Friday, July 24, 2015

Yesterday was an all day adventure in Rotterdam!  After breakfast we had a relaxing train ride from Amsterdam’s Central Station to the port city of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port.

From the train station we rode to the port on rented bikes.  So much fun, at least I thought so, but being a spin instructor and an off-again-on-again cyclist certainly helped make the experience more fun for me.  The flat roads of Rotterdam did not make for an athletic challenge, but there was a learning curve as I adjusted to using foot brakes rather than my usual hand breaks.  Once I realized the bike was very well balanced I was able to stop/start more smoothly and enjoy the cityscape.

Once at the port itself our class was treated to a harbor tour that started out near the Erasmus Bridge, also known as “The Swan” built in 1996 and designed by Ben van Berkel. 

As we passed between the Müller and Lloyd piers we enjoyed the contrast of old and modern across from each other.  On the Müller side there has been much urban regeneration and there are some stunning high-end living quarters. 

Shortly after we cruised by Delfthaven from where the British pilgrims who had relocated to the Netherlands departed for America.  Also visible from the top of the tour boat were terminals where an incredible number of different products await to be transshipped from this port to destinations across the global. And for those vodka fans, the Nolet Distillery known for Ketel One can be seen with a nearby windmill.
Juice Terminal
Notel Distillery, home of Ketel One

There were many other interesting facts described and sights pointed out while on the harbor tour, one of which our group visited up close later in the day.  Euromast!  We biked and traveled up 185 meters into the air for a high altitude view of Rotterdam.

Euromast from a distance

Euromast prior to going up 185 meters!

What a wonderful day!