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ADSactly Travel: Roads and Trips Across Northern Europe - Part 7 by adsactly

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· @adsactly ·
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ADSactly Travel: Roads and Trips Across Northern Europe - Part 7
<center>
ROTTERDAM
</center>

This is a story about a trip I took from Zagreb with my friend Mark, so I could use the remaining days of my annual leave. We had accommodation at his friend Ana's house in Luxembourg and had planned to go to Rotterdam together.
However, as we were traveling towards that city, we decided to change our initial plan. 
We visited Haarlem, Amsterdam and Gouda instead. On Sunday around noon, we finally arrived in Rotterdam, where we stayed for a couple of hours before going back to Luxembourg.

Tall skyscrapers; modern office and apartment buildings; and long, wide bridges were the first things I saw when we entered Rotterdam. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/G0FFaRF.jpg)
(Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The architecture was quite different from other Dutch towns we had seen so far, where tall buildings were a rather unusual sight. 

The reason for this was that the city had been completely destroyed during the Second World War, so the city administration decided to rebuild it as a modern city defined by high tech, contemporary architecture.

![](https://i.imgur.com/sy325XK.jpg)
(Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Rotterdam is the biggest European harbour and the second largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam. It's situated on the banks of the Nieuwe Mass river. 
The main activity of the harbour is petrochemistry and merchandise transportation by not only ships, but also by river tug boats, railways and roads. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/JLBKwkO.jpg)

As we were walking down by the harbour, we watched the anchored ships and taxi boats that drove in unknown directions. The view spread toward the city, so we headed in the direction of the city centre.

We parked in the underground garage of the Market Hall. 
We hadn't payed much attention to the building, so we were caught by surprise when we exited the garage and climbed to the first floor. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/vBdem2I.jpg)
(The Market Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The colours of the painted vault and apartment windows caught my attention. The entire vault was almost completely covered with drawings of enlarged ornamental flowers, food and a variety of other motives. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/YBdMqPy.jpg)


It seemed joyful and playful. Market Hall is a multi-functional building that consists of an arch of apartments that like a big tunnel encompasses the huge food market beneath.

![](https://i.imgur.com/dPvkI3s.jpg)


It was a Sunday, so it was crawling with tourists and locals that were browsing, buying, walking or just sitting in the surrounding restaurants and bars. 
On the numerous stands there was a magnificent choice of cheese, fruit, spices, cakes and chocolate, as well as freshly made international meals from around the world. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/erF80Ql.jpg)
(The Market Hall, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

When we exited the market, a photogenic set of crooked houses caught my eye. 
They were the so called "Cube Houses" by the architect Piet Blom. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/QY6Fohx.jpg)
(The Cube Houses, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The concept behind the idea was that the houses form a live forest, where each cube represents an abstract tree. It's a housing development that consists mainly of cubic houses rotated by 45 degrees, supported by a hexagonal pillar.

![](https://i.imgur.com/8UzISDl.jpg)
(The Cube Houses, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

The longer I observed the yellow grey set of linear angles and upside down windows, the dizzier I felt. At one point I thought that the houses would fall off and I along with them.


A walk through the complex led us to a place with a view of a small port behind which was a Witte Huis (White House) and the Willemsburg bridge.

The White House was the first European skyscraper built between 1897 and 1898. 
It is one of the rare structures still standing after the devastation of the Second World War.

![](https://i.imgur.com/HMFdI34.jpg)
(The White House, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Piet Blom had designed another housing complex in close vicinity to the Cube Houses. The building is popularly called the pencil-building after it's oddly shaped roof. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/7Y0CBcT.jpg)

The Blaaktoren is the building's real name. Especially funny were the windows that reminded me of Ray Ban glasses. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/MvbgZGy.jpg)
(The Blaaktoren, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Rotterdam Central Library was the next place we visited. It is one of the biggest Dutch libraries spanning 24000 square meters and containing 400,000 books. 
The foayer was spacious, lit with countless ceiling lights. The dimmed interior light gave the space a sense of serenity and calmness, a contrast to the crowds outside.

![](https://i.imgur.com/36365WH.jpg)
(Rotterdam Central Library)

It reminded me of the days I spent studying in my library where I could easily concentrate if I wasn't disturbed. The three of us had managed to somehow disturb this peace by clicking our cameras. 
We took the escalators to the last, sixth floor where I realized that the building was more than just a library. 

![](https://i.imgur.com/YevRrh3.jpg)
(Rotterdam Central Library)

Beside the students, people of all ages were sitting in armchairs, reading fiction and magazines, while the youngsters were playing with toys in the children's part of the library.

![](https://i.imgur.com/eKANC0W.jpg)
(Rotterdam Central Library)

There was a music part of the library on the ground floor where people were sitting with headphones watching movies or listening to music on CD’s and DVD’s. 
Everything seemed like a giant living room.

![](https://i.imgur.com/kb8Jho3.jpg)
(Rotterdam Central Library)

After we had gone through every floor, we sat down in a cafe on the open terrace with a view of the Market Hall. It was almost completely full.

![](https://i.imgur.com/mAZl2Vh.jpg)

We used the remaining time for a stroll down the river bank, watching the Erasmus bridge. Some call it a swan, due to it's looks and grace. 
It is one of the main symbols of Rotterdam, built in 1996.

![](https://i.imgur.com/313EF8q.jpg)
(The Erasmus bridge, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
 
Rotterdam had really surprised me. It is an urban city of modern architecture, tall skyscrapers and office buildings, a complete opposite to the rest of the cities we visited.

I wonder in what kind of city do you live and are you content? Do you prefer big urban cities with modern architecture or small towns, or maybe even country life?

Authored by @lufcija

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vote details (603)
@lookplz ·
$0.24
I’ve never been anywhere in Europe yet, but I hope to one day. There’s just so much culture and vibrancy to places like this. I can’t miss out on that!

Posted using [Partiko iOS](https://partiko.app/referral/lookplz)
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@marcybetancourt ·
@lufcija you have made me dream of going to Rotterdam. The photographs are spectacular and the modern architecture is amazing. I really liked The Central Library of Rotterdam, a clean place to read and enjoy good literature. As for the buildings, I kept my mouth open with "Cube Houses". I see there a way to emulate nature with the creativity and sustainability of today's architects.
I wish I knew who you are in the coffee terrace photograph !!! hahahahaha
I live in a coastal city of Venezuela. But it is a city that is currently destroyed by communism. I can say that it looks like a city devastated by war. I hope, and your publication gives me that hope, that when this dark period ends we can reconstruct it and make it beautiful like Rotterdam.
@lufcija Thank you for this beautiful walk. @adsactly thanks for the post
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@josemalavem ·
$0.10
It is certainly surprising to find this city absolutely modern, after the tour of more traditional surrounding cities. But, without a doubt, it is a beautiful city with its daring architecture, its spaces pleasing to city life. I was particularly attracted to its Central Library, where I would feel very comfortable, for its serene atmosphere, its welcoming light and the many services it offers. Curious the relation of the bridge called Erasmus (to honor the great humanist, I suppose) and its common name: the swan. Would the author of *Praise for madness* have imagined this?
Thank you for this pleasant walk, @lufcija.
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@hlezama ·
I have some friends in the Netherlands and they have sent pictures of traditionally dutch architecture. What you have shown here blew my mind.
This is a perfect city. I wonder if it still have some traditional quarters or "yesteryears section", and I also wonder if there is a rural surrounding where people can still enjoy old style life.
About your questions:

>I wonder in what kind of city do you live and are you content? Do you prefer big urban cities with modern architecture or small towns, or maybe even country life?

I live in Cumaná, a more than 500-year-old city on the north east part of Venezuela that lacks everything a modern city (especially one that old) should have. The rulers of this town also made sure that no much form its rich and beautiful history would remain intact. Even though we have never been bombed, you would think otherwise if you walk or drive our streets.
Only a 5 century fortress and some colonial houses remain relatively preserved. Touring these places, though is a high-risk activity. So, you can imagine how conflicting our feelings are about living in this potentially beautiful and historically rich town.

I like country life, but country life has its limitations and I'd love to be able to combine the two things. Mega cities are not my thing anyway. People stop being people there
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