Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Bridge and a Bath

We were in Rotterdam overnight before embarking on the actual cruise.  We took the train there from Amsterdam and lugged our baggage a block and a half to a Holiday Inn Express; the most memorable thing about the hotel was our bathroom, which was lit by an eerie blue light.  It looked like we could have stepped in and yelled, "Beam me up, Scotty!"

The bridge pictured below is Rotterdam's famous Erasmus Bridge, also known as "The Swan" because of its distinctive shape.

We got an early start the next morning and were glad of it; shortly after we boarded the ship, its computer system went down, and later arrivals were stuck in the terminal until service was restored.  The staff apparently distributed drinks and snacks after a while, but some of the people who missed lunch were pretty surly about the delay.

Our ship was Holland America's recently refurbished Rotterdam.  Possibly because Rotterdam is its home port, a very high percentage of the passengers was Dutch, and all the announcements on board were in both English and Dutch.  One night my sister and I went to see the Disney movie Frozen and were startled to realize that the Dutch version was being shown.  We stayed and watched anyway; we missed some of the jokes, but the plot was simple enough to follow even in a foreign language.

The second picture below is one of the ceiling lights in the Rotterdam's auditorium, where we waited most mornings for our shore excursions to start.

"Constructed to facilitate the orchestration of traffic flows, the [Erasmus] bridge design is inspired by, and in turn reflects, the industrial character of Rotterdam, adding to the narrative of the city. The bridge operates as the last crossing point between the Northern and Southern areas of the city, whilst its structural scale and design articulation has become a distinctive landmark within the surrounding skyline." ~UNStudio [the firm responsible for the design] on

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