Creating Life at the Villa Coro di Rane

This blog is about being in the moment - creating life one instant at a time, whether in the flesh or on paper.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Around Rotterdam

Thursday, July 24
Since we had slept through breakfast, we went to the hotel's little cafe for coffee and a tosti. The coffee is wonderful here, so no need to search for a Starbucks.

Willem's best bud from Uden, about 2 hours south of Rotterdam, drove up to take us to lunch. He was leaving very early the next day for a vacation in Italy with the whole family, so could only stay a couple of hours.

It was a great short time, though. We took a water taxi from our hotel over to the Hotel New York. Dik wanted to show me the hotel, since it is located in the old offices of the Holland America line. It was from this point that many emigrants left for the US.

It was also the spot where Willem had his first job after college. He was called a Water Clerk, and served as representative of the foreign shipping companies. In this role he made sure they cleared customs, logged in properly, and got loaded up and provisioned for the next trip.

For lunch, Willem and I both had uitsmijters, a lunch favorite he had wanted me to try. It is basically two pieces of bread with roast beef and two fried eggs on top. I had it with rye bread, along with a Heineken. Delicious, and very filling.

After taking the ferry back, Dick left to return to Uden. Willem and I took the "Spido" for a tour of the close-in harbors of the Port of Rotterdam. The 75-minute trip gives an excellent perspective of the size of the port and the way is is organized by industry. Amazing, the size of the barges, ocean-going ships, and the service bays.

Next, we took a tram ride that goes around the major neighborhoods of Rotterdam. My head kept bobbing, but we had decided to push through in order to acclimate more quickly. The printed material gave a good snapshot of all of the areas, and Willem filled in the rest. It took a major effort, but neither of us gave in to a nap.

That evening we went in search of a lumpia, Willem's favorite Indonesian dish. It seems it no longer is made in the way he remembers it back in the good old days, so our search ended up cold. We settled instead for sate, chicken in peanut sauce and shrimp in hot sauce. In case you're wondering who ate what, Willem has told me that salt is his hot sauce!

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