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Rotterdam, Travel Bloggers Unite Conference

In early May I attended my third Travel Bloggers Unite (TBU) conference. This one was in Roitterdam. The last one was in Porto, my first was in Umbria.

Umbria was by far the best. Why you might ask? Two reasons, food and the post conference tours.

The tourism authorities of each region provide us bloggers with a chance to go around their area and experience it in a five star manner. In exchange they want us to blog about it, so maybe you the reader will decide to go there and spend money. Great deal for us.

This conference was just like the other two. Most of the travel bloggers monetize their sites. They get sponsors to pay them to put ads and links on their posts in the hope that while you happen to be looking at a blog post about, lets say, Bangladesh, you will find the ad from American Express, open it and decide you need an AMEX card. Not very likely, but they DO pay people to do this. I do not monetize because I do not want my site to look like a NASCAR. But more power to those who do. Anyway, that is what the conference itself is mostly about. Plus drinking and more drinking. Then we drink some more.

I go for two reasons.

The first is to get expert advice on improving my readership. Not to impress advertisers, but to massage my ego. The company that attends the conferences to help us is called Caliber.  They are SEO specialists, which means Search Engine Optimization, which means tricking Google into finding you so readers can find you. In my opinion, it is a black art.  At each conference I have tried to get better at it and  had great help from one of Caliber’s gurus named Michael.

michael Briggs, Caliber, TBU

This is Michael after he reviewed my blog. He knows I need help, he is just flabbergasted at my ineptitude.

The other reason I attend are the tours provided by the local tourist authorities.

Rotterdam is a nice city. I wish I could have seen it when the sun was out.  I only took one tour in Rotterdam proper, designed to show us the architecture of the city. Hey folks, I live in Dubai. It is pretty tough to impress me with architecture, unless it is at least medieval if not ancient. Rotterdam was neither. I must have been told five times that “on May 14th 1940 the Germans bombed our city and it caught  fire.” Well with the post war help of the Marshall plan they rebuilt a city, but without any historical reference. The result is a very blah city. But they have a few cool sculptures spotted around.

heart of Rotterdam

This sculpture is supposed to commemorate the destruction of Rotterdam.The flowers are left over from the May 14 celebration. Yes, they still celebrate the city being destroyed. People say the sculpture is incorrect because Rotterdam never lost its heart as depicted here.

The coolest thing about Rotterdam is that everyone has at least two bicycles. Biking is definitely the transportation method of choice.

holland bike lane

Every street in down town Rotterdam, and later I found in every city I visited has these bike lanes parallel to the street. They even separated from the street by a curb. They are seamless for bikers meaning you never have to go over a curb to cross a street. Scooters can use them as well if the have engines under 50cc. No helmets required. I think this goes a long way to explaining why I never saw a fat Dutchman.

Dutch child on Bicycle

They start them young.

That is it for Rotterdam. My next post will be a super cool two day private tour of the Arnhem area given to me by the fine people at regional tourist board. Then another post about my three days in Amsterdam, a city I learned to love. Ar However, I must give them  more time than I have right now, because I am off on another trip this evening to Morocco!

Stay tuned, I have a lot of posts coming up when I get back.







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2 Responses so far.

  1. Desert says:

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  2. Glad I took your advice and looked up your blog. ;o)

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