After a few days in Amsterdam, we traveled to the city with Europe’s Largest, The Rotterdam. A totally different city from Amsterdam, Rotterdam was more like cities in North America with high-rise buildings and wide roads. Comparing to Toronto and New York, this city was very calm and relaxing. Even though with much more population and less area the city was spread out and not congested with concrete buildings next to one another. Something our city planners need to look into in the future when building new high-rise apartment buildings. The Weather was still perfect with light breeze and shimmering sunshine. We took a waterbus tour to the port, my first time being this close to such massive ships. As wind speed started to pick up and the tour cruise sailed from an urban setting to an enormous port, I kept thinking of how goods are transported through the world and each container contains something valuable for someone. How managing the port would be such a challenge along with keeping the containers organized and maintaining ships in shipyards.
UNICEF heritage site Kinderdijk was an example of great expertise the Dutch possess in Water management with 18th-century windmills. consisting of 19 windmills, 3 pumping stations, reservoirs and dikes preventing the low-lying lands in the vicinity from flooding. We visited inside the windmills to see the living conditions for the millers and compared it to our luxury lifestyles of today. On one side our lives occupied with technology and connecting with the world through social media and on the other where TV/internet was a thing of the future and connecting from one windmill to another was hard let alone connecting with the world for “leisure”, how peaceful would their lives be? Most of the class left for Amsterdam but I decided to stay and enjoy the pleasant weather with ice cream before grinding in School begins in few days.
Geographical aspects including; Culture, Ecology, Energy Systems, Historical, water resources and transportation were covered in this trip. At this point, Canada in my mind became a relatively new country with not much history as Netherlands and not as advanced as Netherlands. Our Tour guide in Rotterdam, Dr. David Atkinson showered us with his immense knowledge of geography which kept us focused and interested.