Thursday, 17 November 2016

red sails in the sunset

Wednesday 26 to Sunday 31 October - 'Five go to Antwerp and Rotterdam'

(or if you'd prefer to start this holiday at the beginning, please start with "in the midnight hour")


So this was the view we woke up to from our nhow hotel windows - what a joy!
 and we waited patiently for the lift to breakfast on the stylish heated seats
 Loved the edge of the impressive theatre on the edge of the river
 bit weird that the Metro sign looks horribly like the Ronald MacDonald's M
 but it was very snazzy down below
We were soon at the fun and amazing cube houses Piet Blom's Kubuswoningen, built 1984
by now the sun was warm, quite incredible for a late October day.  Loved seeing the immense bike parks all over the place, this one double deckered!
We enter the huge cathedral like Markthal only built a couple of years ago by the MVRDV practice and teaming with people and incredible food stalls.
fabulous wall murals on the inside and double decker cafes, while the apartment dwellers peered down from their little windows.  Enjoyed watching some waffle making but avoided temptation!
 and we found a great little coffee stop just outside - the tea lab
 and not far away was another Rem Koolhaus, his Timmerhaus, built just last year
But the afternoon was now drawing in and we all made a spur of the moment decision to take a boat ride on the Maas from the Erasums Bridge, which was great fun.
And here's the nhow hotel from the water - our 19th floor was only half way up - just near the joins!!
all aboard, full steam ahead and all that
and here's a good classic to float along to:
 past the immense container docks, busy loading and unloading every day of the week
past the rather incredible art deco ventilation shafts for the Maastunnel.
These ventilation buildings, designed by city architect Van der Steur, are also entry points for the bicycle and pedestrian tunnel.  And reading the Maastunnel article, it looks like there are original escalators running down there too, like Antwerp.  Amazing
Full circle: that little old building dwarfed by the new giants, houses the New York bar where we had our nightcaps last night!
So now it was a super dash to get to Centraal Station in time for our trains to Brussels and London - but we had one more feast to go - our intrepid foodies had caught word of Fritez for the best ever (and I mean that) take away homemade-skin-on chips, dowsed in beef stew, that you have EVER tasted.
 and we make it - dodging bicycles and trams - the incredible beautiful Centraal Station, remodelled a couple of years ago by Benthem Crouwel Architects
and I know this is horribly blurred, taken through the glass on a high speed train - but I needed to share the deep pink sunset that blazed in the sky as we sped past Antwerp.
End of a perfect holiday - over all too soon but packed with fun and wonderful things and the best of companions.

If you feel the need to go back and see it all again from day one, just click here "in the midnight hour"

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