Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This could be Rotterdam...

I spent quite some time in Rotterdam last month (before my week's holiday and my week offshore), due to various problems which will not be mentioned. I had some problems with my back left wisdom tooth, and was in a panic as to whether it would blow up on me during my incarceration on a barge 12 miles off the Norfolk coast (yes, there were many jokes about there being plenty of pliers on board...). So I ended up going to a dentist there.

I was given a lift into the centre of Rotterdam from the harbour (which is huge, absolutely enormous), and wandered around there in the hot weather until it was time for my appointment. The city centre is very like most other city centres - lots of shops, lots of people - but with not very many old buildings. One thing that struck me about Holland was how much water there is - mostly drainage canals or harbours - and I wondered if they had much of a midge/mosquito problem.

I found an old church open. Fairly modern (at least, early twentieth century) on the outside, with a fabulously baroque interior. The church belonged to the Old Catholics, a church peculiar to Holland, which dates from the days when the Pope refused to ratify the local choice for Bishop, and so they broke away from the main body of the Church. There are also ordinary "Roman" Catholics in Holland, which seems a bit odd. Anyway, the church used to be situated in the centre of the city, and was later moved to a new building in about 1910 with all its fittings and furniture. Luckily, too, for the old church was flattened during WW2.

There were some interesting shops and lots of open-air cafes, squares, and summer entertainment (chiefly drum bands and bongo players). I bought English books in a superb bookshop (reviews may follow - of the books, not the bookshop), and was continuously astonished by the quality of English spoken by most Dutch people.

My dental appointment did not take long. I had my tooth probed and X-rayed, cleaned with peroxide, and told there was nothing much wrong with it. Cue much relief. Must have been some over-vigorous brushing.

1 Comments:

At Mon Dec 18, 04:11:00 pm, Blogger C. said...

nice stort about my hometown!

 

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