House with Thatched Roof
Home of the the campground manager in Den Helder. Window boxes and lots of flowers in the small front yards also common.
Have had internet problems, but finally able to get back on line so let me bring you up to date on our travels. Sunday May 30, it rained on and off all day so spent the day in the RV playing cards, reading and napping. Looked to be clearing the next morning so left Alkmaar and headed north to the tip of the NL peninsula and Den Helder. It seems like we have traveled a fair distance since we started, but actually we are only about 40 miles north of Amsterdam. It is hard to get used to the short distances. Using the heater each night which burns diesel and driving - we have used only about a quarter of a tank of fuel at this point.
Den Helder is a naval town with a history for ship building. The naval academy is located here. They have an excellent maritime museum which includes a submarine and 2 ships. We spent a good part of Monday at the museum. The Wadden Islands (part of the NL) are just north of Den Helder. The closest and largest is Texel which is about 26 km long and 9 km wide. Mostly farming with
Look at the gulls!
People on the ferry throw bread crumbs to the birds so they follow the ferry all the way to the island to get their lunch.
several small towns. We biked to the ferry and took it to Texel and then spent a good portion of the day biking on the island. Started by going up the eastern side through a field with sheep and then on the dike. Turned inland to Den Burg, the capital. Quaint little town and clearly a tourist attraction. Had lunch in an outdoor cafe in the town square. Lamb is the specialty on Texel which is not surprising when you see all the sheep. I had lamb stew for lunch. Came in a small enameled pot with lid. Nice chunks of lamb in a rich brown gravy seasoned with onions and green peppers. Also had barley in it. Small white steamed potatoes were served on the side in a small ramekin and a small salad also in a ramekin. The potatoes were not buttered, but very flavorful. All in all a delicious meal. David is not big on lamb so he ate at the fish market next door and had fish (red bass) and chips. Also excellent. Wandered through all the shops and then rode our bikes south to the ferry on the west side of the island. Foggy and
Biking on Texel
Biking along the dike on the eastern side of Texel.
gray most of the day, but very pleasant biking.
Packed up Wednesday morning and headed south through Amsterdam with a stop at the Ajax (pronounced I-ax) soccer stadium to take pictures and visit their store. Somewhat disappointing after visiting the Naucamp complex in Barcelona. Continued south to Delft. Got settled in the campground and decided to go for a short walk after dinner. Went to a huge IKEA store and spent over 2 hours looking around. Many rooms and 1 or 2 bedroom apartments on display. The are amazing in their ability to utilize space. There was also a very large cafeteria in the store and it appeared that many families had come there not to shop, but to have dinner.
Today was our day to start seeing Delft. Delft was founded in the 1100's and was the headquarters for William of Orange, considered the father of the Netherlands. This was where he and his family was based while he reclaimed the NL from Spain and is buried here, so much history. Thursday is market day so the entire town square was filled with stalls selling food and anything else you can image. This is also the home
Sheep May Safely Graze
This scene reminds me of that music. Can always tell when getting close to a small village by the church spire in the distance. (South Texel)
of Vermeer the painter. The bell carillon in the New Church (built in the 15th century) as opposed to the Old Church built in the 13th century) is one of the oldest. They range for almost an hour around noon playing unfamiliar pieces, some hymns, and 2 more modern pieces - You Are My Sunshine and I Did It My Way. We did a self guided tour of the old city and then went to the Delft factory for a four of the museum, factory and showroom. Amazing detail and artistry in the Delft earthenware. Our campground is on the edge of a huge park with woods, a large swimming lake and open fields. Finished the day by spending about an hour biking through the park.
Tomorrow we plan to visit more of the city and spend most of the day seeing the botanical gardens.
Very enjoyable visually and the people are very friendly. Very relaxing place to be. The entire country has maintained the heritage of their architecture over time. Even the houses that are obviously new have the same small, brick, high pitched roof appearance. Many still have thatched roofs. With vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists
Food, Wonderful Food!
Weekly market in Delft town square.
on all the streets and roads everyone is focused on what they are doing. Being polite and using common sense seems to be the rule of the road here. People willing to yield to others. Seldom here a horn. We could learn from them. Adieu for now.
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