Rotterdam (Zuid Holland, The Netherlands)

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I look out the window to take in our view of Delft. It’s a tough decision: do we stay here today or check out Rotterdam. Logistics dictate that Rotterdam wins. But it’s wonderful just standing here looking out the window.
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The walk to the station takes us through some narrow alleys where solid brick walls feel like they might encase us. This is what I think of whenever I picture Holland. Even when we returned to visit family when I was a child, it was the brick walls and narrow alleys that struck me. I find it at once comforting in it’s familiarity and oppressive in the lack of open space. A strange sensation.
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Our first stop in Rotterdam is the Maritime Museum. Get off the train at Rotterdam Blaak not Rotterdam Centraal if this is your destination because it’s closer. The museum is the first stop on our Rotterdam walking tour on the izi.Travel app. We don’t know it yet but we will also get so side tracked in the museum that it’s our only stop.
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The museum has a fantastic open-air component in the harbour that includes a wide collection of vessels. It’s winter so only one boat is open for us to walk through. But it doesn’t matter. There’s a guide who tells us about the boat and the family who lived aboard it. The boat is still in original condition from the late 1800s so it’s amazing.

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Inside the museum is also fantastic. We spend about two hours here in total. There are model boats, displays of historic voyages, an interactive model of the harbour and it’s controls, and a brilliant children’s area. There are also some opportunities for fun, particularly in the Cape Horn display and the cruise ship display. The museum is a fantastic combination of infotainment.

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We’re hungry for lunch by the time we leave the museum so we head over to the Maarkthal. It’s right next to Rotterdam Blaak station. The building is modern, airy and filled with good food. The ceiling has been painted with bright colours and murals.

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We eat fresh salad for lunch followed over the next few hours (for we left the Maarkthal to explore the main street for a while) with a stroopwafel and serve of poffertjes. For you cannot come to Holland and not eat these delicious foods.
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And then there’s nothing left to do but to catch another movie in Delft. Tonight we went to Daddy’s Home. It was the perfect mix of funny and meaningful. Perhaps I liked it because I am a stepfather. But it was a good way to end what was a fun day.

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