Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

In order to make this day memorable I chose the Euromast in Rotterdam as our first destination.  There is a restaurant in the odd-shaped building at the top of the tower.  It is suspended 300 feet above the ground and has a magnificent view of the city in all directions.

We parked our car and walked across the street to the round entrance hall.  From there we took an elevator to the restaurant. 

The walls were all glass so that we could see the city from all directions.  The view over our shoulders is of the Maas River.  Ships were going up and down the river constantly as we sat enjoying our meal.

After we finished eating we stepped outside onto the observation deck.  From there we could walk around the perimeter and see the city from all directions.  It helped that it was a clear day, but the wind made the temperature quite cool at that height.

The rivers that surround Rotterdam have made it a very busy international port.

The city has many high-rise buildings to handle all the business the ocean traffic generates.

More of the city.  I'm walking around the observation deck and clicking photos from every direction.

I'm walking,  I'm walking.....  There are two major rivers that flow past this city to the Atlantic.  The Rhine (which originates in Germany) and the Maas (which originates in France.)

The downtown part of the city was completely destroyed in 1940 when the Germans bombed it during WWII.  It has been rebuilt into a HUGE and beautiful city in the past 60 years.  People who survived the bombing but literally starved to death in the months following would be amazed to see how it has risen from the dust and become a major economic center in Europe.

If I had any sense of direction I could say which direction I am facing now, but.....  I'm walking, I'm walking...

Another view looking out over the River Maas.  Water, water - every direction you look.

This is the "Rotterdam", a ship that has been turned into a museum.  At one time it was one of the largest, most luxurious ocean liners on the seas.

After leaving the Euromast we drove into the centrum and viewed the oldest building in the city.  This church, St. Laurenskerk, was built between 1449 and 1525.  It was destroyed during the war, but restoration began in 1952 and was completed at the end of 1968. 

Spring may be just around the corner, but the wind today makes a coat and scarf a necessity. 

This is a very poor picture - we were driving through the city and couldn't stop, but these buildings were amazing!  They looked like a set of children's blocks that had been toppled over and then perched on top of the bridge.  WEIRD...

The next destination on our Rotterdam exploration was the Schielandshuis - The Historical Museum.  This is the only 17th-century building that was spared the bombing of May 1940.  It has been completely restored and is now a museum that gives a rundown of Rotterdam's history.  We were especially interested in the film that showed the events of WWII.

Inside, the moldings and paintings on the walls and ceilings were beautiful. 

This table was set in antique china and silver.  The upper floors contained the historical part of the museum. It was all very interesting.  We spent two pleasant hours walking through the exhibits.

Leaving Rotterdam on the way to Dordrecht always takes us along the Maas River.  The traffic along this stretch at 4:30 in the afternoon was a parking lot.  It took us over an hour to get from the museum to the freeway.  We were tired by the time we returned home, but it was a lovely day.  Now, if I just hadn't turned a year older everything would be perfect!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome place to put a restaurant. Sounds like a good birthday to me!