Despite the unsettled weather, we set out in the early afternoon toward Rotterdam. We took an indirect route, as I wanted to travel over the Zuidplaspolder, said to be the lowest point in the Netherlands.
I had read on the internet that the Zuidplas lake had been reclaimed by the engineer JA Beijerinck, to the plans of William I, between the years 1818 and 1839. The polder is now about seven metres below sea level.
Standing by the roadside in the pouring rain, I tried to imagine the expanse of fields and business parks being one day resubmerged.
As we drove into Rotterdam, I asked Tom to stop as I noticed we were in the district of Prins Alexander. I knew little about the place, except that it used to be fenland. I looked around for signs of water drainage among the houses.
I was unable to photograph the area as much as I would like, as I was stopped and questioned by the police. They explained that there had been a great many break-ins in the area, and they had found my photography suspicious.
The sun now beginning to shine (albeit briefly), we travelled for about 45 minutes around the city and across the port of Rotterdam: what seemed to be the most vast and impressive industrial landscape I had ever seen.
At the end of many kilometres of what was once under water, we arrived at the FutureLand museum, where the Europoort finally meets the sea.
I was interested to visit the museum, as it was dedicated to the current work to extend Rotterdam further into the North Sea. The exhibition was more oriented toward children than I would have preferred, but it did include some interesting fossils and prehistoric flints.
We stopped for soup in the cafe and by the time we left it was dark and once again raining. By way of the Maassluis-Rozenburg ferry, we crossed the Nieuwe Waterweg and returned to the Hague.