Monday, March 19, 2001

This could be Rotterdam, or anywhere

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Woke up to a roommate’s alarm at 9:30 am. Everyone seems to have made it back ok. I checked out of the hostel at 10, took the tram to Centraal Station and ditched my bag in a locker while I went out looking for lunch and internet. I couldn’t log in because the store had technical difficulties.
Lunch was a falafel at a hole in the wall by Escape. I walked back to the Niewemarket (the shopping street) and passed a Scotsman playing bag pipes.
I used my time before meeting Nathalie changing the fl100 note into something usable. To make sure I knew exactly where we were meeting, I walked around the station. We met up a few minutes before schedule. I had pulled my bag out of storage and her train had arrived with time to spare. We got our tickets and were on our way to Rotterdam.
Rotterdam, Netherlands
It only took an hour to get to Rotterdam (via Schipol). We walked thru some shopping areas on the way to the hostel. Most of the Netherlands shuts down on Sundays, with Rotterdam and Amsterdam being the only real Sunday shopping places.


The hostel turned out to be right next to a Metro station. After checking in, I got the same room I had reserved for a third of the price—I had reserved an entire double room, but since there were many open rooms I told them that I only needed one bed, not a whole room. I asked for a lower rate, from the fl148 2-man room and they gave me a bed in a 2-man room, fl40. Anyways, I dropped my bags and we walked over to the Euromast, which closed early today, 4:30pm not the posted 5pm. We walked over to the Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam’s signature bridge.
From there, we walked back towards the city center looking for dinner (preferably Dutch pancakes or green pea soup). Ended up at Coconuts, a very American/ Floridian feeling pub (playing dance music like the Venga Boys, among others) that we later discovered didn’t take credit cards. We ordered some Italian pasta dishes and a huge ice cream sundae for two.
After dinner, we went back to the train station and talked until her train left. I picked up some more cash at an ATM and bought a new strip ticket. The system is really convenient, as I’ve used the same strip in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, for Metro and trolley fares.

I used the strip again on the Metro to get over to Lieuhaven to get some night pictures of the Erasmusbrug. I walked along the riverside until I turned towards town and walked up to Blaak station and Overblaak where I saw the famous cube houses. Interesting but not well illuminated, due in part to the fact that they are people’s actual residences.


Jumped on the Metro back to the hostel at 9:30 or so. I’m planning on hitting the west side of the city tomorrow and be on my way to Maastricht by noon.

Update: When The Beautiful South's song "Rotterdam (or anywhere)" came out, it reminded me of just roaming around the city by myself.

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