12th Feb, 2013
We docked at Rotterdam today at 0600 hrs. Shriyansh had a lot of work today but I really wanted to go out so we decided to go for just a couple of hours. The agents arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the jetty and take us to a small town 20 minutes away called Brielle. We had to make a quick stop at the Immigration office to get my passport stamped.
As soon as we entered Brielle, we were awestruck. The little town was picturesque. The roof-tops of the houses and the streets were partially covered with snow. The taxi driver dropped us on a bridge which ran over a canal. The canal had ducks and little boats. There were little lanes running across the town. We walked straight, towards whichever way looked pretty. The lanes were full of shops, pubs and restaurants. Most of the people were cycling around; very few cars.
We found a 'petit restaurant' in one of the lanes called ‘Grimbergen’. It looked like a small family-run restaurant. My menu was in Dutch so the owner got me an English menu. We ordered 2 Hoegaardens, a Stamppot and a ..hmm..i can't remember it's name but was basically a sausage, some bacon and some julienned onions inside a hot-dog bun. It came with a sweet dark sauce. It was delicious!! As recommended by the waitress, we ordered the 'hutspot' (carrot and onion) Stamppo. It was mashed potatoes stuffed with mashed onions & carrots with a sausage. That, too, was delicious!
We had just an hour with us and had to meet the cab which was going to take us back to the ship at 1500 hours. So we quickly finished our scrumptious food and continued walking through the rest of Brielle. We clicked pictures of the lanes, the houses, the museum, everything that caught our eye.
We then started to head back to the bridge (our pick-up point) and dropped in at a department store nearby. The store had a hundred different types of meat. Yumm! But we couldn't take any back to the ship. So we walked ahead. As soon as we reached the next aisle, Shriyansh looked like a little boy who's just walked into a candy store. We bought Gummy bears, Snickers, Mars, Chocolate waffles, Marshmallows, ready-made Ham Soup... We then headed out to the bridge.
We waited for the taxi lady. It was really cold outside. Zero degree! After a 20 minute wait, we assumed she won't be coming and decided to look for another taxi. Just then a suited chauffeur walked up to us and asked "British Kestrel?" Apparently the other driver's shift ended so this guy had to come. He took us to the Immigration office first. Then we proceeded to the security office for Team Terminal where we had to get our access card for entry into the terminal. The taxi, then, dropped us back to the jetty.