Sunday August 20th – Rotterdam Day One
We have purchased two-two day “Welcome to Rotterdam Cards” which will allow us to board any bus, tram or train within the RET area of Rotterdam. We plan to use these “passes” to get to the main train station and meet our old friend that we have known since our three years stationed in Greece back in the 60’s. Yvonne is a native of Holland and has graciously offered to be our guide for our two days in “The Netherlands”. It is our hope that we will be able to travel to several historic villages between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, using the NS (National Train Service) as well.
Originally Yvonne suggested that we take the train to Utrecht and for me a visit to the Train Museum and she and Barbara could explore Utrecht Centrum.. After much back and forth through emails with Yvonne we decided to take the train to Amersfoort to walk around, have lunch, take a boat ride through the canals and I would go to the Drie Ringen Brewery for some libations.
Later we would all take the train back to Rotterdam, possibly see the Market Hall shopping area, Sint Llaurentskirk, the Maritime Museum, the old harbor, Delfshaven, have dinner and return to the ship.
Everything pretty well went according to the plan. Our Welcome to Rotterdam cards worked flawlessly, however there were some “operator trial and error” incidents until we figured out a couple of things, like how did we miss the huge “M” sign across the street, which was the entrance to the “RET” or “M”, where to scan our cards or which “door” to pass through.
We met Yvonne under the “cloud” inside the main city entrance to this vast modern transportation center called “Rotterdam Central”. She was as overjoyed to see us as we were with her and then we were off to catch; our train to Amersfoort….after spending .70 euros for a toilet break.
I became so enamored with the transportation system in Holland. Such a model of efficiency, and it has to be in order to move the large number of users as it does. It is not cheap, but as our friend proved…there are specials. Each time the system is accessed, by using a magnetic card, two things have to happen…scan in and scan out, otherwise one can incur a hefty fine and in some cases, be put off the vehicle. Spot checks are often made by transit personnel onboard.
Because we returned to Rotterdam so late (6pm) the last paragraph of our plan did not happen as the. Market Hall closed at 6 pm. The upside to that, however, was we were able to find a very nice Greek Restaurant outside the Hall and enjoyed an excellent Greek dinner.
A word to the wise; when paying by credit you will be offered a choice of paying the amount in $$ or Euros. Always opt for Euros, otherwise, you will be socked with a “convenience fee” for converting your payment to dollars and the exchange rate wont be favorable either. Known as Direct Currency Conversion (DCC) and will usually cost at least 3% more than if you pay in euros. We were given that option at the Greek restaurant and I chose to pay the “greater” amount.
All things considered, we had a wonderful time, and were so fortunate to have our Dutch friend, Yvonne, as our very competent, personal tour guide. For our two day stay, she had our itinerary mapped out almost to the minute and paper maps of where we were going and what we were going to see…so very professional. She is obviously very proud of her homeland, as she should be.
I have highlighted our day with some images. By the way, there have been favorable comments about the images I have included, and I thank you all.
Unless otherwise noted, all images were shot with an iPhone 7 plus, with minor touch-up editing with the Photo App on the iPad.
Jack W Cummings VOV 2017 Up Next….. Rotterdam Day Two
One thought on “Day One – Rotterdam”
Thank you so much for the compliments:
You make me blush, and the last time that happened
was a long time ago ;-).
Looking forward to read your next blog.
Love, also to Barbara