Okay, Rotterdam. One of the largest ports in the world, if not the largest. Did you know that the "dam" in Amsterdam and Rotterdam means an actual dam? That's where each of those cities started, when dams were built.
So, massive port, hundreds of years old, center of maritime history/activity for Europe. Why did we go?
Because Jackie Chan filmed part of a movie there.
The movie has some of the best fight choreography ever. The fight scene pictured at the top of the DVD cover takes place on top of a building in Rotterdam.
This building, actually:
|No spoilers for the movie, but see that sloping part of the building? Yeah.|
Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed during WWII, so unlike central Amsterdam, most of the architecture is very new. They really seem to like the overhanging motif.
One of the fight scenes in Amsterdam takes place at the Cube Houses.About half of them are private residences and the other half are a hostel.
You don't have to be a youth to stay there, but you do have to bring your own soap. If you don't have your own towels, you can rent them for four euros, three of which you get back when you return the towel. You can also rent bikes for 6 euros/day. Tourist rental bikes tend to come in really bright colors, probably to tell the locals to watch out.
|View from our room down to the street. The windows are the next-door cube's.|
|We were on the 2nd floor. This is the floor plan.|
The hostel has an elevator that goes up the center and also staircases, which are nauseatingly curvy.
One of the scenes in the movie was shot on the Erasmus bridge, also known as "The Swan".
And the Royal Dutch Marines also participated in the film. Rotterdam has a museum dedicated to them and their history.
|Did I mention that Dutch people are huge?|
I think this is where the costume designer got the idea for Snape's trousers:
Rotterdam has a massive maritime museum. When we were there, they had an excellent exhibit on pirates, and used "Pirates of the Carribbean" lego people to show scale on the model ships.
If you get the chance to go to Rotterdam, do it. It's a little more advanced than Amsterdam, because you actually have to ask for menus in English; the locals won't assume you're foreigners immediately. It's not that much of a tourist town.
It's about an hour's train ride from Amsterdam, and everything's pretty close. You could do it as a day trip from Amsterdam. Or stay at the Cube Houses. Just remember to bring your own soap.
Or if you can't get to Rotterdam, watch Jackie Chan's "Who Am I?" It's a fun movie.
Coming up: Windmills!!!