Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The whole place is pickled, the people are pickles for sure

When I first decided that I would visit the Netherlands, I immediately wanted to go to Rotterdam. I had heard that it had the biggest port in Europe/the world/the universe. I don’t know if I can explain why this was such a draw for me; I’m not really a transport geek, or a ship spotter, but I just get a thrill out of seeing big ships, the cranes, the fields of containers, and of course the tugboats! (Thank Little Golden Books for that one). I wrote a bit about the port tour way back here.

I suppose the germ of this interest might have been planted when after I joined the Department of Transport as a graduate in '98 we went on an Industry Tour which included visits to the Sydney Harbour Port and Port Botany. But I only really noticed it a few years later, at a cafe down at the waterfront in Newcastle with my family, and a large coal ship came past us reeeeallly close, and in our excitement we all ran outside to get a better look. Don't mind us, we're from Canberra, we explained to the waitress.

The Rotterdam Port tour was great. I just reread what I posted about it at the time and realised I might have sounded a bit blase about the whole thing, but I promise you I wasn't. We sat right at the front of the big tour boat for the best view, even though it was really super cold after an hour or so if wind blowing in our faces. I wish I'd had my new camera then, and I would have taken a lot more photos. I borrowed a couple of the photos for this post (you know who you are, thanks!)

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