Hotel Emma, Rotterdam: Our home from home

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Hotel Emma is located near a busy intersection on Nieuwe Binnenweg

After all the excitement of flying from Cape Town to Amsterdam, and then taking the train to Rotterdam Central Station, my friends and I were feeling rather tired. We walked south along the Westersingel with our heavy suitcases and rucksacks, until we reached the hotel, where we would be staying for a week.

Hotel Emma is located on the intersection of the Westersingel and Nieuwe Binnenweg, around the corner from a Metro station on the Eendrachtsplein and with a tram stop right on our doorstep.

Hotel Emma in Rotterdam – our home from home!

From the big windows of our comfortable room, we had a wonderful view of the bustling street below. While my friends unpacked and settled in, I sat on the window sill for a bit, gazing out at the trams, the cars, the pedestrians, and the hundreds of cyclists – all weaving in and out of each other without colliding. It was an extraordinary sight.

In the coming days, we grew really fond of Hotel Emma and its super-helpful and friendly staff.

Every morning, Reggie and I would head off on our own to explore the city, while Richard and his work colleagues attended the Square Kilometre Array Engineering Meeting at the De Doelen conference centre, not far from the Central Railway Station (the one that looks like a shark emerging from the ocean!). We always had lots of questions about things to do, and how to get to certain places, and how to use the public transport system, and things like that – and the friendly people at the hotel reception seemed to know everything.

After all the excitement of flying and taking the train and walking from the station to the hotel, I need a little nap

When our feet were tired from so much walking, we returned to our hotel room for a little rest. Each day, the bed would be freshly made, and we would find crisp clean towels in the bathroom, and shampoo and moisturiser on the sink – it was like magic! The friendly house elves always left new sachets of tea and sugar and stroopwafels (I think that is Dutch for syrup waffles) laid out next to the kettle above the small fridge, where we kept some fresh milk for tea, and some fruit to snack on during the day.

Oh! Those stroopwafels were soo delicious! They came in a small packet, and were deliciously sweet and creamy and softly crunchy – just perfect to munch with a restorative cup of tea. Reggie and I always made ourselves some tea with a little snack, and then sat at the window, leafing through our guidebook and the brochures we had picked up, connecting to the free Wifi to look up things, and discussing our plans for the rest of the day.

I must say, I really enjoyed that week in Rotterdam with my friends.


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