In Rotterdam, T was determined to play tourist with me. His goal, I’m convinced of, was to make me fall in love with his city so that “maybe” I would consider moving there. The catch with playing tourist meant we played “Dutch tourist.” If you find your self-asking, WTF, how is a “Dutch Tourist” different??? For starters, your means of sightseeing is a bicycle, and it doesn’t matter if that bicycle fits you or if you can ride it.
I’m serious – On my first morning in Rotterdam, T arranged for us to borrow two bikes from his friends. Although I spin, regularly, I hadn’t been on a real bike, one that propels you forward, in ages, and I am not Dutch. Random Fact, In the Netherlands, there are more bikes than there are cars, people, and possibly cars and people combined. The average Dutch person will have 2-3 bikes each. (T, at his peak, had six different bikes).
Our morning of sight seeing started with a refresher lesson in riding a bike. The bike I was “lucky” enough to borrow was heavy, rickety, and too tall. After minutes of struggle T switched bikes with me. The new bike was less cumbersome but still too tall. (At a towering height of 5’4″ I’m what the Dutch consider almost midget size.)
Biking around the city was nerve-racking. As I peddled diligently, I found myself being passed by more experienced bikers who would express their frustrations with me in a language I could not decipher. T, was patient, although perplexed by just how difficult I made riding a bike look. My “near” inability to ride a bike made it impossible for us to stick to our agenda and stay on time.
Hours behind schedule we arrived at Rotterdam’s marquee attraction, The EuroMast!! (Because everyone loves a tall building!)
The Euro Mast Tower is one of Rotterdam’s Iconic attractions. Originally built in 1960 for Rotterdam’s first “Floraide” (an international flower and garden exhibit). At 651 feet, the tower is the tallest building in Rotterdam. (In 1968 the Erasmus building surpasses the Euro Mast, so to tower constructed a space needle to extend the building an addition 279 feet. Take that Erasmus building).
The name, Euro Mast is representative of Rotterdam’s importance and centricity to Europe’s economy. The city is a major hub for commerce, imports, and exports. The Dutch are known for the cleverness and efficiency. When the time came for the “Crow’s Nest Restaurant” to be lifted to its home high above the city, the construction team crafted an ingenious pulley system to lift the restaurant into place.
If you’re going to head up the EuroMast, a trip to the VERY top is a must. From the viewing deck, you can board the Euroscoop. The EuroScoop (or scope in English) is a rotating glass elevator that lifts you 607 feet in the air. Aboard the EuroScoop you’ll be entertained and informed about Rotterdam through a running commentary. The ride is cool, it lifts you up and spins you around, allowing you to see all of Rotterdam and beyond.
A trip up the EuroMast will make your Insta story enviable, and at only 9.75 euros per adult ticket won’t break the bank. Grab a coffee at the deli on the ground floor of the tower, and relax while you make the necessary social posts.
For more to do in Rotterdam, click here.