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Monday, 21 September 2009

Even here there are the Sights

While on the first of my two recent assignments in Bristol, I was forced one day to listen to the thoughts of another team member who was not generally in possession of a volume control. His sermon that particular day was working in the Netherlands, and having done that myself, at first I found his choice reassuring. The reassurance lasted until he gave his opinions of Rotterdam. For this city he had no even moderately good memories, and told emphatically of his relief at leaving. There was, he asserted, nothing there worth seeing.

So before heading out, I did some research, and drew up a list of sights to see. And there are some memorable ones, from the 1930 van Nelle factory, to the cube houses at Blaak, which you just have to see close up – a photo doesn’t do them justice. Along the way there was the city’s first high rise building, which looks modest today, plus the now evergreen Euromast (sponsored by ABN Amro), the Feijenoord stadium (also called de Kuip) and the stunning Erasmusbrug, which was showing off its opening capability when I arrived.

There are more: the Central Business District, as folks call these things nowadays, is where the land had still not been built on back in 1970. Now it tells visitors that the city, the port and the region have recovered and are prospering.

Nothing worth seeing? He was talking, and not looking or listening.

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