I was pretty excited this morning about our arrival in Holland. I got up way too early and it was still dark as I watched our sail into Rotterdam. As dawn arrived I enjoyed our cruise up the river toward our docking pier on Holland America Quay. The sights were great especially the occasional wind mill. After we arrived I hooked up with my friends Aart & Yvonne from Rotterdam. It was great to see them again after leaving them after the World Voyage. They had a full day planned for us and we wasted little time. First we visited the Holland America headquarters from 1906-1974 adjacent to the ship. It is now the New York hotel but is an amazing reminder of the past days of Holland America here in Rotterdam. I especially liked the restaurant decked out like an engine room and bridge…very cool. Next we went a short distance to see the retired Rotterdam V, the predecessor to the Rotterdam I just completed a World Voyage on. We then went to see windmills and lots of them. We went to Kinderdijk where up until the 1950s these wind mills drained the marshes. Now they are antiques but amazing to see and photograph. Next we went to the Old Harbor were we saw several sights. First was the White House which back around the early 1900s was the tallest building in Europe at around 10 stories. Adjacent to the White house was a small harbor and old ship building spot where now they have a museum and still do work on old vessels…pretty neat. The strangest things were the “Cubist” apartments. These are really unusual… buildings made in the shape of cubes on end. We went inside and at least the floor was horizontal even if all the walls went off in all directions…amazing. Next was our “high point” of the day….. we went up the Euromast. The first landing is up about 120 meters with a great view of the city and the ship. Then you can get in a revolving platform that goes up to 185 meters proving a very thrilling ride and great views. After our time up in the clouds we sat at a small restaurant in the park and had a nice relaxing lunch. It was so nice to sit and visit with my friends. We will be getting together again in December when we join up on the Amsterdam. After lunch we went to Delfshaven and even checked out an operating windmill and continued to check out the city sights. Our final stop was at the city center of Rotterdam… I even got a photo of Aart & Yvonne in front of the church where they were married some 38 years ago. They must have been about 5 years old at the time….. We then went back to the pier listen to the Rotterdam Shanty singers and had a drink before we parted company (temporarily). It was an amazing day and I thank Aart & Yvonne so much for making it special. I look forward to seeing them again on the Amsterdam in December…..