25/04/2011 at 8:36 pm 1 comment

Travelling between Antwerp and Rotterdam I was once again let down by the European train network. Due to engineering works we had to change trains halfway. Had this been in England I probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelid, but in Europe I had expected the train to run like clockwork.

There is a large amount of construction work going on in the City and the area around the train station is no exception. It wasn’t exactly the most of inspiring sights to be greeted to a new City with a building site.

The City of Rotterdam is all very modern and trendy. The place is scattered with works of “modern art” and contemporary looking buildings. However, much of this modern styling lends itself to commerce. Rotterdam is very much a place of work, and most certainly not a party town.

Asides from looking at the modern architecture there is almost nothing of interest to do in the City.

Some largely pointless "modern art".

You know your in trouble when the hostel in which you are staying is listed in the tour guide as one of the things to see. The Stayokay hostel is located in Rotterdam’s so called Cube Houses

The hostel is the best we have stayed in so far. Chris and I enjoyed our first decent night sleeps since undertaking our European adventure. We were however woken in the night by two fellow travellers. A flustered sounding German and a nervous Spaniard has decided that 1am was the best time to debate who was sleeping in the wrong bed. Their conversation, conducted in broken English, seemed to go around in circles before the two decided that they should go to reception and rectify the problem. I don’t really know what happened because I must have fallen asleep before the two guys returned to the room.

A walk along Rotterdam’s waterfront is pleasant enough, but like Antwerp there is precious little in the way of bars and restaurants. The area along with waterfront is scattered with flags from all nations. This is to represent Rotterdam’s multicultural population. In amongst the national flags are the flags of the City’s sponsors which gives the whole thing a nice corporate edge.

A pleasant stroll through Het Park made a nice change of scene from the offices and apartment blocks which seem to dominate the majority of Rotterdam. There is also the Euromast, a large observation tower which stands just outside the park. You can pay to go up it, and apparently there is a restaurant at the top. Although quite why you would want to go up there is beyond me. It’s not like there is much to see anyway.

Always conform to stereotypes.

Partly because there was nothing else to do, but also because it is typically Dutch, Chris and I made a visit to one of Rotterdam’s windmills. I don’t have much knowledge of windmills, so I don’t have anything to compare this one too. Seems pretty windmill-like though.

Rotterdam is by no means an ugly City, it’s just that there is nothing to do. Yes it was bombed badly in the War, which is why it all looks very modern, but I’m sure they could have built a few attractions for people to visit.

Now we move on to Amsterdam. I’ve heard it’s pretty OK.


Entry filed under: Holland.

Antwerp Amsterdam

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alan  |  27/04/2011 at 2:03 pm

    The tour is running at a fast pace entering your fifth city in ten days. However it’s good to see lots of interesting pictures of the sites and positive comments on how things are done on the continent. I spoke to Geoff yesterday as we are planning a trip to Stodmarsh on the 29th to avoid the Royal wedding. He also loves Bruge and his comment was “Bruge. 2 of my favourite pubs in the world are in that town – Oude Vlissinghe and ‘t brugse beertje (if he asks). To be thoroughly recommended”
    A bit late for this time around if you didn’t find them. maybe worth a diversion on your way back !
    Enjoy Amsterdam…..a very cool town. In my time there beer was 3 gilder a litre and Kieran Stuart and I managed to spend two weeks holiday money in one. Enjoy, Love Dad.


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