Day trip with Inez

During my visits to the Netherlands my friend Inez and I always try to organise an outing. Sometimes a longer trip, like in 2018 to Brugge, this time a day trip, with a mixed destination.

A former colleague of us is now living in Slikkerveer, a small village not far from Rotterdam. Piet and his wife Helma invited us to visit them and suggested that we should combine it with an excursion to the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk . After lunch they would show us some modern architecture in Rotterdam.

Inez and I met at Amsterdam Central and took the train to Rotterdam. It was tulip season and from the train we saw several flower fields.

Left picture: The façade of Rotterdam Central Station, an interesting modern building. Almost all railway stations in the Netherlands have rental bicycles, simple sturdy models. Not easy for me, because I am used to hand brakes and these had coaster brakes (terugtraprem in Dutch, I had to Google for the English word).

It was beautiful weather, with our bikes we cycled to the river Maas and used the Waterbus to go to Kinderdijk. Here is a picture of the Waterbus, no idea why a Dutch bus should be named Blue Amigo.

The waterbus is part of the Dutch public transport system and a very nice way of traveling in Rotterdam. Left the iconic Erasmus bridge, right the Willems bridge.

On our way we passed a very unusual ship: Noah’s ark, built by a fundamentalist Christian businessman, who believed in the literal truth of the Bible.. Years ago I visited an exhibition on this ship, an amazing experience. Now temporarily closed, final destination Israel;

We left the bus in Alblasserdam and soon passed the first windmills of Kinderdijk. There are a total of 19 windmills, built to pump water out the low-lying Alblasserwaard polder into the rivers, World-famous and I had never visited them!

With the blue sky the windmills are a photographer’s delight. Some are still operational, although their work has been taken over by modern diesel pumps.

There is a visitor center where we had coffee.

When I talked about Kinderdijk with family and friends, everybody knew about the famous windmills, but almost nobody had actually visited them! I will go again with Aric on our next Europe trip.

From the visitor center a ferry took us back in a few minutes to Slikkerveer. Piet and Helma are living in a former warehouse of Smit Slikkerveer, now transformed into spacious apartments

We got a hearty welcome, were shown around in their loft and had a nice lunch.

After lunch they joined us with their bikes on the Waterbus back to Rotterdam. We passed many modern buildings on our way. Left the Headquarters of Unilever BV (2007), right the iconic building De Rotterdam (2013).

We parked our bikes at the Veerhaven and walked around.

This is the Parklaanflat (1933) one of the earliest examples of a stacked building, with (in this case seven) luxury apartments one above the other.. Now we are used to apartment buildings but then it was a novelty. Right the monumental entrance.

We continued to the entrance of the Maastunnel (1937-1942) . Left one of the ventilation buildings, right the entrance for pedestrians and cyclists. Beautiful expressionist architecture.

Piet had been using the tunnel often when he was a teenager, and was eager to show me around.

After we had explored the tunnel it was time for a beer.

After our beer we decided to call it a day, although Piet and Helma said there was much more to see. We have to come back. Here is a last view of the Rotterdam skyline.

Cycling back to the station we passed the Depot of the Boymans van Beuningen museum. Spectacular with its reflecting walls.

fThe Boymans is closed for renovation, the Depot should be interesting to visit. In the reflection you can see Inez and me in the center 😉

As it was getting a bit late we decided to have a beer with some snack food before taking the train. Near to the pub we saw this controversial work of art, called Santa Clause, but commonly called ……… by Rotterdam people. Find out for yourself.

It was a rewarding trip, full of variety. Here is a Google Earth screenshot, where I have marked the various points of interest.