ROTTERDAM –  SPORTS CITY

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by Manuela Cosar   

Rotterdam is promoting itself as a sports city (www.rotterdamsportstad.nl), and indeed if you are into sports then Rotterdam, with its yearly international sports events, is the city to be!   With easy availability of tickets, organised access and the intimacy of the events it makes it possible to experience a close catch of the sport and your idol.

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My first event in Rotterdam was an indoor bicycle race at the Ahoy (zesdaagserotterdam.nl) where I learned about a very special way of indoor bicycle racing, that I had never seen before.

Then, I went to the ABN Amro world Tennis tournament during the weekdays and had the occasion to enjoy some of the top tennis players of the world playing in just 2 meters distance right in front of me! I saw Tommy Haas loose his game and Marin Cilic with his impressive services. (abnamrowtt.com)

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The next event I didn’t want to miss as a former rider, was the Chio Rotterdam, (chio.nl/) right in Kralingen where I live. It takes place every June and again the Best of the Best are there. I went there in 5 minutes by bike and I spent 2 full days at the grounds watching my greatest Idol German rider Ludger Beerbaum warming up and working his horse before going into the arena. Rodrigo Pessoa with his Brazilian entourage was there as well, and of course, the top horses of the world, worth a fortune.  What an experience!

You can find your sport or discover new sports on the calender of following webpage:

sportevenementenkalender.nl

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For your own sport activities there are very good organizations and clubs in Rotterdam. If at first you cannot find one which suits you and find the right group to take part in, you definitely need some patience and trial and error here! I personally had quite an issue to find a suitable swimming pool and am still not satisfied by the training offered.

Concerning running, there are a lot of clubs which offer training at all levels. You can also take part in a lot of running events around Rotterdam, and almost every weekend you can find runs in various towns, not to forget the Rotterdam Marathon, famous for being one of the fastest in the world, of course, no hills to climb! Have a look at this calendar for running: www.looptijden.nl

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Another great experience is the summer Roller Skate event every Wednesday night in summer in Rotterdam. Roads are closed and hundreds of roller skaters meet to have one (or more!) beers and then skate around the city. As I didn’t want to miss this experience I trained several times on my new roller skates on the bicycle path around the Kralingse lake. Despite that, it was a real challenge, both in terms of speed, surface and distance, but worth it!  Dutch kids probably grow up on that device, so people are extremely balanced and speedy. Maybe I take some lessons before I do it again next year, so at least be able to set the brakes!   www.wednesdaynightskate.nl

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CINEMA

Are you fed up with blockbusters at Pathe? Then an insider’s tip for a nice art cinema is the Lantarenvenster, located very close to the Hotel New York. You have movies in their original language around the clock, and each film we watched was special. As the films are subtitled in Dutch, you have also quite a language learning effect as well, supposing you understand the movies original language!

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Not far from Hotel New York, crossing over to the south, by foot/bike over pedestrian bridge Rijnhavenbrug you find the area of Katendrecht. If you come by car you can park on Veerland and around Deliplein. Obviously this is now one of the coolest spots in Rotterdam, a bit alternative and definitely very gezellig! You find lots of cafes around Deliplein, but you must have a beer at Kaapsebrouwers (www.kaapsebrouwers.nl/). You can buy exotic food at various stands or buy a Dutch cheese plank and then sit outside where the young and fancy hang out. Watch the opening hours, the shops inside are closed in the evening.

THE event here is the night of the Kaap (this year on 6. 9. 2015 (www.denachtvandekaap.nl), where you pay an entrance to the area and then have lots of music bands playing.

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SHOPPING

Rotterdam has a very good downtown shopping area in Meent, Lijnbaan and Beurstravers, but parking and moving from one place to another can become an issue so take public transport. Rotterdams Mega Shopping is Alexandrium (www.alexandrium.nl/), where you can find all kind of stores/products all close to each other. If you need furniture, the place with the most choice is Woonmall.

If you want to buy your furniture and decoration cheaper you just go close by to WoonStore (www.woonstore.nl/), as they have everything you need for a new home at discount prices! While reaching Alexandrium is easy by public transport (Metro Rotterdam Alexander or Oosterflank) it would be better to take your car when going to WoonStore.

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