Stad Zonder Hart
Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
60Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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Hitler wanted the Dutch to surrender quickly at the start of the war; however, the job wasn’t accomplished as easily as he’d hoped. Rotterdam was an important and strategic city that Hilter hoped he could win. The generals he sent to Rotterdam threatened the Dutch with destruction of the city in hopes that they would surrender. Negotiations stretched out several days, and, even though a settlement had been established, relaying of the message was not fast enough to halt the already planned aerial assault
Since the war, Rotterdam has rebuilt and done so in a modern daring way. Many of the apartments, office buildings, and skyscrapers are all on the cutting edge of design. Building such as the Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge), Kubuswoningen (Cube Houses), and Maastoren (the tallest building in the Netherlands) are just some of the notable new additions to Rotterdam. Though Rotterdam does lack of the typical Dutch charm of most of traditional Dutch cities, it is a major economic power in the Netherlands and Europe.
When we arrived, the city was covered in snow (as was the whole country), and it was blanketed in fog as well which wasn’t ideal for sightseeing; however, we made the most out of it. We were able to step inside the Rotterdam City Hall which was one of the few structures downtown to survive the Blitz
We roamed around downtown some more and stopped at the World War II monument and the neighboring Erasmusbrug, a modern bridge crossing the Nieuwe Maas (an outlet of the Rhine River). From there, we trekked through the snow covered Het Park to get to the Euromast. The Euromast is an observation tower that stand about 185 meters (or about 600 feet). There is a base observation deck halfway up and an observation nest above that which oscillates up and down; however, because of the snow and wind, this top deck was closed so we weren’t able to go up in it. There is a restaurant in the tower as well. The view from the Euromast was great obstructed by the weather, so we mostly warmed up inside the tower and enjoyed what view there was to be had.
As the sun set over Rotterdam, we walked back to the train station for the short ride home to Leiden. Rotterdam may not have the classic beauty of Amsterdam, but it is an interesting and big city with a bit more modern conveniences than other tightly compacted Dutch cities.