We took off on Saturday for Rotterdam as it was lovely weather all day but rain heading our way (sadly also heavy rain in England for the Queen’s Jubilee). The trip there was easy and fast by train and once in there is a fast and clean Metro system. We noticed there was one Metro line ending the The Hague but the people at the train station had not mentioned this and said best way to get there was train so I am not sure how/if that works well or cheaply.
We raced to catch the boat trip on the river and got there just as the gang plank was going to be pulled up. This was a three-hour boat trip through Rotterdam’s harbor and river over to Kinderdijke which is a beautiful historical windmill area with 19 or so built in the late 1700s.
The weather was lovely and the clouds scurrying across the sky made for an oil painting back drop.
We climbed inside one windmill and looked at the little beds tucked away into corners and marveled at how people got up and down the steep ladders. Some of the windmills seem to be inhabited and there are videos on YouTube of some families who live there still.
Back on the boat we ate a leisurely lunch on deck from the onboard restaurant and proceeded (as we found out later) to get a little sunburned! The boat docks at a neat riverside area with amazing new buildings and fascinating architecture which Rotterdam is known for. It was highly bombed during WWII and so has been rebuilt in very modern style.
We went to the large downtown area and it was packed with people doing their Saturday shopping. All the major stores from UK and some US were there as well as the leading Dutch ones. We were on a quest to get Max new shoes and were successful finally after finding a discount Dutch place and not the UK chains which were horribly expensive. We bought name brand tennis shoes for 20 euros so not bad.
The snack stands and small groups of musicians throughout the downtown give it a festival feel which is fun. However the crows were a bit off putting for us plus McDonalds on every corner (really) and commercial feel to it was not that exciting. Jake said it felt like a huge outlet mall and we agreed.
The architecture of Rotterdam was neat to see and the bridges and rivers fascinating but I don’t know that we will be heading back again to the city but I highly recommend Kinderdijk.