Rotterdam and Schiedam
Our annual Guys Weekend with the friends we know from traveling was back on the program for Saturday, July 4th 2020. A difficult one for the organization this time. Why? Covid 19. Several activities that had been planned long before the corona crisis could no longer take place. Including a boat trip with the watertaxi through the port of Rotterdam. Perfect for a day like this. You can bring your own drinks and you can discuss with the captain where you want to go and where you ultimately want to be dropped off again. But unfortunately, there could not be more than 4 people on the boat and that is why we had to leave it out if the program. This didn’t mean that we had less fun that day; after all it’s a weekend with the boys. OBCB.
When and how long
July 4th – 1 night
As mentioned in the introduction, this date has been set long before the Corona restrictions. As always, the datepicker has done its job again. That is often the biggest challenge for groups of men, most of whom are also fathers. But it had worked again. And the good thing was… The day fell in the middle of summer. Nice weather, sitting on the terraces, cycling a bit, sailing a bit, you would think we would be outdoors all day. But unfortunately, the weather was not our friend this day. It rained all day, so the organization had to have a plan B if the rain would be too bad. Luckily, that was not the case. We were able to cycle everything and keep to our initial program.
How many persons
The group in this guys weekend consists of men from all over the country. It is a group that knows each other from traveling around Asia, Australia and the Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing and has a reunion Guys Weekend every year.
€170,- per person. Everything included.
Stadscamping Rotterdam. Costs: € 34 p.p.p.n. including bike rental.
Eating meat balls, a gin tasting at the Loopuijt distillery, golf driving range, eating the best spare ribs in Rotterdam and cycling from activity to activity.
The Ballentent for lunch and Cafe ’t Have Maatje for the best ribs in Rotterdam.
Due to the bad weather in the evening, we stayed in the nice, warm and cozy “living room café” ’t Halve Maatje.
The campsite is really perfect for such a Boys Weekend. You can bring your own tent, but they also have very simple log cabins. Very small ones for 2 people, with literally only 2 beds in it, and also slightly larger for 4 people. We chose 2 huts for 4 people, as we could take into account the 1.5 meter Corona distance a little better. The campsite also rents out bicycles, which is of course also very handy, because you can leave the car at the campsite. The center of Rotterdam is fifteen minutes by bike, and close to the campsite is the golf course and also the café where we had dinner in the evening. The showers and other facilities were clean and tidy. The costs were very reasonable if you ask our opinion.
The day started with laying a good foundation in the form of a good lunch. And where better to do that than in the Ballentent. A beautiful location on the Maas river. De Ballentent has been a notorious name in Rotterdam for years and has a nice history story. And just to be clear; The pub owes its name to the fact that in the past all sorts of “balls” (as the local harbor people called the YUP’s) came for a drink. And not for the tasty meatballs they prepare for you.
With a full stomach, a bike ride was scheduled to a secret bar in Schiedam. Loopuyt Gin is a fairly new and unique local gin brand with its origins in Schiedam. And anyone who buys a bottle of Gin has the chance to be invited to exclusive parties in this secret bar. Each bottle has a wooden coin in the cap. And with this coin you can register for a drink in the secret bar. I would recommend this to everyone as it is a fun experience. By the way, boxing matches are also held in this secret bar between bartenders who sell the Loopuyt brand. We were lucky to know someone (also from the trip through Asia) who works at this fun and innovative Gin brand, and so we got a private tour and gin tasting.
From Schiedam we went back to Rotterdam to watch the first qualifying race of the Formula 1 “corona season”. A nice pub for this is Café Bergpolder. Here they have big screens for sports and for the people who don’t like Formula 1 there was a billiard table, a pool table and dart boards.
And because this group came together during their travels and met each pther through the shared passion for sports and everything that comes with it, a sports-related activity had to be organized. The organization found a nice golf driving range nearby. Here we could hit balls for an hour for € 12 per person. Everyone got 120 balls for that. Just enough for us at the time.
After playing golf it was a 10-minute bicycle ride to Café ’t Halve Maatje. This is the cafe of yet another connection of traveling in Asia. They serve the best lagers and the tastiest spareribs in Rotterdam (and maybe even the Netherlands). Because the weather was very bad, we decided to spend the rest of the evening here and do our ranking the stars. We wanted to go to a few nice cafes with craft beers, but unfortunately that was not possible, as we had nowhere to go with 7 people due to the corona measures. As an option we had Sijf, Cafe Boudewijn, Yellow canary or Bokaal. These were tips from the owner of ’t Halve Maatje and our connection of Loopuyt Gin.
The next morning we had a nice breakfast in the nearby Van der Valk hotel. Here you can have unlimited breakfast and drink coffee and tea for € 19.-.