Samen Hier online event#2: Tino’s tour of Rotterdam
“Welcome to Rotterdam”- those are the words city guide Tino started his virtual tour with during the second online event of Samen Hier.
Tino van den Berg is a photographer and city guide at SeeRotterdam and SeeBreda. He has been participating in Samen Hier since the start of this year, together with his friends from “Team Groos”. Weekly, they spend time (online) together with Anis and his family, who fled from Syria to the Netherlands. Tino immediately responded with great enthusiasm to the idea of organising an online event for participants of Samen Hier: “This tour is a big first for me as I will be doing a digital tour for the first time in my life, who knows, maybe this could be the future,” Tino says optimistically.
Tino took the 26 participants from Rotterdam, Almere, The Hague and Haarlem on a journey through Rotterdam via Google Maps and Streetview. The tour guided the participants alongside highlights of the city like the Central Station, the City Hall and the Market Hall. Tino’s lively stories and interesting facts about Rotterdam were combined with a quiz about the city. Did you know, for example, that Rotterdam Central’s nickname is “Station Kapsalon”? And that the bell-ringer of the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam can play your favorite song for you?
“The great thing about giving an online tour is that you can show the city from a wide range of perspectives. It’s like having a helicopter flying over the city, which you can jump out of every now and then to walk through the streets”(City Guide Tino).
One of the highlights during the tour was the online visit to the Laurenskerk, the only remnant of Rotterdam’s medieval city center. Tino told the participants that this particular church was severely damaged during the bombardment of Rotterdam in World War II, and that it took almost two decades to renovate the church. Jan, one of the participants from Almere, could still remember how much work it took to restore the church: “I worked in Rotterdam for eight years and when I left the church was just finished, that’s when we were allowed to visit for the first time. So many stonemasons had been working on it, it is massive what happened over there. ”
After the virtual tour through Rotterdam, the participants also competed against each other in an exciting quiz about other Dutch and foreign cities. Some Samen Hier participants had prepared quiz questions about their city (of birth), which included not only Samen Hier cities such as The Hague, Haarlem, Almere and Rotterdam, but also Damascus and Asmara. The teams had a heated discussion in their WhatsApp groups about the answer of the question ‘Which river flows through Damascus’? ‘And what is Asmara’s nickname?’ Now we know that the answer to the first question is the Barada river, and that Asmara is also known as “Little Rome”.
Anis asked questions about Damascus, the city he comes from. The Samen Hier participants were surprised to learn that Damascus is between 8,000 and 10,000 years old.
The excitement went on in the WhatsApp groups for quite some time, but in the end Tino announced the final score. The Samen Hier community said goodbye, pleased to have so many new impressions of Rotterdam, and to know the rest of the Samen Hier community even better.