My days in Rotterdam have been surprisingly full. I think it’s mainly because I’m with other people versus being on my own. There’s usually more to tell when in a group.
Today, I was on my own in the morning for a bit, so I woke up and walked around the market area. There’s a large market that occurs every Tuesday and Saturday near the Blaak train station. They have shops of all kinds ranging from groceries to clothing to incense. It was pretty amazing to see since it’s the largest outdoor market I’ve seen. It also runs from the morning until the late afternoon which is surprising for me (coming from the land of flea markets closing around 1 or 2pm).
After that, I walked to these cube houses near the outskirts of the market area. These cube houses are known as the Blaak Forest because the tilted cubes on top of a stone tower look similar to trees. This, and the Blaak tower beside it, were designed by Piet Blom. Apparently they are pretty liveable since people do live inside them. There’s one you can go into if you’re wanting to see the inside, but it costs 3 euro to enter. I didn’t end up going inside, but the outside is still great to see up close.
I also stopped by the library nearby. It was very modern which was surprising. The inside of it looked a bit like a mall and had multiple levels full of books and study spaces. I really liked the modern feel since I’m used to much older university libraries.
I had lunch after that at a restaurant called Boguette. It’s interesting because here and in Denmark, a baguette is basically a sub. Or, in regards to this restaurant, Banh Mi. I had a BBQ Banh Mi which was really good and pretty cheap as far as lunch is concerned. They also have bubble tea and some other Vietnamese style food.
After lunch, it was time to head to the church that was close by. It’s called St. Lawrence’s Church and is one of the only buildings existing after the bombardment of Rotterdam. Unfortunately, to go all the way in you have to pay 2 euro, so I only looked from the reception desk. You can still see quite a bit from there, but you don’t get the ability to sit down and take it all in. It’s a very beautiful church, but definitely different from the modern feel that Rotterdam gives.
I had a stroopwaffle after my visit to the church. I’ve had these before as an airplane snack, but never a fresh one. The place I went to was located along the shopping street near the market. These are made fresh and were super good!
I came back to the apartment after that and hung around until it was time to make our way to The Hague or Den Haag. At Den Haag, we hung out at one of Gabie’s friend’s house and had fun with her hamsters. Her hamster just had hamster babies which were super cute. One of them escaped and it was difficult to find them, but we finally managed to get it from under the bed.
We went to dinner at this cute Korean restaurant called Mr. Bap. I got Kim Bap there because I’ve been really wanting some as well as the Soup of the Day and some pear juice drink from Korea. I really liked the Soup of the Day. It reminded me a bit of egg drop soup. The food was really good, and I enjoyed it a lot.
We then got to walk around Den Haag a bit which was fun. There’s a lot to see, but it’s definitely a different feeling from Rotterdam since it’s a much older feeling. We walked down some historic looking streets. There was some sort of culture night on one of the streets that had lots of art galleries and stopped by a few of them. We also stopped by the Peace Palace which is apparently where the International Court takes place. Den Haag has a lot of beautiful places to see including another palace that you can walk through.
The train took us back to Rotterdam and we hung out at another friend’s house for a bit. We made a 3 ingredient Japanese cheesecake which I have to say was pretty faithful to the actual taste of one. Ours ended up a bit flatter than the ones I’ve seen, but that’s mainly because our pan was a lot larger than the one I guess we were supposed to use. It was still super good though!
Today was a lot of fun, and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!!