Saturday, September 08, 2012

PHOTOS: World Harbour Days 2012

This weekend, Rotterdam is celebrating the Wereldhavendagen (World Harbour Days) and the Shantyfestival (Shanty Festival, duh). As you can guess, they are both marine-themed.

We are fortunate enough to live right on the doorstep of the river Maas and the marine museums (Maritiem Museum, Mariniers Museum and Havenmuseum), and today being an extraordinarily fantastic day for being outside, we took a walk around the vicinity to see what was going on.

Lovely flea market stalls - if you know me well, you would know that I have a passion for flea markets, but unfortunately, I'm terribly bad at asking for prices or bargaining them down - and lots of food stalls, as well as several choir groups singing marvelously jolly sailor songs. You can't help but feel light on your feet and all smiley as you walk around the stalls hearing the shantys (shanties?).

Just next door to Mariniers Museum is a wonderful old building, which used to be the tallest building in Europe for about 2 hours (okay, more, but I can't remember exactly), called Het Witte Huis. The architect was inspired by New York townhouses and made a version of them in Rotterdam, in the form of Het Witte Huis. It's a beautiful building, but unfortunately only one of its kind, and thus looks rather out of place and not very noticeable. Until you look at it properly and realise its beautifully detailed outer walls and windows.

Anyway, this weekend, if you pay € 1, you can go up to the rooftop and enjoy the view all around of the river and all the events going on. I took some photos that don't do it much justice, but it was such a great opportunity to be able to do this.

Colourful boats and food stalls on the canal just in front of our home.

Precious stone jewellery, handmade boots from Peru and stuff like that. With two pirates strolling about.

Rotterdam's world-famous cube houses with a few antique stalls in front of a pretty awesome looking small ship.

View from the rooftop of Het Witte Huis of the Maas and all her ships showing off and blowing their horns.

Cube houses from the rooftop behind the Westermeijer sign that I was pretending was the Hollywood sign so I would feel more glamourous.

Other side of the canal with even more boats and rowers.

View of the Willemsbrug (the red bridge).

View of me and Schrobbenmaster enjoying the sunny rooftop.

Back on ground level, one of the sailor choruses singing near our home, complete with clogs.

My proud purchase of the day from an antique stall. A Villeroy & Boch coffee jar for 2 euros. Gotta love em flea markets, doncha?

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