Rotterdam, Thursday June 16, 2016
Sitting here eating dinner of cheese chocolate tea and some type of rice cake cracker
I find myself in the “City of Design” and I say that filled with such awe of all the architecture beauty that surrounds me, it leaves me breathless.
All in a great way, I am being happy and just enjoying the experience of all that is around me. I am in this strange land that is simply incredible because it is mostly water, separated by little bits of land. It’s a lot like Louisiana in that way. I think I am so amazed because I come from a state experiencing a history-making 5- year drought. The lack of water is just devastating and sad back home in California…here it is everywhere, even where it is not invited. Many praises to the Dutch for having the intelligence to work with something that can be a problem and turning a bad into something good.
After breakfast I took the water bus (a commute boat) to the “Kinderdijk Windmills”…
…the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here there are 19 perfectly preserved Windmills from the 18th Century.
It was a carefree fun day exploring the history of keeping back the water. I managed to walk 6 miles. I met only other kind souls who were on their own life adventures, like the Dutch woman behind the corner at the Visitor’s Center . We spoke of the importance of being strong and being adventurous and setting an example for others.
Additionally I met three other English-speaking travelers, two of whom hailed from Connecticut to visit their friend who lives here. He was kind enough to give me a cheese knife to slice cheese, like the cheese I bought from a local farmer just outside the Heritage Site. It was made the traditional vegetarian organic way.
This farm genuinely cares about the quality of its cheese, and they make sure that animals roam free to walk outside. A big yes! The farm is called BioKaas Kinderdijk. Isn’t it just like me to find the very local spin? Also, the cheese at BioKaas Kinderdijk has no E-numbers…Whatever that means…something Dutch. (It means that they don’t use additives.)
I found a little bag of pot on the sidewalk this morning walking to the water bus…left it there. Don’t want to get in trouble…
Feel like there are a lot worldwide tourists here. Rotterdam, is after all, the second largest city in the country.
I met a very nice lady behind the counter at the Visitor’s Center. …she mentioned I should go to Antwerp instead of Brussels. She said it was very beautiful and a better city…I am going to take her up on that…on my way back from Middelburg, Zeeland. Then from there I will head on into Belgium.
I took a little boat tour in the water at the site, but really could have done without that…I walked all of it and saw what was really important.
Came back and decided to find a marker and maybe get some herring since yesterday was the start of a new season and the selling of this year’s catch. I came back to my hostel home to re-dress, take off the extra coats, and just keep the rain coat because of what happened yesterday getting so, so wet. THANK GOD because it was sprinkling when I went across the street. (Mind you, this is not your average street…there’s a walkway for walkers, a bike lane for bicycles, and let’s not forget the speeding drivers. It can be crazy, to say the least.)
Well I found the market and it is hidden in a basement…but not like anything you have every seen…check out the pictures. It has its own postcard, too. Quite, the experience. It also had a variety of the best of the best of great food stands and restaurants. The place is called Market Hall Rotterdam .
Will walk over there tomorrow and ask…a stone’s throw from here. I walked around and checked it out–totally impressive. The most luxurious of the best. After picking up an apple, Maiswafel amarant crackers, and dark 85% fine bitter front German chocolate, I felt rich!
I decided I needed a bag so I walked into a store called “Habitas” to buy a little orange plastic bag to protect my treasures. The young ladies behind the counter were cute and a delight to talk with. The conversation turned to my walk from Amsterdam to Paris and my words and story was part of something greater than ourselves. The best part of that conversation was how beautiful Rotterdam is, a place of rebirth moving forward for all this world to be a part of. We said our farewells.
I stopped for some green tea with lemon. Perfect. I went to the door to leave and it was pouring down rain like yesterday afternoon. So I stopped to write down the music I was happily listening too. I was in front of a place called Terras 21Tapas Bar. The music was hot, it made me just want to dance. They played remakes of old songs from the 60’s…for example, they played an old hit, “I Got You Babe,” by Sonny and Cher…except that it was done with a disco beat…it was great! There were lots of other tunes to make you happy and feel like dancing.
Finally, I gave up watching the rain…
…so I finally decided to just pull up my raincoat hood, walk fast, and get back over here to my warm little hostel where I sat down to eat and write.
Peace and be strong.