite (TBU)  conference.) If you do not have the time to read them all, here is a brief précis of what you are missing – Rotterdam in 300 words and a few pictures.

Rotterdam – one of the busiest harbour towns in the world – was heavily bombed in WWII and rebuilt in the 1950s and 60s as a “modern city”. Most European cities that have gone down a similar route – such as Birmingham, Liverpool, and Frankfurt – have since regretted that decision and started to “re-historicize” their inner cities.

Rotterdam, to its credit, has refused to look back and “followed through” – in the tradition of all grand stage villains from Macbeth (“I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er”) to Don Giovanni and beyond.

Yep: Rotterdam is a gutsy town and appears to care little that the few historic elements of the cityscape do not always blend in harmoniously with the new …

"Rotterdam in pictures and 300 words"

… that even the new and the new often fail to sit comfortably next to each other …

"Rotterdam in pictures and some words"

… or that much of the city looks as though it had been inspired by T.S. Eliot’s most famous poem …

"Rotterdam in pictures and 300 words"

… fragments shored against ruins and all that.

While much of the modern architecture is fresh, bold and original …

"Rotterdam in pictures and 300 words"

… the historic harbour near the Maritime Museum manages to be picturesque while avoiding the overly twee …

"Rotterdam in pictures and some words"

… and a walk on Mauritsweg and Westersingel past the downtown canal – which is lined with a large variety of modern sculptures – certainly has its charms.

"Rotterdam in 300 words and a picture of a piece of modern sculpture"

The nightlife is also great, centering with many bars, restaurants (and the odd coffee shop) on Witte de Withstraat. Restaurants offer mainly Middle Eastern fare, but for those who prefer something more native – and “rustique” – there is always the Dutch institution of Bram Ladage (with its city-centre branch on Kruisplein) …

"Rotterdam in 300 words and a picture of french fries"

… where they serve you chips and an exotic variety of sauces. Be bold and go for the peanut sauce – Pindasaus in Dutch. You won’t regret it!

And finally: Rotterdam has one of the most picturesque and imaginatively landscaped hiking areas of any European city – and it’s just a short metro ride away.

"Rotterdam in 300 words and a picture of a windmill"

More of this next week!  

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7 comments to Rotterdam in 300 Words and some Pictures

  • Peanut sauce or Pindasaus in Dutch? Maybe I’ve found a Dutch word which does not sound like German…

  • That’s the way to look at it, Arianwen. Thanks for dropping by.

  • While Rotterdam isn’t immediately pretty, it’s one of the most interesting places I’ve been in terms of architecture. When I arrived I didn’t like it much, but it’s one of those places that grows on you.

  • There is always a next time indeed, Ariel. Perhaps then you can also try the walk we’ve discovered there.

  • Wish I knew about the fish and chips with peanut sauce when I visited Rotterdam. :) Oh well…maybe next time. Thanks for the interesting info Michael!

  • Hope you enjoy Rotterdam on a sunny day when you next go there. The weather was a bit miserable when we were there.

  • Yup, Rotterdam is a lovely city. Great photos.

    I went there few years a go for a half day to meet a friend, and hopefully we can go there again while we are in Europe this year.

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