Day 75 – that means we’ve reached the halfway point of our trip. I’m 3/4 sad and one quarter happy. we’re loving seeing a new place every couple of days, and exploring the crap out of it, to figure out what works, what doesn’t and what makes us happy. We miss our friends, our fully stocked kitchen and not wearing the same thing every day.
We took the short train ride from Amsterdam to Delft in the morning and saw rainbow fields of tulips, and lots of sheep.
Delft is on the itinerary for its car free centre, and though the other visitors were enjoying this aspect, I think they were drawn to the ceramics and paintings. The city came to life without the noise of cars. From the second floor window of our hostel we could hear conversations floating up from the street below, and the chirping of baby ducks on the canal – magical!
The city is definitely proud of Vermeer, their hometown painter. Depiction of Girl with a Pearl Earring were everywhere from street art to a Lego version.
The city is about 100,000 people, and can be walked across in 15 minutes. There are several parkades on the outside of the core, with clear signage and for parking availability, the dirty secret of the car free area.
The city is charming as can be with canals, stepped roofs, colourful awnings and flower boxes. It’s a hot spot for grey hairs, both tourists and residents. It’s also a university city, and we saw and heard some pretty rowdy parties. All in all an interesting mix from both ends of the spectrum.
The canals run through the city, with many buildings abutting them, with doors opening right onto the water. This allows you to pull up a boat and extend the restaurant space.
Theres a pretty great biking scene here. It had none of the formal infrastructure we’re used to seeing, but it isn’t needed in the car free centre. People just hop on their bikes and dodge the tourists. In Amsterdam we learned that kids take a “biking test” at age 12 to be able to ride on their own in the city. Here we saw kids of all ages biking on their own.
The second day we woke up to find an amazing market was lining our street and others in the centre. This wasn’t any old market, where you clean out the attic, it was a hardcore collectors market with a lot of old an interesting stuff. Each stall had someone’s life passion spread over the tables, whether it was coins, pipes, stamps, telephones, book, etc. I’m no expert, but it was so interesting and different from what you’d see at a Vancouver sidewalk sale. We picked up some old postcards and an old key.
It was also international Record Store Day, and our street had 2 record shops for double the fun. There were bands playing outside all day as a tribute to the disappearing records stores.
We found the perfect Cafe with a sunny spot by the window and blogged. Then a perfect outdoor patio for a beer. Then sketching in the plaza.