A Taste of the SS Rotterdam

What kind of museums do you enjoy?

We aren’t generally big on museums, but some locals recommended we check out the SS Rotterdam. With 11 decks and a massive engine room, there was plenty to explore.

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The full self-guided tour was a bit expensive (about €33 for the two of us), but the day was well spent. Tickets include audio devices that key into points of interest all over the ship. Some portions – including the engine room – are led by guides, many of whom actually served on the ship during her hay-day. Our engine room tour was conducted all in Dutch, but we could scan in with our audio devices at each stop for the English prerecorded versions.

We saw everything from the captain’s chair to the pipes, levers, and wheels of the underbelly. The ship was originally used as a two-class transatlantic passenger ship and then retrofitted to be a cruise liner. It was also secretly outfitted to serve in the war if called upon, but it was never needed. It was ultimately retired and permanently moored in Rotterdam and now serves as a museum and floating hotel.

Check it out if you want a bit of local history. The welcome mat even conveniently reminds you of the current day of the week 🙂


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A Taste of Biking in Rotterdam

Where do you like to bike?

Rotterdam is a particularly bike friendly city. We had to be careful when crossing the street that we didn’t get run over. With lots of bike lanes and ample bike storage garages such as these, there’s no reason to not take yours out for a spin!

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Interestingly, though, we actually never did bike the city. While we could have rented some wheels, we enjoyed the slower pace of walking. However, if we wanted to get across town quickly and didn’t want to stick to a stuffy train or metro, a bike is the best way to go!


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5 Cities to Make You Fall in Love with Holland

Holland is a land of many winding canals, amazing architecture, old churches, traditional windmills, and rich culture. These things easily made us fall in love with the area. During our trip, we spent most of our time in Rotterdam and did several day trips from there. The places we visited were sometimes even better than our home base of Rotterdam. Can you guess which city was our favorite? It may not be what you expect.

View from Nieuwe Church in Delft Netherlands Holland

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A Taste of the Rotterdam Markthal

What kinds of markets do you like to visit?

If you wind up in Rotterdam, do yourself a favor and check out the really cool Markthal. Located right in the center of town (within spitting distance of the Cube Houses), this indoor market is a fascinating place to visit.

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A Taste of Rotterdam Architecture

Where have you seen the coolest architecture?

Rotterdam is known for its unique architecture. When the city was leveled during WWII, the city voted to start fresh rather than rebuild what was there. This created a city with an architecturally young center.

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A Taste of the Cube Houses

Would you sleep in a cube house?

The Cube Houses of Rotterdam are a fascinating example of modern architecture! In fact, it was a picture of these unique buildings that originally inspired our trip to the Netherlands.

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A Taste of Cologne’s Graffiti

What have you found disappointing in your travels?

When we climbed the Cologne Cathedral, we were not deterred by the “no lift – no joke” sign nor the daunting prospect of 533 steps. As we ascended, we got ever loftier views of the city below, and we were mesmerized by the small ants going about their business below.

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A Taste of the Cologne Cathedral

What is the coolest historical structure you’ve visited?

The Cologne Cathedral mesmerized us from the very moment we saw it. A backdrop to the central train station, it’s impossible to miss, and it gives a striking first impression of the city.

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A Taste of the Heidelberg Monkey

Have you ever rubbed a statue for good luck?

The Heidelberg monkey is a must-visit for those in town. It is said touching the gold disk will bring fortune, rubbing the fingers ensures a return to Heidelberg, and stroking the nearby bronze mice will improve fertility.

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Spitzkoppe: The Matterhorn of Africa

Spitzkoppe, Namibia is a beautiful park of large rock formations in the middle of a long empty desert, named for the incredible mountain that dominates it. As we made our way south from Etosha National Park, this place was a must for us. It was hard to miss as we could see it from over a hundred kilometers away. Known as the Matterhorn of Africa, it stands at 670 m (2,200 ft) above the desert floor at an altitude of 1,728 m (5,669 ft) above sea level. We camped there for one night and were able to explore most of the park. It felt like we were in another world.

Spitzkoppe Namibia Boulders

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