Friday, September 4, 2009

On To Delft (9/4/09)

Delft Tile circa 1650

Loads of gorgeous, old, funky doors, many of them tucked into the narrowest places! Looking across the main market square
Oude Kerk, built in 1246.  Yes, it is really leaning that much!
Final resting place of Johannes Vermeer.

Stairwell in the Princsenhof Museum.
The masonry work was absolutely exquisite in this building
I'm having a challenging experience with my internet connection (or mostly lack thereof) this evening.
I took some pleasing photos with my SLR and had to give up trying to upload them earlier.  Perhaps, after I get this post online, I'll make another attempt.
We traveled to Delft by train from Amsterdam today.  The trip took about an hour.  We passed numerous flower fields, along with pastures where cattle grazed that looked like bogs.  Each field is surrounded by a small canal, and everything looks quite soggy.  One can only imagine what the area looks like during tulip season, something I hope to see one day.
The weather ran the gambit:  we began with cloudy, chilly, and blustery this morning in Amsterdam, followed by sunny and windy (still cool) when we arrived into Delft.  We were lured into a false sense of security and left our jackets and umbrellas in the hotel room, only to get caught in a squall while we sat in an outdoor cafe (fortunately we were under a large market umbrella).  After trying to wait it out we decided to get wet and sprinted back to our room.  We made hot tea and listened to the street noise below us for awhile.
Armed with more layers, we ventured back out into the weather to find a restaurant.  Tim mentioned a wonderful place he had dined when he was here in June so we went back.  An interesting place, De Waag (The Scale) was originally the town market scale building:  merchants brought their wares into town via the canal, stopped at the back of the building and brought their items in to be weighed, then out to the market square to be sold.  The original part of the building was constructed in the 1100s.  The balance used for the scale was hanging directly above our heads.  I loved looking at the old brickwork, not only in this building but throughout the city.  I took some photos of the wall surface, and if I can be patient long enough to upload them I will post to the blog.
Delft is a much smaller city (population around 75,000) and has managed to retain the old-world presence in not only the architecture, but the general feel of the place.  
While we sat in the market square this afternoon we witnessed 6 wedding parties emerge from the Town Hall.  While most of them emerged and got into vintage automobiles or stretch limos, the final couple rolled down the ramp of the courthouse on a bicycle, bride seated sideways on the front fender in typical Dutch fashion!  The proceeded to ride around the square two or three times before heading off to their reception.  What fun!

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