Kijk Kubus - Rotterdam

My mother sent me an email that described Rotterdam as a city with interesting architecture. Therefore my main reason for going there was to look at the buildings. The Staande Mastroute pilot do not cover Rotterdam, neither do our other pilot book, but we decided to go as far as we could with the help of our digital charts. The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe, lots of barges going upstream and downstream. We stuck to the outer side of the fairway and tried to spot where to moor. When we found a smaller canal leading in to something that looked like a harbour we went over there and called the bridge blocking the entrance on the VHF. We were told that we were not allowed in there, only yachts with a special permit could go in. But the man told us that on the other side there is a harbour called City Marina in which we could stay the night. Two bridges later we were safely moored along a visitor pontoon. We locked up Cantare, walked out of the harbour and asked a passing woman for directions to the city centre, Cross the Erasmus bridge and walk straight ahead and you will be in the centre, she said. We walked over the bridge and found a busy shopping street, but no interesting buildings. Sofia found a pair of nice pink shoes on sale and I found new accessories for my iPod. But we were rather disappointed on our way home, Rotterdam was not at all as nice as Amsterdam. Many more cars, no charming city centre and to make it worse it started to rain. Then, when we were about to return by the Erasmus bridge, we found a map of the city. The map had all the interesting things to see marked and we discovered that if we took a route home via the Williams bridge we could see the Kijk Kubus houses on our way. Those were the houses my mother especially told me to visit. The Kijk Kubus were built in the 80s, cubic houses tilted and put together in a different way. They were very interesting indeed, I find it hard to imagine what it would be like to live in one though, are the walls tilted or have they built straight walls inside? I have to look it up on the Internet when we get to a harbour with Wi-Fi. A little less disappointed we returned to Cantare where we set the alarm on 6.45 am in an attempt to escape the harbour fee. In most harbours you either pay in the evening at the harbour office or wait for the harbour master to come knocking on your yacht in the morning. If you want to save money it’s possible to leave really early and “miss” the payment. But when the alarm went of today we were both too tired to get up, I think the Amsterdam night convoy sailing still makes us tired. We slept until 9.30 am when we made a quick start and left the harbour in 5 minutes, just in time to get out under the bridge that was opened for another boat. Strangely the harbour master never came around, but we don’t feel any guilt, we took no water, no electricity and we didn’t use the bathrooms, all we did was moor at their pontoon.

Now we are in Willemstaad, our last stop on the Staande Mastroute. It’s a lovely little city with a nice weekend feeling in the crowded harbour. We are moored as third yacht, which meens that if we want to go ashore we have to walk across two other yachts. Tomorrow it's time to approach the North Sea again, we are plannig to go to a harbour just before the last lock, where we will check the weather and rest before it's time to sail to France or Belgium depending on the winds.
/ The Captain

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