Rotterdam, you beautiful, beautiful girl! Rotterdam has always had a special place in my heart, and just the other day I was lucky enough to go there again for a cheeky, 48-hour visit in which we just did the best of Rotterdam!
It is the city known for its impressive skyline, its Erasmus bridge, its football club Feyenoord, its MASSIVE harbour, and LOADS more.
After dropping the car and our stuff in the hotel, we went for a little bit of shopping in the centre since I, very cleverly, had forgotten to take my jacket from home. I got myself a new jacket rather quickly and so we headed to the hotel to relax a little before the surprise my great friend U. had planned for us.
Going to the hotel was a treat. We were staying on the 12th floor of the great 4-star Inntel hotel, located right at the bank of the river the Maas, and the view from our hotel room was incredible. From the window of our room we looked straight at the oh so impressive Erasmus bridge, with behind it part of the skyline, including “The Rotterdam”, the incredible creation from Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, only completed two years ago. For the first five minutes, we were just looking at the view without saying a word to each other.
I had been there a couple of times before, but the view is as breathtaking as it was a couple of years ago, WOW!
The dramatic view from the room, with the three towers of The Rotterdam right behind the ever impressive Erasmus bridge.
What a view to wake up to!
Before the surprise, that U. had planned at 8, I decided to take a look at the hotel’s swimming pool & sauna up on the 8th floor. I’ve always been a swim rat, but there’s something about being in the water while having a view. From the pool you could see the Euromast, the Erasmusbridge and a large part of the harbour, with the benefit of no one able to look back at you through the mirrored windows.
Pool: 5/5 stars
Sauna: 5/5 stars!
Plus, it was a great opportunity to try out my new toy: the underwater camera I bought for my birthday this year!
Pool with a view, plus: it was all for myself!
After a quick shower we got ready and left the hotel with U. and headed to the water. There, a boat was waiting to take the four of us for a tour around the massive harbour, and it was AWESOME. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a boat, but whenever I am, I get a little excited (and usually start texting my friend Anna messages like “I’m on a boat, bitch” :’) ). The last time I did, was only a week ago when we were in the for me prettiest place in The Netherlands, albeit in a much slower boat (for the power nerds: 4 km/h vs. 50+ km/h).
The gentleman boating us around was FLYING over the water, and for the first ten minutes I couldn’t stop giggling. After the giggling stopped I could start enjoying the views a little more, and they were great. While the sun was slowly dipping down we rocketed passed the many ships lying in the massive harbour, like a fly buzzing around a herd of big fat elephants. It was AWESOME.
POWERRRRRRRRRR, is what I imagine the boat driver (captain?) kept shouting at his boat.
L & I right after the giggling stopped. You can see me thinking: is it okay to start giggling again?
MASSIVE sea container ship. Funny how I used to live in one of those shipping containers, they seem SO tiny from here!
The SS Rotterdam, used to transport people across the Atlantic Ocean for over 40 years, it is now a hotel, how cool is that?!
As it turns out, power boating around a harbour makes you very hungry, and after doing 30 minutes of very intense boating it was good to have boat feet (HA!) on solid ground again to go find a restaurant. The all-knowing U. had a particular place in mind called Bazar where they serve North-African & Middle Eastern food. The restaurant belongs to a hotel and it is very beautifully decorated, with great lamps and lanterns. At the hotel we were joined by U.’s brother H., who I hadn’t seen since we first met in India 2,5 years ago. I was so happy to see him again, as he is such an incredible sweet, gentle, kind & humble man.
What about the food, lekker? Deeee-licious! Sweet baby Jesus, the food was good. After some starters, which included a beautiful, beautiful hummus, I chose the yogurtly adana, a grilled kebab out of beef & lamb, served with rice, a great yoghurt sauce and some grilled veggies. My god was the meat tender and juicy and good, wow! We finished our meal in style; with a cup of tea with fresh mint leaves and lots of honey. YUMMM!
The decoration in the restaurant is lovely!
H., L., U., & R. Too many abbreviations, seriously considering using full names from now on.
Not the best food picture ever, and the tomato seems a little radioactive, but believe you me: it was dee-licious.
Going to bed or staying up and watching the view? Honestly, we didn’t go straight to bed, the view at night maybe is even more spectacular, I love how the roads are so empty.
The next day: more the best of Rotterdam
The BED! The glorious BED. Oh, man, the bed was heaven. It must have been at least 2 meters wide since I sleepy usually in a pretty wild fashion but never ever felt the edges of the mattress. Probably one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever laid on, waking up early was tough. With the foresight to go for a swim at the hotel’s swimming pool with my old lady made it a lot easier though.
After a thorough testing of the pool & both sauna’s we headed out for breakfast with Baba, U.’s father just across the Erasmus bridge. At bagels and beans we had a great time while having breakfast. Never was the biggest fan of B&B, but this time the bagels were really good!
Inspiring conversations over delicious breakfast.
Tallest building in The Netherlands, the Maastoren measures 165 meters and has 45 floors.
Having filled our stomachs, we took the metro and got out at station Blaak, to show R. the crazy Cube houses and the brand new Markthal, which always reminds me a little bit of a much newer and shinier version of La Boqueria in Barcelona. The markthal is very light, pretty, with drawings all over the walls and ceiling, and the food is displayed in such a way that you just want to eat it all. Well done, marketeers!
Only in Rotterdam: Cube houses! At first I couldn’t believe people are actually living here, would you want to?
Big and bold: the new markthal with us posing as total tourists in front of it.
Always busy, the Markthal. But check out the ceiling!
More food. Can’t. Stop. Eating.
One last look before we left, a view to be missed!!
After a short stop at H.’s place to see him and the kids again (SO cute, these cheeky bandits) it was time for us to go home again, and so we made our way back to Groningen. An amazing weekend, filled with the kindest, sweetest, most special people I’ve ever known, in a city that never ceases to amaze me.
I love you, Rotterdam!
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