Fireworks on the Beach / Rotterdam / Gouda
23-25 August 2002
23rd Annual International Fireworks Spectacular - three nights in a row, two shows (10 and 11 p.m.) by different countries; the 11 p.m. Friday show was spectacular, one of the best I've ever seen. Don't know which country put it on, though.
Waterlogged in Rotterdam
Rotterdam: Cultural Capital of Europe, according to the map.
Perhaps rain capital, but after the summer of floods, that title would seem to be in dispute.
Incredible rain! Never experienced anything quite like it. Jacket got totally drenched and was compelled to buy a new jacket to stay warm and dry
canals overflowing; sidewalks littered with burnt out umbrellas
soaked notebook in backpack; cell phone book
O'Sheas: ex-couple at bar; dated for a couple months, broke up three weeks ago,
lots of tension as the bartender sat her down at the end of the bar, next to me. She's a very cute girl; find out she's 21, but she looks older, been around
(If she stopped going to all the bars where she found herself in this situation, she'd have to leave town; moving to Australia next year; works in an optometrist's office)
Where are you from? I'm part English, part Scottish. Oh. Well, I'm from parts unknown. Really? You have no parents and no home?
You're laughing at me; everybody does, I'm used to it.
No. I'm laughing with you. OK. I'm laughing in your general direction. "Ohhh! I've never heard that one before."
Raoul - beautiful waitress, very beautiful
Tram 10 - 5 euros provides 75 minute tour of town on old-fashioned tram and all day pass on all trams and busses - old tram; leaking with water dripping down from the fixtures and window panes; tour in Dutch, don't understand a word; windows fogged up, can't see much between that and the clouds and rain! Lazy-eyed conductor, looking in two directions at once; nice guy, speaks some English, but he's more comfortable speaking Dutch. The others on the tram were highly entertained by what must've been his dry humor. He kept a straight face the whole time while people were laughing it up at his comments. The tram I was on was almost in a car accident midway through, and the tour was cut a few blocks short of the final stop, Centraal Station, because of a tram/car accident. Lights flicker; creaking, groaning old tram
effort to make it an innocent, early night failed once again; back in bed at 1 a.m.
Speaking of architecture: The Agip Building - Dutch or Italian architect? I'd lay odds it was Dutch.
bang head on slanted walls by coffee machines; frosted paper on windows in restrooms; windows situation in gym; stairs access; elevators to 2; elevators up from there, two towers: Utrecht and Scheveningen. Yes, there is a floor designated U2! (The "U2 Area" - where the gym is)
Numbered plaques for the floors fell off within hours; replaced with printed signs off a PC
cramped toilets on floors with crossovers, the bridges that span the highway; stupid towel machines
more spacious on other floors, but...
Gouda - nice train ride; windmills off to the side; haven't seen an "active" one yet, though. 20-25 minute ride, slept for half of it.
arrive wondering if it was a mistake, like Delft. No. It was quiet around the train station, but there was life in the markt; it's a neat place, actually. Layout seemed similar to Haarlem in some respects
Stadhuis - clockshow: granting of town rights by Count Floris V in 1272 chimes 2 minutes after the full hour and half hour
Famed for cheese, but failed to partake in my brief visit
Walking tour book, but didn't want to concentrate that hard; Peperstraat, church, two windmills, Stadhuis, Jewish synagogue
Finn MacCool's - Irish stew and Guinness
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