After visiting the farm, Jeff and I took the train to Rotterdam Centraal station, and then an Uber to the Inntel hotel, back on the waterfront, across the bridge from where I stayed for work.
By this time, it was increasingly obvious that I had a whopper of a bad cold. The nagging sore throat I had, moved into a cough, and started filling my chest with green goo. Yuck! I haven’t had a cold since before treatment I think! That night we walked to a grocery store for a sandwich and went to bed early.
The next day, I was determined to just push through the cold, I would not let it slow me down! We booked a cruise of the Rotterdam port on a tour boat. We waited under the Erasmus bridge before it was time to board.
It was a gorgeous sunny day. Windy and cool, but the sun was nice. Before we boarded, Jeff ran back to the hotel and grabbed our sunglasses. Hero!
I love watching ships and boats go by. There were many narrow river boats moving cargo seacans that must have been offloaded from a larger ship out in the port. Many of these had a car on the back of the ship! How do they get those on and off?
Below is the Euromast I had been up in for work the week before!
This boat cruse took us west into the larger port area where there were piles of seacans, cranes, boats of all sizes. It really stood out to me how neat, clean, and tidy everything was. It didn’t have the industrial rundown feel.
Here are some dry docks for ship repairs!
This next ship is the SS. Rotterdam. It is permanently moored here, but it was once an ocean liner and cruise ship. Now it is a hotel and museum!
And this one? I don’t know!?! Noah’s Ark! See the giraffe’s?
After that tour was done, we jumped right onto a water bus and headed for the UNESCO site at Kinderdijk to see the windmills!
Many of the windmills here were built in the 1700’s to drain the polder. Some are lived in still to this day! We toured two of them.
This one was lived in by Hoek family who raised many children here! The little living room was the only heated part of the windmill. It felt so Dutch! With the geraniums on the window, the little lace curtain, the old sewing machine, the rug like table covering. It was so cute!
If you know me much at all, you know I have an irrational fear of steep stairs, especially without railings. Oh the times I sat on the top of steep stairs as a child and refused to budge or let anyone touch me! It isn’t even a fear of heights, I don’t mind heights much, but stairs destroy me.
So I was very uneasy taking these super steep stairs up in the windmill! Especially since with a cold, a swirly feeling head, and these new transition glasses! But! I like a challenge so I did it!
There were a couple higher levels we climbed to. The first had sleeping quarters, which were so small, they must have stacked up the 15 children they had. Above that was this “smoke” floor, which I assumed meant they smoked fish or something, but no, this floor was just super smokey from the chimney!
Thank goodness the floor above was blocked off so I didn’t have to go any higher! I went back down backwards, treating the steps like the ladders they felt like!
This was a lovely area to walk. Like just about all of Holland, it was flat, but there were also fish and birds to watch. We had two hours before the water bus would be back, so we had a nice leisurely time.
When I saw the next one that was open for tours, I noticed its different shape and I assumed it was more modern. But no! It was actually a hundred or two years older! There were workman there repairing the stairs. I was so relieved I didn’t have to muscle up the courage to climb up more stairs!
This one had a nice little farm, still with some animals and poultry.
The canals and waterways made it possible to farm here. The water was pumped up to a higher canal and then pumped back into the river. I learned the millers, the term for the people who operated the windmills, had a system of communication using the position of their sails to let each other know when to pump the water and when to stop. Now all the water is pumped with electric or diesel pumps, and the windmills are no longer necessary.
I noticed these little farm buildings had reed roofs like I saw at Brentano on the house!
Interestingly, both windmills we toured had a kitchen outside of the windmill, in a separate little out building. Here was the cute little kitchen for this windmill.
And here was the inside of the windmill.
I really liked Kinderdijk. A nice calm peaceful place, with these beautiful windmills. We caught the water bus back to Rotterdam. Transportation is so easy in Holland! This water bus was just 4 Euros each, each way.
When we got back to Rotterdam, I took Jeff over the Erasmus bridge and we went to the Foodhallen place I had eaten at so many times the week before with my coworkers.
I had another amazing ground chicken burger and Jeff started with some brisket. But then he made a critical error and despite my description of the very raw burger inside the beef burgers, he ordered a double burger. In Canada, if you so much as see pink in your burger at a restaurant, it is instantly sent back to the kitchen. We just don’t serve raw or rare burger here. But they do at this place in Holland, and Jeff spent the next 36 hours in a place of “unhappiness”.
By the time we walked back to our hotel over the bridge, it was mostly dark, and the next bridge over was lit up red for nighttime. So beautiful!
I’m not much of a city dweller, but Rotterdam sure is a beautiful place at night.
The next day, Jeff was under the weather, but managed to leave the hotel with me to see the Markthal and the famous yellow cube houses!
This Markthal, or market hall, is an amazing building! There are apartments and office spaces in the outside area, and inside is an international market with chocolates, restaurants, stroopwafels, vegetable, and cheese vendors!
Look at all the bikes parked outside! And then look again! Did you notice they are parked two high?
This is the view inside, looking towards the ceiling!
Later that afternoon, we headed back to Rotterdam Centraal station to catch a train back to Amsterdam.
Stay tuned for my next post about our last few days in Amsterdam and our visit to Vijfhuizen.