In my last post about the Van Nellefabriek, I mention there are lots of interesting things to see along the 3-4 km between Rotterdam Centraal railway station and the factory, making the walk very worthwhile.

Some of you have asked what specifically, so I thought I’d post a little photo story about this stretch.

To the Van Nelle Factory –

From the railway station, I walk along Essenburgsingel, with the railway lines about one block to my right for most of the way, past pleasant neighbourhoods like this one.

– past the Mevlana mosque

This pretty mosque is named after a poet, philosopher and mystic, born in present-day Afghanistan, that I am sure you know: Mevlana Jalalod-din Balkhi Mohammad Rumi, better known just as… Rumi. Mevlana was his title. It means ‘my master’.

A Rumi quote is in order, don’t you think? There are so many great ones to choose from, including the ever brilliant

What you seek, is seeking you.

True dat!

– past cherry trees in bloom

The Netherlands is not all about tulips, you know.

Another quote by the mystic:

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favour.

Yes, do that!

– crossing the bridge across the Delfshavense Schie Canal…

… towards the Van Nellefabriek. More about the most beautiful factory in the world in this post.

Yet another:

Work. Keep digging your well. Water is there somewhere.

Don’t give up!

 – and back towards the station (another way)

Returning to Rotterdam Centraal, I take another route, along this side of the canal

I love this quote:

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.

– past this drawbridge

Cannot stop now, can we:

Love is the bridge between you and everything.

– crossing the canal at Mathenesserbrug drawbridge

where I just barely manage to stumble under the barrier…

… before the bridge opens …

Love is the water of life, jump into this water.

– to let boats through …

… including this barge.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

On we go, along Middelandstraat…

… past idyllic scenes like this one

Beauty surrounds us, but usually, we need to be walking in a garden to know it.

– past cosy cafes …

… like this one, intriguingly named Juffrouw van Zanten (Miss van Zanten)

Dance until you shatter yourself.

Yes! Do that, too!

– creatively named hair dressers


(OK, that wasn’t Rumi. But I feel it could have been.)

– and equally creative street art

Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about…

Find that artist!

– back amongst hyper modern architecture

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

– and finally Rotterdam Centraal

Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah… it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

What will be your huge, foolish project?

And there you have it: the briefest of glimpses of a brief stretch of road in Rotterdam. And a bit of inspiration from an ancient source. Happy Monday!

World at a Glance is a series of short articles here on Sophie’s World, portraying curious, evocative, happy, sad, wondrous or unexpected little encounters.