The following blog post was written with the assistance of AI
On this day, we went back to road tripping across the Netherlands, seeing Delft, Rotterdam, and Kinderdijk.
We spent our time walking around the town square, where the city hall was located. The city hall is an example of the Dutch Renaissance architectural style, characterized by a symmetrical facade, ornate gables, and intricate detailing that reflects the artistic and cultural influences of the time. The facade showcases red brickwork, sandstone embellishments, and elegant windows. The central tower rises proudly, featuring a clock and a carillon, adding to the building’s visuals.
In front of the city hall, there was a outdoor exhibition by students from the Delft University of Technology, whose goal was “promoting a sustainable future by building the world’s most efficient hydrogen powwered city car”. It really reminded me of something similar students from UBC had been doing back in the day when I was at UBC, except it was a gasoline car (renewables were not that big at that time).
On the other side of the square is the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), renowned for its impressive Gothic design, rich history, and its role as the final resting place of members of the Dutch and Prussian royal family. Other notable people, such as Johannes Vermeer, is also find their final resting place in Delft. This is something I missed out on – I only realized this after I had left.
In Rotterdam, we returned to the market hall, which offers a bustling food market, gourmet shops, and residential spaces. Countless stalls and vendors showcase a kaleidoscope of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, aromatic spices, succulent meats, and an array of international cuisine. We ate a variety of things like a duck confit burger, satay skewers, stroopwaffles, samosas, and pickled herring.
We walked over to the nearby old harbour from the markethall, a historic waterfront area dating back to the 14th century and was once a bustling hub of maritime activity. It’s also the home of heritage bulidings like the Witte Huis, known as the first high-rise buildin gin Europe. Today, the area has been transformed into a picturesque urban space adorned with vibrant terraces, cafes, and boutiques. It’s a huge contrast to the Cube Houses next door that are a set of residences shaped like cubes tilted at a 45-degree angle.
Our final destination of the day to the town of Kinderdijk, we saw a different set of windmills from what we saw a few days back. Netherlands’ windmills are a testament to the centuries-long battle against the sea. The majority of the Netherlands is situated below sea level, making it vulnerable to flooding from rivers, and the sea. Windmills played a crucial role in pumping water out of low-lying areas and draining marshes to reclaim land for agriculture and habitation. Both Kinderdijk and Zaanse Schans are popular destinations to see Dutch windmills, but Kinderdijk seemed to have a more serene and rural atmosphere, surrounded by quiet waterways and fields, while Zaanse Schans is more accessible since it’s close to Amsterdam, where most international travelers fly into.