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Rotterdam -- Her Perfect Winter Getaway


Evelyn Hannon

Journeywoman is always on the lookout for a getaway destination that is safe, economical, do-able for a single woman traveller and just a little different. Last winter, I chose the Netherlands, a place I've visited many times before at the height of the summer tourist season. Now, I was trying the flip side--the city of Rotterdam in the off-season and during their International film festival.. Air fares were less, hotel prices down and any tourism hype had all but disappeared. I revelled in Dutch hospitality for one full week and went to the movies many, many times!


Be Weather Wise

The sun might be shining but take note that average December-February weather in The Netherlands is 38 degrees Fahrenheit. So what? Just be prepared for all winter eventualities -- wear a warm coat, thick soled shoes, dress in layers and bring along an umbrella. Too cold? Just pop into one of the many cozy cafes for a cup of wonderful Dutch hot chocolate or a bowl of their famous split pea soup.


January is Reel Magic in Rotterdam

Try to time your trip for the end of January when the city gears up for its annual worldclass film festival. Small enough to be intimate and large enough to host top-notch international directors, this cinematic happening has the harbour city of Rotterdam hopping. The hub of the festival is at the Hilton Hotel with screenings at theaters around the city. From Hollywood big budgets to short independents, a seemingly endless stream of movies are on view from early a.m. to late p.m. There are seminars, workshops and celebrity interviews. Dress is casual, discussions lively and, you don't have to be part of film biz to attend. Who's that interesting looking man having coffee at the Hilton bar? He might be a viewer just like you or he might be the star of the film you're going to see that evening. Go on, chat him up. It's all part of the festival game and, everybody's playing! Concerned about being solo? You really don't have to be. There's so many single people at this event, you're bound to make some new international pals. For further information about the Rotterdam Film Festival see:


Journeywoman Slept Here

In Rotterdam, I chose Hotel Inntel, a no nonsense four-star chain very popular with business people. Modern rooms are small but immaculate. The staff is young and so anxious to please. Location is lovely--close to restaurants, across from underground transportation and, for film festival attendees--just steps away from the IMAX theater. Bonus - almost every room overlooks the city's port. (Leuvehaven 80) Tel: 31 (0) 10 413 41 39




More on Rotterdam...



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