Thursday, May 27, 2010


I'm back, and I come with pictures!  We had a wonderful, lovely trip to the Netherlands and Belgium.  I am going to play it out a while here on the blog, so be patient.  Today, we start with Delft, home of Delftware pottery and Vermeer, and burial place of the Dutch Royal family.

Here you have one of the bike parking lots at the Delft train station. Notice that I said "one of" the parking lots. People, there were a lot of bikes in the Netherlands. Most people seemed to use really old, rusty, beat up bikes - so that they would be less upset when the bike got stolen or vandalized.

We had perfect weather for the entire trip. Most days were sunny and pleasant - not to cold, not too hot - much better than the weather in Arkansas for the same time period!

I would not want to try to parallel park my car along the canals. Do you see how close they get? And that is the driver's side of the car! I guess you really have to get it right on your test, huh? We never saw anything that gave statistics for the number of cars fished from canals each year, but I would bet, given the amount of alcohol consumed, and the closeness of the maneuvers, that it is a fair number.*

This is the courtyard of our hotel in Delft, Hotel de Emauspoort. If you find yourself in need of a place to stay in Delft, I cannot recommend them highly enough. The food, oh the food... Dutch pancakes, fresh croissants, hard rolls and cheese, fruit salad.  And the room we had was lovely too.

We climbed to the top of the first tower of the trip in Delft.  From it, you could see the giant IKEA (not in this picture), and all the way to Rotterdam and Den Haag.  Over 370 steps to the top, but definitely worth the climb.

The town hall in Delft, the first of several town halls we would see. This square is not on the scale of later squares, but is delightful nonetheless. It was surrounded by tourist shops and restaurants.  In the evening, the cafes were full of people sitting in the sun, enjoying the weather, the food and drink, and their friends.

So, there is the first installment. If you want a fuller, quicker version, you will just have to come hit me up for the slideshow in person. Otherwise, sit tight and more will be revealed tomorrow.

*Update: After doing a Google search for cars in canals in Amsterdam, I came up with several reports of an, err, interesting (illegal) activity that afflicted Amsterdam last summer: Smart Car tipping.


mdvlist said...

Man, I really want a croissant now . . . .

Benjamin said...

I was thinking that as we were walking around--"hmm, it'd be so easy to tip just tip some of those little cars into the canal!" :)