Thursday, 12 July 2012

Netherlands - Rotterdam

What a port city! And here I mean THE PORT not the city. It is quite breathtaking in size and scale, it can truly be called 'Europort' as it is the gateway by sea to northern Europe. Our ride into Rotterdam from the south using the extensive motorway network, sometimes elevated, gives you unrivalled views over the port area. It is mile upon mile of warehouses, cars for the export market in parcades, raw materials, containers and cranes and more cranes .... ! And ships of all shapes and sizes. For anyone who enjoys 'ship spotting' this is the place to come to.

Not only ships, but also barges on the Waal river (or lower Rhine (nieder Rhein) ) as some would refer to it. I said to Joan I could easily spend a day just riding around on the surrounding motorways to take it all in, fly-overs, bridges, tunnels - looking at the port, ships and boats!

A few examples:-

The coal terminal from the dunes of Oostvoorne

Pushing three coal barges, this vessel aptly named Herkules

Spraying the coal to keep it moist avoiding possible combustion

On the beach, west of the city

Entering a channel of the port. Rotterdam is also referred to as the 'Europort'.

The swimming beach at the 'Hoek van Holland'. Almost deserted on what was a very windy day.

In a strange sort of way the Dutch, their trading history over the centuries and more so during the days of the VOIC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) or Dutch East India Company, all comes together here in the port city of Rotterdam. Although Amsterdam is where the headquarters of the VOIC was, it is the modern day Rotterdam that still evokes memories of trade and goods and big money. The size and kind that made the Netherlands a colonial power in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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