ROTTERDAM, June 26, 2023

This is our first time in Rotterdam. We took the train from Amsterdam. The ride was about an hour and before we knew it we were walking out of the train station to meet our greeter Dave, one of the Rotterdam Greeters, a group of volunteers who meet visitors and walk them around to introduce their city. He was going to show us around his city and was happy to do it. As we walked he told us about the history of Rotterdam and the changes that have occurred over the years. Here are Dave and JoAnn.

Rotterdam is the Netherlands second largest city. A great deal of the city center was destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt, resulting in a varied architectural appearance. Here are some shots I took as we started our walk from the central train station.

I liked this for the message it sends, Rotterdam continues to build.

The old city hall survived the bombing. As you can see, it was a gloomy day with the threat of rain our constant companion.

As we walked Dave pointed out some colorful places. Not everything is grey.

He also found some “wall art” for us to enjoy.

I liked this sculpture which is a memorial to “All Fallen 1940 – 1945.” The four figures embody the past, present and future. The sadness for the past takes shape in the bowed head of the woman, the child imagines the coming life and the man in the middle shares the grief of the woman. The man in the middle has his arm around the man on the end who carries a shovel, is looking up and represents the future and reconstruction.

Here’s another sculpture that I really liked. It’s entitled “Cascade” and represents oil drums and people. Make of it what you will.

Tucked away, in a small corner of the city, is a small wooded grotto where we came across this lily covered pond. It’s a favorite relaxing place for Dave.

Nearby we came across this beautiful home which survived the bombing and World War II.

As we walked on we discovered another side of the city. Not everything is high rise and gray.

From the distance we could see the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen – the Depot, which is lovingly referred to as the “Flower Pot.” It is round and reflective and houses a city park on the roof.

Here are a few more photos of the Flower Pot; see if you can spot us in the reflections.

A few additional shots of not so old and newer with a garden in between.

Then Dave took us on a water taxi across the River Nieuwe Maas to see the old Holland America Lines home office. It is now a hotel but still retains the character of the original building.

Talk about the river, there is a great deal to be discovered in the waters of Rotterdam.

Dave then escorted us to experience Rotterdam’s futuristic Cube Houses. They are symbolic examples of modernization of the city; the yellow is for optimism. Think of each house as a tree and you will understand why the complex is referred to as the “Blaak Forest.”

Market Hall is something to behold; a combination of residences, offices and a market place at street level. The interior, curved ceiling a beautiful with colorful artwork showing fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects. Guess that’s why it is named “Hoorn des Overvloeds” (Horn of Plenty).

Let’s end our visit with one more sculpture; “The Destroyed City,” which commemorates the German bombing of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940.

Our journey to Rotterdam was interesting and well worth the time. At the end of the day, we found ourselves on the train for a restful ride to Amsterdam and looking forward to our last day on the trip.


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