Published: June 6th 2010June 6th 2010
We have continued in Delft over the weekend which turned rainy on Sunday afternoon so will take a few minutes to write while sitting in the RV with the door open to enjoy the fresh air and watch it rain. Friday was our longest biking day so far about 25-30 miles. The route was 24 miles, but we took several wrong turns and had to backtrack so added extra miles. One nice thing about the NL - because it is all level backtracking isn't really bothersome. We biked from Delft to Hoek von Holland. It is a small town at the mouth of the waterway from Rotterdam into the North Sea and the port for the ferry we will take to England. Thought it would be a pleasant day's ride and give us the opportunity to get our ferry tickets and locate a hotel to stay in after we turn in the van at the end of June. The temp was in the mid-high 70's and clear blue skies. Beautiful day for biking. Saw some pretty country, but also more populated and industrial than most of our other rides. Went by many large greenhouse and nursery complexes along the way. The
This group was doing some type of parody, but since all in Dutch couldn't understand specifics.
majority of the trip was on excellent bike paths paralleling the freeway. Got the tickets, located a hotel, and wandered around town a bit before heading back to Delft. Left the RV around 11:00 am and returned around 6:00 pm.
Saturday we biked a short distance to the Botanical Gardens in Delft. Signage very small and discreet so again did some wandering to find it. The Botanical Garden is part of the University of Technology in Delft. The focus is on plants with economic or technological importance rather than beauty so many green plants edible or toxic and very few flowers. Extensive labeling. Small, but quite interesting. We then headed to the market area for lunch and to visit the Old Church and the Princenhof which was William of Orange's compound. Very busy with a street fair atmosphere. Many vendors of the flea market variety as well as usual food vendors. Interesting street musicians. Almost got a picture of a man dressed somewhat like a “toy soldier” playing a bass drum with a flame coming out the top and blowing a whistle. Also several street performers drawing large audiences. Came upon a wonderful mime group that also performed musically
The courtyard of the compound where William of Orange lived and was murdered. The surrounding buildings were a convent before William chased the Spanish and all catholics from the country.
(violin, trumpet and accordion). Stopped to watch and I worked my way to the front of the crowd to see better and get some photos. Oops! I got drawn into their performance. Was “courted” by one of the players and received a flower, 2 balloons and a kiss. No pictures since I was holding the camera during this.
Sunday started out cloudy with predicted rain so biked to the market square to go to the Vermeer Center. Small center dedicated to his work located in the old St. Lucia's Guild House. This is the guild for potters, weavers and artists. He was a member. Very well done museum with a lot of information on Delft during Vermeer's time (1600's), his painting technique and replicas of all his paintings. He only did about 37 that are known. Very interesting and all signage in both Dutch and English which made it even better. Wandered through the market square again with street performers and some type of contraption display. Started to rain a little so had lunch in a little cafe and then biked home in the rain - only about a mile so not bad. Tomorrow we head south to Belgium
The street lamps in the Princenhof are delft as is this large bench in the courtyard.
with Brugge as our first stop.
There are more photos below