International Sculpture Route
Just one of many things you can enjoy all year round in Rotterdam is the International Sculpture Route. There are over 200 pieces in total including work by Rodin, Naum Gabo and a sculpture by Carl Nesjar (Sylvette) of a Picasso’s painting that is situated outside the Bojimans Van Beuningen museum. Some are big and bold, others like Giuseppe Penone’s Elevazione (below right) are still beginning their relationship with nature. One cheeky piece along the route is by infamous US artist Paul McCarthy entitled “Santa with Butt Plug” (no kids, it’s not a Xmas Tree).
We are arrive at the Cruise Terminal, home to over 60 galleries for the next few days just as the Art Fair is kicking into life and the atmosphere is as good as the coffee. Always a sucker for pop-art I can’t help but love Joël Moens de Hase’s interpretation of Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’. On closer inspection you can see the image is made up of hundreds of bikini bottoms. I can only imagine the late nights Joël spent putting this piece together.
I’m running out of space and haven’t even mentioned the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Kunsthal with it’s fine art and fantastic James Bond retrospective or many of the other shows I visited on my brief time in Rotterdam. A picture can say a thousand words, so here is a gallery of them.
Where to Stay
There are some great places to stay in Rotterdam, recommended is the New York Hotel, but if you want to be close to the museums, galleries and a large number of hip bars stay at the Bilderberg ParkHotel.
My large fifth floor room is soundproof and has cool panoramic windows that face out over the canal and city. The lobby is bright (feel free to ask the time) explore the nooks and crannies and find the classical art hidden round the back. In the Summer there is a lovely patio, but in Feb staying inside feels good.
The Hotels restaurant, The Park is inspired by the two Michelin star chef of Parkheuvel, Erik Van Loo. I had an amazing lunch here in a the sophisticated and unpretentious environment.
Travelling around Rotterdam is easy, pick up a Rotterdam Welcome Card and get 3 days of unlimited travel on the underground and trams for just €17.50. It also comes with lots of useful money off vouchers too, for boat excursions, museum entrances and the like. For more info visit www.rotterdamwelcomecard.com/
All in all I was blown away with Rotterdam and came away energised by the sheer amount of creative talent on display. As a stand alone destination there is more than enough things to do as part of a longer trip to the Netherlands to warrant proper investigation and it’s so close to Amsterdam too. For lovers of art and architecture, take a deep breath and dive in. I for one will definitely be back to explore further soon.
For more info on visiting Rotterdam or any other parts of Holland head to www.holland.com