IJburg is a brand new neighborhood constructed on artificial islands in the IJ Lake. There are 6 islands. I went there today to investigate a neighborhood of floating houses. There were about 70 or so floating houses. Half of them were individually designed, quite modern, and chic. The rest were clearly all made in a series by the same designer in a project by one developer. Many houses had large floor to ceiling windows to take full advantage of the nautical ambiance.
You know that feeling you get when you look at gorillas through the glass at the zoo and feel sorry for them? I felt very intrusive walking around the docks of these houses and peering inside. I just snapped off a couple pictures very quickly then moved on out. It felt a little bit to me like I was looking at some of zoo animal–houseboat-dwelling-human. This neighborhood has gotten a lot of media attention since these houses were towed into their permanent moorings. I got the sense these aqua-humans were fed up with the curious visitor after being on the receiving end of their a few chilling glares.
I spent the rest of the day soaking up Amsterdam.
Tomorrow, I have a plane ticket to Stockholm. My mission is to get to Rome before my flight to Argentina takes off on the 28th of October. I’m planning to stop by some other cities that face huge problems with water that will only be exacerbated as seas rise–Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Venice all have some very interesting projects related to what I’m investigating. But, I wouldn’t be opposed to being swept off my feet by a Swedish girl and just row her all around Scandinavia like a viking. I’ll let you know what happens.
I’ve spent 66 days in the Netherlands. 1/6th of the year! (What?!–I feel like I’ve been here a long time, but as soon as I leave I’m sure it will feel very short. Time is a funny thing, eh?)
I need to give a special thanks to Berend, Marco, and these hooligans for putting me up with places to live, pretending to be my friends (as hard as it might have been), and making me more than at home during my time here. It’s been wonderful.
With the 1st XV Rotterdam Student Rugby Club.
Before I left, RSRC gave me a club tie as a departure gift. I left them with my USA bandana. I drew the Bowdoin Rugby crest on it and signed it. They put it on the club bear and put the bear up on their memorabilia shelf.
Dirk and Vasco with the BRFC ‘murica bear.