Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Rotterdam Part 3: The City

 I finally get to show you the actual city of Rotterdam!
When I got off the plane, I already felt that it was much colder than London.
The temperatrures are about the same, but definitely not the wind chill.
Neverthless, the cold was all forgotten (kind of) when I saw this amazing view! 
(A view from the Euromast, which I'll talk more about in a bit.)

I've always liked arriving at any airport early - to enjoy the food, the view, the smell (yes really the smell)...anything really.
I was so wrong this time taking the 7:30am-ish plane from Heathrow.
Because London tube only runs till a certain time past 12am, I've decided to get to the airport before the last tube.   Taking the infrequent night buses was an option, but I didn't want to spend 4 hours getting to the airport.
So, my night ended up sleepless!
It was a bliss to finally arrive at the ibis Rotterdam City Centre Hotel.
Beautifully decorated dining hall.  It's a rather new hotel, only opened in August 2014.
I believe it's important to look for newer builts if you are looking for budget hotels.
Most of my reservations are done through Booking.com since 2012.

Only a 5-minute walk and I was right at Blaak Station, where the Pencil building and the Cube Houses are.

On the other direction, I headed into the city centre.
It was one of those rare sunny-blue-sky days (the weather is very much like London's).

Ah, here's the famous Dutch waffle, the Stroopwafel!
It's really two thin layers of waffles with a caramel-like syrup in between.  Tasty!

The Rotterdam City Hall at the very end.

Newly weds :)

By 3pm, I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.
I could finally check-in (starts at 2pm), take a shower and nap.
The room was a good size for 1-2 people.  It was clean enough and had quite a good view.

My eyes could barely stay open...but first, a selfie.
I really liked how the shower water was strong enough and the room temperature was easy to adjust.

My view from a third floor room.

A short 2-minute walk from the hotel lobby.

There are so many of these canals in Rotterdam that almost anywhere you go, you can see boats.

One attraction that cannot be missed: the Erasmusbrug!
This area is where a lot of outdoor event are hosted during the summer times.  Eg. fireworks.


Do you see those three funky buildings behind the Erasmusbrug? 
They are the "De Rotterdam," aka. Vertical City.
 Designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas (quite a good looking fella if you ask me).
They are used as hotel, apartments, offices and for leisure.

I just had to snap a shot of this random Chinese "liang ting" on my way to the Euromast.

My view during the a cloudy day time was pretty good already. 
I bet the night view would even be more amazing, like in this photo.

The first lift only takes you so far.  The surprise was when I got to the top...
Now I am up the first lift.

I had been on many high towers/buildings around the world, but never had one started revolving up!
As we walked into the revolving Space Tower, it was pitch black and everybody had to sit down.
The Tower then started revolving upwards and we finally got to see the entire city 360 degrees!


Happily taking the tram back to Erasmusbrug, where I got on.
The Europe tram systems are so suitable for lazy people like me haha.

I also took the opportunity to visit the Erasmus University too.
Seriously, their business classrooms have the most comfortable chairs ever.

Amazingly wide bike lane that doesn't reduce the width of the actual roads for cars.
If only Vancouver could roll like this.

One thing I found less satisfying was that the transits were often times delayed.
The metro isn't new nor clean either.

At the end of the day, I went back to the Markthal for supper.
Opposite the Markthal, there is also this public library.  Doesn't it look like a pubilc swimming pool?

This concludes my first solo trip  and a trip to Rotterdam.
If anything, I learned that flying out early AM from London wasn't the best idea.
Location wise, I definitely picked a city worth visiting.  The architectures all over the city were so modern and so peculiar.
If you like architecture and design and love being by the water, this is definitely a must-go!

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