Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam. It’s located in the western part of the country and also houses the largest port in Europe. Rotterdam is also the major port where many Europeans left for America to escape religious persecution.
Jarno and I drove into Rotterdam and parked the car at his sister, Marielle’s apartment and we took our bikes and biked around the city. I got to see an amazing view of the Rotterdam sky line from the Erasmusbrug. It was nice to visit a city with some sky scrapers.
We stopped by the Schouwburgplein, also known as the Theater Square, which is built on top of a parking garage with four red “performing hydraulic pylons” and a special lighting system. There is this water fountain built into the floor that spurts water into the air. We rode our bikes through and of course I managed to get a bit wet. But it was a beautiful day and I was warm from biking so it was quite refreshing.
We rode by Rotterdam’s Walk of Fame - Marielle and Pap didn’t even know that it existed! It’s nice to be a tourist in your own city sometimes. There were a lot of familiar names like - Bon Jovi, Shrek, Jackie Chan, Gloria Estefan, Tina Turner, Johnny Cash, Lionel Richie, Fleetwood Mac, Suzanne Vega, and more.
As we were walking and checking out who else had been on the Walk of Fame, I saw a cleverly placed sign that said, “the world is a camera, so please smile.” I liked that. I think that may go up there along with my personal favorite, “Smile, it increases your face value.”
Hotel New York in Rotterdam showcases the history of the shipping industry in Holland. Jarno’s sister, Marielle thought it would be a good idea to have lunch there since I’m from New York.
On the way back though, Jarno’s bike got a flat tire. So Jarno rode Marielle’s bike alongside his while Marielle rode my bike and I hopped on the back. Pap was our scout and scouted the best route for us to take back. It was my first time riding on the back of a bicycle and I was terrified - 1. Because I wasn’t sure that Marielle could support my weight and hers on the bike and 2. Biking in traffic is scary! We almost got hit by a cab! But it was all in good fun!
We made it back safe and sound and had a great day in Rotterdam. We definitely need to make another trip there soon!