Running out and around

I know I am really on vacation when I only periodically check my email. This is indeed the case. For about 3 evenings I was obsessed with the 1000 piece puzzle which I finished just in time before we packed out.

In between these puzzle evenings we walked, in rain, wind, sun (all in quick succession) across the beautiful landscape of the province of Utrecht, in between museuming.

Today was our Rotterdam day. We checked into a wonderful Art Deco hotel smack in the center of Rotterdam and then we peeled away from our friends who did more musea. For us Rotterdam always requires a visit to Hotel New York, the old terminus of the Holland America Line, another Art Deco behemoth that stands on a small strip of land in the middle of the world’s busiest port.

Today’s visit took the whole afternoon as we lunched on cockles and whelks and periwinkles, shrimp and crab, served on a dish on stilts, filled with ice – a magnificent sight and taste. Armed with pins we pried out the little creatures from their shells, popping the tiny Dutch shrimp unpeeled in our mouths.

To and from the hotel one takes a water taxi. It took us through the very choppy waters from one side of the river to the other, that in itself is fun – looking at Rotterdam from the water is worth the fare which has increased by 300% since we were last here. It is a bit like watching the Statue of Liberty from the Staten island ferry. That used to cost 10 cents – you know you are getting old when you start comparing prices of 1973 with those of 2011.

We met up with our friends on a busy shopping street – a rather chance encounter in this big city – and explored more of the city, its yachting harbors (Veerhaven and Old Harbor) now by night before settling in a lovely restaurant by the water – just in time for the next weather change.

We are now planning our last 2 full days of our vacation – there is much we wanted to do and can’t anymore; people to see, musea to visit, cities to see – but the clock seems to be ticking faster than last week – unstoppable towards the 12th.

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