On Wednesday the conference organizers of the SDN Conference took the speakers on a Holland Tour. We left the conference center and hotel in the morning and headed to Rotterdam. I got to ride with Maurice in his little green Miata, very fun! The countryside is just beautiful and very green.
It didn’t take us long to get to our first destination, a boat that would take us on a harbor tour. This harbor is the largest in Europe and I was told the second largest in the world. They fed us cake and coffee and we cruised around the entire harbor.
I grew up in southern California near the port of Los Angeles so the container ships and cranes reminded me of my childhood.
It was a little chilly for me but it wasn’t raining so I got a lot of great pictures. The architecture of the bridges in Rotterdam is amazing. I took these shots of the Erasmus bridge just as we were passing under it. Maurice also has a great shot of the bridge. I also took shots of the lesser famed "red bridge", I think it’s called the Willems bridge. There are a ton of draw bridges too.
There were also a lot of interesting ships with a single car on top of them. I was told this is because the captain and his family live on the ship and so they park their cars on the top of them.
After the harbor tour we went up into the Euromast, a high tower that looks over the entire city (kind of like the Seattle space needle). There’s a restaurant up there and that’s where we had lunch. Then we walked outside and up a couple scary flights of stairs a little more than halfway up the tower. That’s where we caught a ride in this rotating chamber that took us all the way up to the top. It was amazing.
Next we headed to Amsterdam to visit the largest soccer stadium in the Netherlands, called Ajax Arena (catchy name ;-)). I’m actually a huge baseball and American football fan so this tour was pretty fun for me. However, I think the tour guide realized that were were a bunch of computer nerds so he focused on the technology that runs the stadium more than the team itself.
At the end of the tour we went into the press room and I got up and pretended to give a speech on how I blew the game :-)
After the tours we headed to a "beach house" on a lake where Remi, Steven and Carl made us ribs and burgers. I have to say that this is an amazing and beautiful country and the people are great. It’s really easy to find fun here and I definitely recommend a vacation to this beautiful area of Europe.