Day 007 Rotterdam
Woke up today at a leisurely 10 AM. Had breakfast and still had time to lounge around on the ship before we arrived in the Port of Rotterdam. Tried out the ships internet and it is abysmally slow. We get in line before it announced that you can get off the ship and there are only a handful of people in front of us.
We get off the ship and immediately head for the Water Taxis that we have heard about and researched. Elee is my hero for doing all the research on each port in advance and making notes. We are told that the Water Bus will be a better deal than the Taxis to get all the way to Kinderdijk (pronounced kin-der-dike), our destination today. So we take a Taxi to the Water Bus to expedite our time at a cost of 9 Euros. No sooner than we get off the Water Taxi, the Water Bus is there and ready to go. We board the Water Bus and pay 2 Euros each (Senior Citizen price). The Bus takes us to Ridderkerk where we board yet another Water Bus to Kinderdijk for 1.30 euros eack.
Before we know it, we arrive in Kinderdijk, where all the famous Windmills are. Not many steps down the path the windmills loom in front of us and make our camera lenses ecstatic! We wish the skies were not so foreboding and they appear ready to open up on us at any moment. But they hold off.
We walk down the path and snap away, finding different angles to shoot from. There are 19 famous old windmills here that used to supply power to the area, but now they are used to pump water from the area which has sunken below sea level. There are sea walls surrounding the area and the water has to be constantly drained.
The sun even makes a feeble attempt to come out, and in its attempt it makes for interesting skies for our backdrop. We walk probably a mile or two out in the area and we see a “Canal Hopper” that we could have purchased tickets for back in the beginning of the hike. We look dejected when the captain tells us we needed to buy tickets in the beginning. But he has an empty boat and offers us a ride if his “Wooden Shoe” gets a donation. We look and he has a wooden shoe as his tip jar. So we ‘feed’ his shoe and he and his first mate give us a private tour back to the beginning where we stated and our feet thank him!
We take a few more minutes and visit inside their museum and learn a bit about how and why the area developed the way it did. We then wander over to the gift shop and coffee house for a warm drink but find it has closed for the day. So we cross the street to the Water Bus Stop and the Bus arrives in less than 5 minutes. We board and ride back to Ridderkerk where we change to the bigger Water Bus back to Rotterdam.
We then opt to walk across a really neat suspension bridge named the Erasmusbrug Bridge with views of the city and our ship (Instead of taking the Water Taxi) and make our way back on board. Many barges cruise the river carrying all kinds of good to market and manufacturers. Another passenger walks by us with an open computer and Elee inquires if he found wifi. He tells us it is free in the ship terminal so we grab our computers from our room and take them back to the terminal and here I am typing away today’s story.
And for what it’s worth, we have solved the age old question of what happened to Noah’s Ark! It is tethered to a dock somewhere between Kinderrijk and Rotterdam!
Tomorrow we start 4 days at sea before we get to the Azores! And we don’t have a clue whether we will have usable internet so stay tuned!