April 10th my family came to Rotterdam to spend the day, my cousin and I went to the train station to pick them up and start our tour of the city. I really liked the buildings by the train station, very modern and sleek:
Most of Rotterdam’s city center was bombed out during WWII so much of the city features newer architecture. My cousin said there are lights built into the sidewalks following the edges of the bombed out sections of the city. On the anniversary of the bombing they turn the light beams on at night so you can look over the city and see the scale of the event.
As we walked through town we stopped into one of my cousin’s favorite book stores. Of course we had to pick up something to bring home and of course it would be Tolkien. De Hobbit. Although for some weird reason Bilbo Baggins last name is changed in Dutch to Balings! I mean seriously, who does that?! Baggins is essential!! Tolkien would be appalled. So when we read it we will insert the CORRECT name mentally. ; )
It was Tuesday so it was Rotterdam’s market day in the square! If you’ve never been to an open air market in Europe you have to find one to visit someday. There is nothing like walking down row after row of flowers, bread, cheese, olives, cheap trinkets, sunglasses, candy, fabric, and more! The market has great prices compared to the grocery store, and probably fresher produce too.
20 roses for 2 Euros… approx $3. You can hardly buy a single rose here in the states for that price!! And these are fresh cut so they last about 3 times longer too! Not fair really.
Wow, I wish we had markets like this in Fargo – although it might be hard to have an outdoor market with 3 feet of snow. ; )
One of my all time favorite Dutch treats is CHEESE!! There is just nothing like it in the states. Nothing. It’s crisp, slightly salty, rich, savory, and depending on the age either deep or mellow in flavor.
Another favorite treat is Stroopwaffles – a sort of waffle cookie with syrup in between two layers. Hot from the street vendor it’s gooey, sticky, hot, and delicious!
After walking all afternoon we stopped for coffee at a Turkish restaurant called the Bazar. The decor was quite colorful and full of bling.
The Turkish treats were really interesting. The white squares are Turkish Delight – a kind of cross between gelatin or a gummy bear, but not very sweet and it had nuts inside. The other things on the plate were Baklava made with pistachios and a sugar syrup, and the other was something like a peanut brittle without the peanut flavor and really really really sweet. The plate also came with 4 half dried dates. I was personally glad for the strong coffee to help cut down the super sugary flavors, lol!