Until a couple of weeks ago, I had only negative associations with the name "Rotterdam."
- Rotterdam is the setting for the unhappy beginning of the Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card. This series also led me to mistakenly believe Rotterdam was in Belgium.
- Our trans-atlantic shipment of household goods was held hostage in a Rotterdam warehouse for two months.
- Our trip to Prague fell through because our flight out of the Rotterdam airport was canceled.
- We were once nearly stranded in Rotterdam overnight because Dutch public transit stops at 8pm on New Year's Eve. (Kudos to my amazing family for being so chill through that unexpected part of the adventure.)
- And on top of it all, "Rotterdam" starts with "rot." (It doesn't actually mean "rot." In fact, the name "Rotterdam" comes from a word meaning "mud.")
It started when a friend of Clara's noticed that one of the entries on a list of beautiful libraries was in the Netherlands. "Have you been?" she wanted to know. No, we hadn't, but a little digging turned up that it wasn't too far away, so we filed the idea away for later. A couple weeks ago, we had a Saturday free, and decided to go.
This amazing library—the Boekenberg, or "book mountain"—is in a suburb of Rotterdam called Spijkenisse. Here are some pictures from our trip:
That's it for today! Thanks for reading. Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a place you'd put off visiting?