Netherlands waterway cruise – stopover in Rotterdam

Maritime Museum Rotterdam – Lightship

Our friends were due to leave on the Sunday afternoon, so our plan had been to make an early start and get to Delft.

But plans are meant to be changed. Consulting the detail in the charts, the ANWB guide and the havenmeester, we learned that most of the bridges on our planned route did not operate on Sunday.

Most unusual being so close to a big city.


We had no option but to stay in Rotterdam a bit longer – and so glad we did. There was a lot to see. We went with Carl and Caron on Sunday to see them off on their travels, and we carried on with seeing Rotterdam.

We ended up staying 4 nights and 3 days there.

We visited the Maritime Museum. This was very interesting but probably not quite what I had expected. It included a film history of the Port of Rotterdam, a lot about Living Afloat in Rotterdam, as many people live on permanent houseboats, a history of the cruise industry and cruise ships, and a rather strange exhibit entitlesd ‘Sex and the Sea’ which was all about prostitutes. The museum is situated on the river and the outdoor part has numerous old restored ships and boats, including a floating grain elevator and an old lightship.

Mini Rail World

The other highlight was the Mini Rail World. It cost €10 to get in, but really well worth it.
The attention to detail is staggering.

The large layout is built in HO rail gauge.
Trains and trams and lorries are all on the go, controlled from a large central control booth. They have recreated various scenes, villages, harbours, ports, canals, beaches, polders, farms, industrial areas from the the real life places in the Netherlands.

The lights dim approximately every 20 minutes to give the night time scenes, with all lights functioning throughout the layout. The detail extends to police, fire and emergency vehicles and situations, a light plane crash, a parachutist stuck in a tree, a wrecked car being pulled from the river and much more. The beach even has a nudist section. There is an open air stage with a rock concert going on. Absolutely fascinating.

There is also and N-gauge layout,  not yet complete, depicting the whole railway line from Lelystad to Zwolle including all stations in between.

The Cube House

Rotterdam suffered a lot in the war and so has many modern buildings.

The Braak area is known for its strange architectural buildings such as the Cube-House,

Rotterdam architecture

as well as a building with all the piping on the outside, rather like the George Pompidou Museum in Paris.

Picasso Stone

Rotterdam is also home to the famous Picasso Stone.

We took a walk to the Euromast, though we opted not to go up. The view from there is apparently marvelous.

On the Friday evening we ate at a vegan and organic restaurant called Gare du Nord, being a restored railway carriage. You can read about this in my other blog – here

Next up – the trip to Delft.

Bon voyage!

More Braak architecture

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