Rotterdam is Pretty Rotter-Damn Cool

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

We hopped on a train in Utrecht, read books and listened to music for 40 minutes, and then we were in Rotterdam. Transportation is SO EASY in the Netherlands. Which is just one thing I love about this country.

And remember how Utrecht was crazy about bikes? Well. It’s not just Utrecht. It’s pretty much everywhere in the Netherlands. This was the view we were greeted with upon arriving in Rotterdam…

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

SO MANY BIKES. (Just think how big a parking lot would have to be to hold this many cars!)

Along with great biking infrastructure, the Dutch are just more health-conscious in a way that focuses on an active lifestyle, rather than an obsession with being skinny and fad diets. See also: public zumba.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

Rotterdam has been one of my favorite cities so far. It’s the second biggest city in the Netherlands, and the largest port in Europe.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

It’s also just undeniably cool.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

There are art murals and sculptures all over the city.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

Many of which are modern and colorful. (So you pretty much have to stand in front of them and take a picture.)

The city is also very diverse. Nearly 50% of the people living in Rotterdam are either 1) not native to the Netherlands, or 2) have at least one parent born outside the country. In fact, the mayor is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing Muslim.

So if I’m being honest, part of the beauty of this city is that it’s just nice to be in a place where people are more accepting of differences and aren’t totally xenophobic. A place that realizes that “other people” are just people too.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

(Can’t we all just get along??)

Which leads me to a less awesome fact about Rotterdam… it was completely destroyed by German bombing in WWII. The city hall (above) was one of the only buildings left standing, and only because the Nazis purposely left it unscathed so they could move their military headquarters there.

And while that is obviously a really, really horrible thing, that means that the city had to be completely rebuilt from scratch. And fairly recently. So there is tons of innovative and modern architecture here.

For example: Rotterdam, like most cities in Europe, has a big market hall, with lots of food stalls.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

But it’s built inside of a huge domed structure.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

With a gigantic piece of art covering the entire surface.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

And as if that wasn’t already cool enough, the sides and top of the structure are apartments and office space. (When can I move in??)

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

The library is also pretty awesome.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

(Yes, it’s that huge building with the stacked floors and yellow piping.)

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

Along with the standard books and DVDs, it has a giant chessboard, music practice rooms, and color-coded floors. (Pretty sure if the market hall rejects my housing application, I could just live here instead.)

Rotterdam also has a unique housing area, aka the cube houses.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

(And yes, people actually live in those.)

AHHHH Rotterdam, stop being so cool! I’m dying over here.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

I never expected to have a crush on a place like this, but I’m pretty much in love with this city.

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

And y’all, the grocery store has a Tex-Mex section. Which means TACOS. (So we obviously had to make some, and also gorge ourselves on guacamole all week.)

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

But I’m pretty sure it’s not just the Tex-Mex talking…

Rotterdam | The Netherlands | The Travel Medley

Rotterdam is just pretty Rotter-damn cool.

 

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