Destined to be a port, Rotterdam became the most non-Dutch city of the country. It is the only city in the Netherlands headed by Muslim mayor, it is also a home for the largest Caribbean diaspora and even has its own China Town. Innate inhabitants and comers are almost equally numbered here. But if we look seven centuries back, we will see only a modest settlement on the Rotte River protected by dam from floods.
A small fishing village reborn into the world's largest port? Sure! Strategic location of Rotterdam – it is comfortably settled on the banks of the Rhine and the Meuse rivers – predetermined its hasty growth from the end of XIV century until today. Hundreds of thousands cargoes passing through the Dutch port were transported through waterways into Germany, France, Switzerland, thereby forcing the city to grow new and new harbours and maritime terminal in order to cope with the powerful stream. Later, thanks to the artificial channel, large ocean-going vessels began to be serviced there.
Rotterdam attained a Phoenix-like fate. Hitler's bombardment of the city, which lasted for five days, resulted into scorched earth and buildings demolished to the ground. But both city image and blown docks were quickly restored, and since 1962 the Dutch port has been the busiest in the world, holding the lead for no less than 42 years.Photo ipanematravels.com
Rotterdam strikingly distinguishes from the capital by its hard-working nature. As the locals often joke: money is spent in Amsterdam, and earned in Rotterdam. The city is in constant motion - no idleness. Perhaps it is a reason for the city to look younger. Not every tourist believes in the venerable age of Rotterdam staring at the Netherlands highest skyscrapers located in the city heart (the country's largest office centre Maastoren extends to the sky at 164 meters, and the most grandiose residential building in Rotterdam the New Orleans has a height of 158 m).
Only sky is the limit, armed with this motto the architects turned a working town into some kind of Manhattan on the Meuse. It's New York City which comes into mind while walking through Wilhelminapier – the place with the largest concentration of skyscrapers and offices. From here through futuristic, reminiscent of swan Erasmus Bridge one can reach Rotterdam centre with its incredible cubic structures (roofs shaped like inclined parallelepipeds), the White House and the basilica in the late Gothic style – the Great Church.Photo architecturaldigest.com
Going to the old port area of Delfshaven, note that you risk to repeat our mistake and not to reach it before dark. Explanation of this phenomenon is not in a long multi-kilometre road, but in numerous museums nested on the way: the Boijmans-van Beuningen (a collection of paintings including works by Rembrandt, Brueghel and Rubens), Chabot (dedicated to the works of this artist) and Kunsthal sadly remembered for bold theft of eight paintings in 2012. And a final flourish is the Netherlands Architecture Institute located nearby and featuring one of the world largest collections in this form of art.
And yet, coming to Rotterdam, you should clearly understand what you want to see the most as the choice directly depends on the season. For instance, if you come into the city in summer, late July - early August, then you will meet colourful carnival that fills the air with the Caribbean and Latin American melodies. In September residents celebrate the port fest resulting in a water parade. And the first month of the year Rotterdam International Film Festival is held, which involves mostly alternate film directors.Photo trover.com
And let’s add for Amsterdam fans that there are also coffee shops in Rotterdam, and prices there, by the way, are lower than in the iconic city on the Amstel. Another difference of the local entertainments from those of the capital, is that nightclubs support mostly hip-hop music, not techno. On this remarkable differences seem to be over. And it is up to you there to go first. But we advise to visit both cities.
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.
Kyrgyzstan is called Middle Asian Switzerland. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, caves, cols and green meadows aren’t a speck inferior in terms of aesthetics to European ones yet travelers haven't duly appreciated this country so far. Across-the-board exploration of the land by the state’s guests has only just begun. And alongside hotels that are being swiftly erected, ordinary yurts are still offered for residence to feel local natural.
Six million years ago, in faraway Mongolia a deep crater of an extinct volcano was gradually filled to the brims with water, turning into a wonderful lake. Water ran high with gusts of wind, and sparkled in the sun like precious jewel, so no wonder that along with the official name of Hövsgöl Lake, this nature wonder has a more poetic name of the Dark Blue Pearl.
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
Marina Orlova is a project manager in a cultural and public organization. Working on one of her international projects, she met her love - Wim, a guy from Belgium. She succeeded to visit his country only when Ukraine obtained visa-free regime and Marina shared with OUTLOOK her observations about how the Belgians live, what they eat for breakfast and how they relax.
Iceland is a ‘country of ice and fire’, ‘country of thousand rivers and lakes’, countless waterfalls and geysers. There, like in a fairy tale, again and again, you feel like pinching yourself to check if you are dreaming or does it all really exist…
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
Someone compares Jaipur with lace tablecloth; others with a box of pink marshmallows; and some admirers claim this is a hive densely inhabited by bees. However, everyone agrees on one thing: there is the wonderful air full of freedom which cannot be found in Europe. It fills the lungs and breathing it a traveller loses count of hours and even centuries.
Telling about transport means which became a symbol of some city, it would be an amiss to forget about bikes in Amsterdam. Anyone who has ever been in the Dutch capital, will never forget neither countless cyclists hurrying in swarms through the streets, nor the magnificent infrastructure that contributed to a bike as a safe, environmentally friendly, healthy and the easiest mode of transport.
In Japan there is a city with the citizens who trust each other. It seems that they drink water from one source that flows along their houses. As well, they wash hands after the meals in the same places. Satoyama in translation means an ideal place for life in harmony with the nature. It is situated in Northern prefecture Gifu that is isolated from the rest of the world with the mountain tops and rice fields.
They build ice hotels and carve ice fountains pouring white wine, make samovars and even kerosene lamps. Photographers went even far and got the hand to use dry ice to create the effect of smoke and fog in picture. In the spirit of holidays, OUTLOOK prepared for you a selection of the world most popular ice arenas.
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
When moving to a new country, more often than not people tend to get settled nearby emigrants like themselves. It is pretty convenient: accommodation isn’t expensive, job can be found right on the location and there is no need to study a new language – everyone around understands you. This is how national ghettos appear.
Judging by the reviews of the majority of tourists who visited Istanbul, many of them did not reach Asian part of the main Turkish metropolis, or did not have a proper walk there. The best case, they just saw SabihaGökçen International Airport and ferry docks, a destination of leisure cruses from Europe, where on the way one can feed with bread seagulls swooping overhead.
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several days there and told us about Prague charms.