Rotterdam, Beauty, and Visions of Tulips

Amsterdam is a strange city. Nobody cares when you arrive and nobody cares when you leave. It feels like a layover on a flight – you meet a bunch of people who are doing the same thing you are, hang out, and then when the flight takes off you never talk to them again…sometimes you don’t even get a proper goodbye in before leaving your new “friends.” I like the city, it teaches you to relax and just take whatever comes your way – but it’s time to go for now.
Rotterdam is a beautiful city – I don’t think we’ve ever been out of sight of a piece of art. The city has various artworks scattered around the city. I statue here, a contraption of various bits of metal there, lights on hydraulics that not only light up the area but look good doing it! The down side compared to amsterdam is: english is not as prominent. We weren’t really planning on a vacation in the netherlands, but the longer we stay the more apparent it becomes we need a phrasebook.

We had lunch at the “Cafe-Restaurant-Hotel BAZAR.” Witte de Withstraat 16,3012 BP Rotterdam. phone: 010-2065151. They serve turkish food in a lively atmosphere. We were given the choice at the door of sitting by the street windows, at the bar, or under the stars (not really the stars, but an area with a variety of lights in the ceiling to simulate stars). The menus are all in dutch (another indication that we need to learn some dutch if we are going to stay longer) but the waitress was happy to help out. Some keys: kip is chicken, vanaf 17.00 uur is available after 5pm (I believe). We’ve acquired a phrasebook so we can cope better in non-english speaking areas. I ordered a “Mish i Bluar” which is meat (lamb?) with goat cheese, a salad, and rice. It was interesting, but my digestive system is not really setup to handle turkish food…I’ll stop there.

We headed to the park on monday and sat around just watching people go by for hours – occasionally chatting about human behaviour or some silly topic that just came to mind. I didn’t bring my frisbee with me (although I did bring one with me, it was at the hostel. The frisbee was nancy’s suggestion and a good one, I might add) but we watched as others partook of the low energy exercise. I look forward to using mine soon.

The trip may change quite substantially – the price to get to spain is quite prohibitive from here. We’ll end up spending at least $200 and could spend up to $500 to get down to spain and back up to paris (where our flight leaves from…restrictive mileage redemption at work!) This is a lot of money to spend. We are evaluating the option of staying in benelux (belgium-netherlands-luxembourg) instead of journeying down to spain.

We head off for Noordwijk today – the tulip fields should be in bloom right now so we are hoping to catch this (based on photos I’ve seen) spectacular sight. Anyone who has talked to me since my last trip to amsterdam knows that I have been interested in the tulips since then. I hope our timing is perfect and we can get a great view of the fields in full bloom. There is a chance, however, that we are too early – but it’s worth a shot.

This also means that I may not have internet access for some time. If you haven’t signed up for the updates mailing list yet – do so! This will let you know next time I update the site and you will be sure to not miss a moment of excitement!

until next time,

ryan

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