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July 2nd 2017
Published: July 2nd 2017
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After a cold sausage roll and cheese croissant, we headed off to Delft where we were meeting Mara for the day. There was track work so a bus took us to Duivendrecht and then the train to Delft. On the train, we found out that there are more than one train company and that we were on the yellow line but had swiped through a blue line turnstile. This meant we would be charged €20 each at the end Apparently, you can claim this back but it takes time. The conductor suggested we buzz at the end and ask them to let us through which we did.

Mara met us at the station and drove us to Rotterdam Harbour to Maasvlakle 2 which is the name of the new port. The visitors centre is called FutureLand. Here we went on a cruise of Rotterdam port. There is massive reclamation and it is one of the world's biggest ports. The visitors centre was excellent with short videos and displays about the port development. A number of fossils have been found as part of the development including mammoths and hyenas.

There are hundreds of wind turbines dotted along the freeway between the port and Rotterdam.

From here Mara took us back to Delft, which is a lovely city to the north of Rotterdam. It is known for its historic town centre and canals, blue and white pottery and the painter Johannes Vermeer. There are a number of historical buildings in the city centre and lots of canals and bridges.

We sat in one of the many squares and ordered apple pie and cream from a place Mara had once worked. She said it was the best apple pie in Delft. It was warm and spicy and very good. We then went exploring. Delft has an Oude Klerk (Old Church) where Vermeer is buried, founded in 1246 and a Nieuwe Kirk (New Church) constructed between 1381 and 1496. This contains the Dutch royal family's burial vault which between funerals is covered with a 5,000kg cover stone. Unfortunately, we wer too late to do the churches.

On the streets are a number of cubes with information about Vermeer's art. There has been much discussion of the location for the painting 'The Little Street' and we visited where they believe it was. There is nothing left of the building Vermeer painted.

Then another square for a snack and drink on another canal. The kitchens are at the canal level as historically the boats stopped for food or to deliver goods. We then went down to get an ice cream which are very popular. There was a queue which Mara said was really short for them. Lovely rich and creamy.

Mara then took us back to the railway station for us to get the train back to Weesp. It was a lovely day and fabulous to spend the time with Mara.

Additional photos below
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2nd July 2017

Wonderful to spend time with Mara. Brings back the happy time she spent at your home.
7th July 2017

An amusing memory of Delft.....We had booked into the "China Hotel" expecting plenty of blue and white. Instead we had a very Chinese hotel complete with Chinese style breakfast and highly glossy Chinese furniture!

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