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Hostel ROOM Cheap Hosel in Roterdam

Posted at:30 August, 2015 in Ambassador Blog

Aug 19 (cont’d)

The woman at the ticket window of the train station asked me how old I was…

…It turns out that if you are under 26, the ticket is substantially cheaper.  I asked her if they ever ask for ID when they are checking tickets.  She said they do.  So, I had to cough up €42.10 for a train ticket from Bruges to Rotterdam.

I had to make two train changes on the way before the train pulled into Rotterdam.  I walked out of the station and found ‘Tram #7’ which took me to Westplein, just a short walk to Hostel ROOM.  Up the stairs of the hostel and as I got close to the reception desk, a girl carrying a box looked and me and said, “You are Beaver!”  It makes me laugh when that happens…  It was Annick, who works at ROOM, a cheap hostel in Rotterdam.

The is the beautiful building that contains a wonderful hostel.

The is the beautiful building that contains a wonderful hostel.

A wonderful dog named Lexie is the queen of the Hostel ROOM who welcomes the people staying with a friendly sniff.  She is a lovely and likes to hang out around the bar as she is very socially interactive.

When the hostel is quiet you can hear her clicking nails as she prances across the hardwood floors.  At some point during the evening, every hosteller will have their hands on Lexie, who certainly gets more attention than any other dog in the entirely of the Netherlands.

I settled in and at 19:00 the Hostel Room took us on a walking tour of the city.  Rotterdam is not a city of mass tourism like Amsterdam, so it feels relaxed here.  It is nice to be in Rotterdam and not be running into hordes of tourists every step of the way.  The walking tour offered by Hostel ROOM is actually the only walking tour offered in this city.  There is no Red Light District in Rotterdam, which is odd considering that even small cities in The Netherlands have them.  Rotterdam is a very different Dutch city.  It was also the first city in Europe to ban cars from the downtown city center.  Rotterdam is also home to Europe’s biggest harbour.

The city was heavily bombed in 1940 during World War II, and it was left in rubble and ruins.  Most of the buildings are from after 1945.  The result is that unlike most of the rest of Europe, Rotterdam looks very modern.  The city became something of an architect’s dream when re-construction began.  Many of the buildings come in very unique and fascinating shapes.  Amsterdam may have character because of its age and the old buildings, Rotterdam has character because of the wonders of its modern design.  The city is beautiful.

Wooden Clog Dog Walking.

Wooden Clog Dog Walking.

The tour took us back to Hostel ROOM at about 21:30 and the hostel bar was busy with people enjoying €2.00 beer.  Because Rotterdam is not associated with mass tourism, there is a different type of backpacker in the hostel.  In the hostel I spoke with backpackers from Hong Kong, Morocco, and Russia: countries that are hard to meet on the road.  It was a treat to have new flavours around!  I stayed up and chatted with the crowd until 01:30 until I started fading and turned in for the evening.

FYI – ‘Tentsletje’ – The Dutch have a word of the year every year and in 2010 it was ‘tentsletje.’  It means ‘tent-slut’ and is a term frequently used at many of the Netherland summer festivals.

Aug 20
Hostel ROOM serves breakfast from 08:00-10:00 and when I got downstairs for it, the tables were full.  A good and social breakfast…

I spent the morning in the hostel and in the afternoon, Annick took Lexie-the-dog and I for a walk around Rotterdam on a personal historical tour.  Rotterdam is fascinating:

-In 1940, the Nazis took over the city.  They landed on the water with ski-planes and moved onto Noordereiland, an island right next to Rotterdam’s center.  A bridge connected the island.  It was a tactical move.

-Civilians on Noordereiland were not allowed to leave the island after the Germans took over.  This must have been a very frightening time for them.

-100’s of German soldiers dropped out of planes by parachute close to the airport and had to make their way to the Noordereiland.  It took a few days for some of them to cover the distance.  The Dutch tried to hold them back.  Some of the Nazis were shot by Dutch civilians on their way to the island.  The Nazis were surprised by the attacks from the Dutch.

Wonderful ladies, Mirjam, Lexie and Monique.

Wonderful ladies, Mirjam, Lexie and Monique.

The Dutch were surprised by the attack on Rotterdam.  It was known that the Nazis wanted The Netherlands to get to Britain, but it was suspected that they would try to take over Den Haag and approach from there because it would have given them better access.

-Dutch soldiers were in the Witte Huis, shooting the approaching German soldiers.  At the same time, the Germans were killing any Dutch who went near the bridge that went to Noordereiland.

-Two German soldiers were permitted to enter into Rotterdam’s central with a note they wanted to deliver to the Dutch.  The note said that the Dutch had to surrender or else the Nazis were going to bomb the city.  The note was poorly written in German, and there was no signature at the bottom.  The Dutch took the note seriously, but questioned it because of the writing and lack of signature.

-Dutch soldiers crossed the bridge to find out who the note was from and got answers.  When the Dutch soldiers began their return with the signed note, they could already hear the airplanes coming.  They were too late.

There was a time difference between The Netherlands and Germany at that time.  The German planes came an hour earlier than expected.  They bombed the city.

-The city zoo was in the center of Rotterdam at that time, and when the bombs were coming, officials of the zoo had to kill any animals that could kill humans because when the zoo walls were smashed, all of the animals would be loose.  They killed all except for two lions. One was a pregnant female and one was a lion that they loved too much to put to death.  The pregnant female survived the bombings.

-Only 850 people of an 850,000 person city died in the bombings because many people had bomb shelters.  However, the city was completely destroyed.

Hostel ROOM.

Hostel ROOM.

I spent some time in the afternoon of the hostel talking with staff and guests.  Hostel ROOM has a really comfortable bar, and they serve food.  If you are hungry, they make the best Tosti’s in town.  I recommend the ham and cheese.  Ask for it to be spicy!  The hostel is just a really comfortable place to spend some time.  It has a loungy couch, loungy chairs and a relaxed atmosphere.  Music plays all day long and there are guitars if you want to make your own.  Hostel ROOM is a big and beautiful building owned by two wonderful women, Monique and Mirjam, who have poured the last nine years of their lives into the hostel.  It is a cozy place to spend your time in Rotterdam.

ROOM Hostel; a cheap hostel in the centre of Rotterdam!

While I was afternooning in the hostel, I had sent out a photo from when I was in Lisbon a week ago.  A friend of mine from the Netherlands happened to comment on it, saying, “If you are ever in The Netherlands again, send me a message.”  I sent him a message to say how ironic it was that I was actually here and that I was in Rotterdam.  He was also in Rotterdam!  Life is awesome when things like that happen.  He was just saying hello, and we happened to be in the same city, but he had assumed I was in Lisbon when he wrote to me.  The chances in life….  So, Vincent and I hung out in city for the afternoon and then came to Hostel ROOM for the pasta dinner that they cook on Thursdays.  The afternoon and the pasta were both fantastic.  They do things well in Hostel ROOM.

Rotterdam is highly underrated.  It is off the tourist radar and is an absolute surprise at what it has with wonderful Hostel ROOM backed up by fascinating history, gorgeous architecture, and a great night scene.  Try the city.  You will like it!

Hostel ROOM Cheap Hosel in Roterdam
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