What To Do In Rotterdam, The Netherlands | Eileen Aldis Travel Channel

Hi guys! Today’s video is a city tour or guide
of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I feel like cities are a little bit like people. Sometimes they’re shy,
a bit reserved, it’s a little bit harder, takes more effort to get to know them. Sometimes people just stick their hand out
and give you a firm handshake and you get this immediate sense
of exactly who they are. I feel like Rotterdam is definitely in the latter category. The word that I think of when I picture
the city of Rotterdam is vision. Above all, the city has vision. It knows what it wants to be
and how it wants to be perceived. And when you look to its history
and the photos of the past you see that during the Second World War
Rotterdam was completely destroyed. And the city used that absolute devastation
as an opportunity to rebuild something new, something different. Really like a phoenix just rising from the ashes of war. It was a tabula rasa – a completely blank canvas –
for architects and artists and they took advantage of that opportunity. When you’re walking around the streets of Rotterdam, to me, there’s a very clear choice
that you see all around you. This was a city that was levelled by war –
absolute devastation – and there’s a choice to rebuild something new, something modern and that choice is all around you
and that’s why I find Rotterdam inspiring. Because you see the future,
and hope for the future, everywhere you look. For me, the perfect symbol for Rotterdam
is the Floating Forest. It’s the first of its kind anywhere in the world and it consists of 20 floating trees in the harbour. It calls attention to art, innovation, and sustainability which are all things that Rotterdam cultivates. And one of Rotterdam’s defining features is its harbour. It’s the largest harbour in Europe and you honestly can’t
talk about Rotterdam without mentioning the water. And these 20 live trees are bobbing around
on the water in old sea buoys. The trees themselves are also recycled in a way
because they come from the city’s tree bank. So there are 20 trees out on the water
and a 21st tree is located on the land so that you can look at it up close. And the artists, Jorge Bakker, hopes that
the forest will raise questions about the relationship
between the city dweller and nature. And I think, in this time of climate change,
this is not only relevant to Rotterdam but to the entire world. The water is such an important feature of Rotterdam and so is the Erasmus Bridge
or, in Dutch, the Erasmusbrug. It separates northern and southern Rotterdam. It’s a suspension bridge built from light blue steel
and it’s 800 metres long. It has 40 large steel cables and, at its highest point,
it reaches a height of 139 metres. It has this lovely nickname ‘the swan’
and people in Rotterdam love this bridge. Whenever I asked a local person
what I should not miss out on in the city, everyone said the Erasmusbrug. And I can see the swan but, to me,
it actually looks more like one of those Egyptian dogs with the pointy ears that kind of sit like this. I don’t know if it’s just me but from certain angles
you can see the posture and the silhouette so- I see the dog but I can also see the swan. And, if you can believe it, in 2005
as part of the Red Bull Air Race some planes actually flew underneath the bridge so- very talented pilots. Not far from the Erasmus Bridge is the
former head office of the Holland America Line and now it is Hotel New York. The Holland America Line was founded
as a shipping and passenger line and what’s interesting about this is it was actually the first connection between
the Netherlands and the United States and the first connection between the two continents. It stopped operating as a Dutch line in 1989 when it was purchased by Carnival Cruise Lines
for a cool 530 million Euro. The Market Hall or Markthal is another example
of totally unique architecture in the city of Rotterdam and it’s the first covered market
in all of the Netherlands. And why was it built? Why did they need a covered market? Because of stricter European regulations on selling
produce like fish and meat and cheese in the open air. And, as usual – I love this – the city of Rotterdam
saw this limitation as an opportunity. A challenge to innovate
and they set about to build a market that would not only adhere to the new regulations but would be a mind-blowing example
of architecture and multi-use space. So not only is this hall complete with
food vendors and shops and restaurants, it’s also a residential space. There are 230 apartments, many of which have windows that face into the hall. You can see people cooking or doing their laundry and it also includes underground parking
for 1200 cars in downtown Rotterdam. It opened in October 2014
after five years of construction and it’s built nearby
where Rotterdam was founded in 1270. So there were a lot of medieval objects
that were found during the construction like vases and tools and canon balls. The exterior is covered with grey natural stone and it’s the same as what you’ll find
on the Rotterdam pavement on the streets. So all of the focus is drawn to the interior. And, my god, what an interior it is. All of the attention is drawn to the roof of the Markthal. It’s a painting by an artist named Arno Coenen. It’s called the Horn of Plenty
and it’s been called the world’s largest painting. It covers 11,000 square metres. It’s huge. It’s bright and colourful and now
it’s called the Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam. Just across the square from the Market Hall
are the iconic cube houses. These were conceived and designed
by an architect named Piet Blom in the 1970s and he was given the task
by urban planners in Rotterdam to solve the dilemma of building housing
on top of a pedestrian bridge. Aside from the uniqueness of the asymmetrical design, the cube houses are meant
to represent an abstract forest. Floating forest, abstract forest, rebirth, growth – I hope you’re getting the theme of Rotterdam here. Structurally, the cubes sit tilted on a hexagonal pole and completing that tilted design
the walls and windows are all angled at 54.7 degrees. So it gives excellent views of all the surrounding area. But although the houses
optimize the space on the outside, unfortunately the same can’t be said for the inside. The drawback, which is kind of ironic,
is that, despite a total area of 100 square metres, the angled structure means that
only a quarter of that space inside is actually usable. I was extra excited to see these cube houses
because in Toronto, where I lived before becoming a nomad,
they also have cube houses. And I didn’t realize until visiting Rotterdam
that that’s what they were inspired by. And I guess in Toronto the plan was always
to build more but, in the end, Toronto only has three. I really enjoyed visiting Rotterdam and
I hope that you enjoyed seeing these highlights as well. Leave a comment down below. Tell me what your favourite part of Rotterdam is and if you enjoyed this video
please give it a thumbs up. Subscribe to my channel, if you haven’t already,
for more travel videos. And don’t forget to hit that little bell beside
the subscribe button for notifications of new videos and I’ll see you in my next one. Bye! A great big bridge! The water dam is such an important part… The water dam?


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