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The benefit of landing on the Sunday was a nice lie-in and to jump straight into activities from the get-go. For anyone who doesn’t know, we are in Rotterdam for the week celebrating Traverse, a travel blog conference which is taking place over the weekend, however the run great events throughout the week.

We will be staying in N-how for the next 8 days, a riverside hotel overlooking the Nieuwe Mass, with the greatest views in town. We keep walking over to the window to stare at the bridge!

With nothing lined up for the Monday, we decided to head off to Rotterdam zoo. The Diergaarde Blijdorp is absolutely gigantic! I strongly recommend using a map if you do visit, we decided to wing it, a slight mistake as we were in there for 5 hours with no idea how to get out.

There was every type of animal, however the one I was most excited about was the red panda’s, of which there were twins. I have never seen these before, so it definitely made my day, as cute in real life as the pictures I have seen on Google.

With more than 1.4 million visitors every year, this is easily one of the biggest attractions to the Netherlands.

Completely destroyed in World War II, the zoo was actually re-build in a new location, as it was originally based near the station.

One great thing about the zoo is that it splits the animals into continents, so you can transform yourself to a different world and imagine you are trekking through the Amazon rainforest or exploring indigenous India.

One thing that always makes me nervous when going to visit zoo’s is the chance that you will see animals trapped in small cages, however this isn’t the case, with plenty of room for the animals to move around.

There is no better way to follow up a full day of animal spotting with a pint of beer and some Dutch food…OK, we ate Italian, but Dutch food is on the list!

In the evening we start the real madness, with the welcome drinks by Traverse. Held at the Hudson bar, I have to admit I was impressed by the bar and the tasty snacks they had available.

Always a messy start to the week, the drinks were flowing and both me and Raquel must have made 10 new friends, however we definitely felt slightly worse for wear the next day.

Tomorrow we will be going on a Rotterdam city tour, followed by some evening drinks. Tot straks!

Written by | tombourlet

Tom Bourlet is the creator of Spaghetti Traveller and has been addicted to travelling ever since taking a roadtrip across the USA.

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