We all have those days when our first intake of breath feels like gas and your room like a prison cell, where you look outside your window and the day looks grey. When you feel alone in your bed but at the same time space is all you need. We all have those days where, perhaps because of an early start or just morning blues, we wish we could just pull the plug for a few hours and do our own thing.

Pretty much a vibe I get from this song by Cigarettes After Sex, a band who has the gift of placing a cloud of melancholia on any given situation.

“Think I like you best when you’re dressed in black from head to toe”

This morning I woke up uncommonly early and the feeling of distressing calm washed over me, converting my morning through monochrome filters. I sat by my laptop with the intention of doing some coursework but then thought better of it. Why waste a good input for a blog post? It wouldn’t be my blog without a bit of sadness here and there after all. So that got me thinking, what can you do in Rotterdam in these lonely mornings to aid the alarming calm taking over you?

Personally, I love walking, it chills me out and gives me space for thought, which is especially needed in this kind of mornings. So I choose the right playlist, get myself into a cosy jumper and I’m ready to set out to walk for a few hours with no direction. If you’re gonna pace back and forth in your room, you might as well do it outside and explore your city in the meantime, right?

If you want to follow my lead, here’s my advice for Rotterdam inhabitants: go for a walk through the Euromast gardens, starting your day with some nature and ending up by the river with an amazing view of Rotterdam south. I love the Euromast gardens – there’s just something about them, the fact that they start in the middle of the city, walk you through a beautiful maze of trees and nature and take you right next to the water where you can admire the whole city in the solitude of your mind. Either in the early morning or late evening, this view is absolutely stunning and can help any lonely heart channel their inner thoughts into something good. Alternatively, chilling at the Museum Park is also great, especially when it’s warm enough outside to sit down without freezing to death. I used to go there in my lonely afternoons back in September, making the most of the sun and the nature for writing inspiration.

Another nice walk to tidy up your mind is to walk along the Maas, starting from the Erasmus bridge and going towards Kralingen. This time you walk entirely by the river. If you go down the steps on Boompjeskade, you end up on a quiet path right next to the Nieuwe Maas, which takes you all the way up to Oosterkade – where the street ends. Again, the view of the city from this spot is breathtaking and you can chill without the dodginess of the Euromast gardens, if you care about that.

I don’t think there’s anything better than having the right music streaming in your ears as you look out on your city through glazed eyes. Urban Dictionary describes this occurrence as looking into something without actually seeing anything, which I feel describes my mood perfectly.

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Having the entirety of the place you live – your home, if you will – laying in front of you, staring back at you with its dancing lights, can be the most calming thing, as you bore your eyes into the vision and your mind runs wild.

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If you live on Noordereiland or in Zuid (relatively close), a walk around the island can also soothe your mind. Get to the end of the strip of land and you will be welcomed by an amazing view of the Erasmus bridge from below, as well as being hugged by a multitude of lights shining from both sides of the city.

I love this spot in Rotterdam. Because it is an island in the middle of the Maas, you can get very, very close to the water. Being born and bred in a sea city, famous for its harbour, and originally from the south, which is famous for its beautiful beaches all over, the sea calms me like nothing else can. It reminds me of my childhood and it makes me feel home. Who knows where these drops of water have been before? To me it’s absolute magic. So any place which brings me closer to the water is a little heaven for me, which is why I absolutely love this little gem in the heart of Rotterdam. Here you can sit down and relax, while at the same time you are literally surrounded by the business of the rest of the city. A beautiful contrast, don’t you think?

Last but not least, if it’s raining outside, or too cold, or you just don’t want to get out – that’s okay too. Heat up some water, pour yourself a steaming cup of tea and chill by the window or listen to the songs I suggested (or any other that you like!).  To me, having a hot drink next to me as I sit by the window, possibly with a book in my hand, is the most perfect way to spend a lonely morning – admittedly one that I choose pretty often. So whatever you decide to do, I hope you have an amazing morning and that this little cloud of sadness doesn’t throw you off. It’s okay to feel sad sometimes and it’s okay to want to be alone from time to time. We all need our time off from the world.

That said, I wish you all a beautiful week and a nice walk wherever you are!

See you at the next post,

Elena

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