Rotterdam (II) - Keukenhof (II)

For more about Europe’s largest port -next to being the second city of The Netherlands- see In English; there’s of course a more comprehensive version in Dutch. To break the Dutch resistance after The Netherlands became involved in World War II, Nazi Germany bombed Rotterdam on the 14th of May 1940. This is what the centre looked like after clearing away the debris. The Germans threatened to bomb more cities, thus the Dutch army forcing to capitulate on the 15th of May. The bombing caused Rotterdam to lose its entire historic centre, which forced the city-counsel to create a brand-new modern heart. We visited the city on March 17th, 2017.

The first building we want to show you is the ‘Markthal’ (Market Hall), see The building was opened by Queen Maxima (áxima_of_the_Netherlands) on the 1st of October 2014.

The inside of the ‘Markthal’ looks like this. Full of visitors and luxury market-stalls alike. Private residences (we think: not exactly cheap) are incorporated in the huge arch.

Another modern, interesting, building – already reflected/partly visible in the two former pictures- called the ‘Blaaktoren’ ( - only in Dutch), dating from 1984. This name (Blaak Tower) derives from a nearby street called ‘Blaak’, the name of a sixteenth century port, infilled in 1940. The building contains private apartments. Not surprisingly the nickname is ‘Het Potlood’ (The Pencil).

Of course the ‘Kubuswoningen’ (Cube Houses) cannot be left out from buildings that catches the eye when exploring Rotterdam’s renewed centre. See for more They were built in the seventies of last century but, we think, still utterly revolutionary.

We visited the ‘show cube’ which was made available to the public to minimize the disturbance that was formerly a part of life of the permanent residents. Tourists! We hoped that our museum-card would do the trick, but had to pay for it. Well, it was worth every penny and we even could take a picture of a view from inside onto both buildings we described before.

Last week we already showed you this picture but do it again now. The view of the river ‘Nieuwe Maas’ (New Meuse -, ’Erasmusbrug’ (Erasmus Bridge - and the buildings in the background make for a stunning picture.

A last one to end with. All the newly erected buildings give Rotterdam a sort of American-city-downtown-feeling. Rotterdam was rewarded after all its (ongoing) efforts and voted 2015 European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism.

Outside Rotterdam’s centre there are, of course, still some historic views to be found. Like here, Delfshaven ( (Port of Delft), one of Rotterdam’s bouroughs. We can only say: read the information one is able to get – it is most interesting and addresses subjects like why it has this name, The Pilgrim Fathers, jenever(gin)-making and a lot more. The picture shows Delfshaven’s carefully preserved harbour.

‘And Now for Something Completely Different’ (© Monty Python’s Flying Circus – early seventies, last century), being ‘De Keukenhof’ (The Kitchen Garden), visited on the 28th of March – again in 2017. See

What more can we say outside the fact that it was already stunning beautiful in early spring? Therefore hereunder a few facts instead.

It’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens – 32 hectares/79 acres.

In the 19th century the landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher, who had also worked on Amsterdam’s Vondelpark and (the latter) on Amersfoort’s Stadspark (see Week 1-4, 2017), were assigned to design the park-grounds.

Approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park. Crocuses, narcissus (narcissi?), tulips, hyacinths, lilies and other bulbs.

Keukenhof is opened only around two months a year, roughly from the end of March until the end of May.

The bulbs are mainly delivered and planted by bulb-merchants. They all put their names next to ‘their’ flower beds.

An in astonishment opened mouth is not a rarity. Nor is a lady, lying flat on her back, photographing a flowering tree from below.

In 2015 the Keukenhof attracted 1.175.000 visitors. Mind you: within 2 (two!) months. About 75% travels from abroad.

The park was opened in 1950. Nowadays almost a hundred bulb-growers take part in creating this cascade of colours.

Now back to reality. We left our winter-mooring yesterday, being Sunday the 9th of April 2017. Here our little ship is to be seen on its first temporary summer-mooring – on the river Eem, near a village called Eembrugge. We hope to restart a weekly blog as from coming Sunday, the 16th of April 2017. Bye for now.