I thought that the weather was going to be as great as yesterday, but I guess I was mistaken. Yesterday was an amazing sunny and warm day, great to go out and sight seeing… And that’s what I did!
Usually when you’re living in your own country, you don’t really pay attention to the environment and/or the little details that surround you. Now I live in the Netherlands, which I’ve had the opportunity to know… Little by little. Yesterday I visited Rotterdam with my good friend and classmate Janset. And actually, if it wasn’t for her idea to get out of The Hague for a day, I wouldn’t have much to write today. She is Turkish and I am Venezuelan, we are pretty different, but it seems that we get along very well. We both had a misconception about Rotterdam, until yesterday.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, and the most different and modern city I’ve ever been to in Europe. It, honestly, doesn’t look like an European city, at all. Rotterdam is home to the largest port in the continent and the third in the world; it is also home to one of the most successful soccer teams in Europe, the Feyenoord. In 2001 was – along Porto – the European Capital of Culture. It was also one of the cities that suffered the most during the second World War, where in May 1940 the city was wiped out by the Germans (Rotterdam Blitz). The entire city was destroyed.
That’s why the city is so different and very modern, almost no historical buildings were left. The streets and side-walks are wide – not like in other Dutch cities where everything is narrow – and the city itself is spacious (not like Amsterdam which everything is packed together, like in a tuna can).
Rotterdam is very young with a very different vibe. The Hague, for example, is a beautiful city but very “adult” in a way that other kind of people live here: ambassadors, ministers, lawyers, and people that work in the parliament and the international organizations; that makes The Hague a very serious city.
What called my attention the most was the hundreds of contemporary sculptures in every corner of Rotterdam. Art was expressed in every possible way: on the streets, houses, bridges, sidewalks… We walk for seven hours around the city and to the most important places; we got lost several times, and if it wasn’t because Janset likes maps, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to make the most of the day; at the end she enjoyed the tranquility and the change of air and environment, and I the fact that I could take pictures and write this mini story.
I will go back to Rotterdam, and I hope that’s any time soon before it gets cold again!!!