Day 4: Rotterdam – Jessica Lyng

Even though the train ride to get here took eight hours, the food tour was one of the best excursions we went on. Period.

Train Ride

I wish America had a simple and easy way to get from one end of the country to another without using airplanes. Trains are so prevalent here, and even though we had to switch trains a couple of times, we managed to get from Munich to Rotterdam fairly easily. When we missed our intended train, it wasn’t that big of a deal because we could catch the next one headed to Rotterdam, which arrived in ten minutes. It was a smooth ride for the most part, and relaxed. The scene of the countryside was great, and Frankfurt look magnificent as we passed through briefly to switch trains.

Food Tour

Soon after we arrived in Rotterdam, we went on a food tour with some lovely guides. We first stopped by this marketplace by our hotel (Markthal) and got some Dutch snacks there. This included kroketten and poffertjes, which were both very delicious in their own ways (the kroketten was savory with a beef filling and the poffertjes was a sweet dessert which I can only describe as a small puffy pancake doused in powdered sugar). Afterwards, we walked towards a nice-looking church (whose bells survived the destruction of Rotterdam) and had ourselves some cheese and a little bit of wine. The cheese was fantastic, but I didn’t know what to make of the wine. It wasn’t bad per se; I’m just not used to the taste of it. Anyway, we walked around the city a bit more, admiring the architecture, ate a stroopwafel, and learned that the McDonalds near city hall for some reason had a century-long lease. We then headed deeper into the more casual part of Rotterdam (with a lot of shops and cafes), and had some french fries with peanut sauce, which surprisingly wasn’t bad. After that, we took a little boat trip and ended up in a bar, where we had a beer and took in the view from the second story at the end of our tour. It was honestly a lot of fun and a great way to learn more about Dutch culture through food. Our guide was great at answer all of our questions we may have had, and this was easily one of the best excursions we have had so far.

Walking Through Rotterdam

Charlotte and I soon walked back to the hotel after the excursion was over, and I have to say, the view of the river and city from the bridge was fantastic. Views of the water are always very pretty, but it just seemed so peaceful to looks at as we walked along the bridge listening to French and Chinese songs. I would love to see the water in the daytime though, and have a clearer picture of the cityscape as well.