It’s just water: my motto to maintain my soaking wet sanity in Rotterdam.
In this episode of My Life is Ridiculous, I leave my hostel determined to do at least some sightseeing in my 24 hours here. It seems like the dark clouds are kindly sticking to a light drizzle, so I begin walking across the Erasmus bridge. Halfway across, thunder begins booming and lightning starts ripping the sky apart, letting oceans of water dump free. And I begin sprinting. I run all the way to the end of the pier to a place called Hotel New York, emerging suddenly into the posh 1950’s looking like a stray, wet dog.
Hotel New York is in the former office of the Holland America Lines, where hundreds of thousands of Big Apple-bound passengers peaced out to the U.S.A. The nostalgia inside is real. Maritime artifacts and photos on the walls fuel the adventurous energy I imagine always consumed these rooms.
Outside Hotel New York, the rest of Rotterdam is an ultimate contrast. Bombed flat in WWII, the city was forced to reinvent itself. Unlike most older-than-time European cities, the modern architecture doesn’t feel out of place. It’s who Rotterdam is. Energetically contemporary and spectacularly innovative.
I squish my way back to the hostel and immediately head to the bar where I met Rob. He gets me a much needed beer and we start chatting… i.e. he makes fun of American football, I scowl at him, and then he asks if I’ll be joining for Quiz Night.
“TRIVIA?!”, I ask too loudly.
Rob has been traveling and occasionally working in hostels for 5 years so he knows the perfect quiz night format to encourage instant friendships. And rivalries I suppose. But you win some, you lose some. (I win some.. friends and trivia, obviously). I spend the latter part of the evening with these new friends (shoutout Caleb, Jace and Shaun) and we make plans to go visit Rob in Dordrecht, the oldest city in Holland, the next day.
After walking around in Dordrecht a while, we decide it’s worth a few euros to climb the stairs to the top of the main church’s deceptively tall tower. I take the lead and mildly panic on the winding, disorienting, narrow, never-ending staircase which results in my hysterical laughter the whole breathless way up. Thank God the view did not disappoint.
Back on ground level, we hop on a water taxi and venture to the countryside of Kinderdijk where I am blown away by the windmills. Figuratively mostly, but also literally. It was appropriately windy.
Video of Our Day <— Thanks for the video Shaun!
Back at the hostel way later than planned, I keep with Rotterdam tradition and sprintthroughtheraintothetrain to go meet Stephanie in Amsterdam.
& let the sas buddy adventures commence.