Rotterdam was initially nothing like what I had expected.
From my own research, I had expected the city to be a hub of liveliness and architecture, and as we wandered around, lost, all I saw was grey concrete everywhere. It was somewhat disappointing.
After nearly an hour and a half of being lost, and two incredibly helpful ladies finding our hostel for us, we were finally there. And finally I could see why Rotterdam was known for its architecture. Our hostel was housed in the Overblaak development, an overground complex of geometric star-like apartments. As they were bright yellow we couldn’t miss them, and they were located right next to the Markthal. I couldn’t wait to get to our room. It finally started to feel like we were seeing the real Rotterdam.
Waking up in a geometric cube was slightly odd. The shape of the room made placement of furniture difficult but I couldn’t get over the fact that we were staying in these cubes! It was so cool! We were also starting our day exploring another impressive piece of architecture: the Markthal.
The Markthal came to be after the EU put into place strict regulations on outside markets, and it is now a recognisable symbol of the city. Inside are stalls selling food, drink and souvenirs, and it has a wonderful community feel. The Markthal is fantastic, and I wish I could have spent more time there.
Our next goal for the day was to visit the Euromast and so we started the trek there. On our way there we stopped briefly at Erasmus bridge, which was a stunning feat of architecture, but it left me cold. With such a historic name, the bridge almost seemed to conjure up images of stone bridges to me, and so I was disappointed. I love history, and the overwhelming ‘newness’ of the city was wearing on me.
Finally we made it to the Euromast. I ended up being quite glad we visited this attraction on the Holland Passes as we were sadly not inspired by the Euromast. The Euroscoop was closed and while Rotterdam is a nice city, it’s skyline was not the most inspiring. Our ticket was valid for a night time visit as well, and maybe this would have changed our minds about the city, however, we opted against this.
I wanted to know more about Rotterdam, how the city loves and what its about, so we made our way back to the city centre to visit the Museum Rotterdam. This museum is focused on the city’s history and is fully interactive, and as we visited on a special day we were able to go in for free. As we explored the museum, the conclusion we came to was that Rotterdam’s heart was its people, which was certainly true of the people we had met.
Our last evening in Rotterdam ended with dinner in the Markthal. I wish I could that that dinner was great, but that fish and chips was terrible, especially insulting to a Brit! Not letting it dull our experience of Rotterdam and my love for the Markthal we laughed it off, although my sister was not allowed to pick where we had dinner again!