03 Oct Europe trip 2 October 2018
One of the really good things about travelling in Europe is the modern and efficient railway system. Even better is using a prepaid Eurail Pass to hop on and off trains wherever you want without having to buy tickets. Yesterday we planned to go to Delft via Rotterdam, but the line was closed due to technical issues so we looked at the schedule in the station and decided to go to Nijmegen instead to visit the statue of Frans’ ancestor Bishop Ferdinandus Hamer. The Bishop was a missionary in China and suffered a horrific death in the Boxer uprising.
Next we went to s’Hertogen Bosch to see the ancient cathedral of Saint John. It is very ornate inside and out and very well maintained. We had lunch at a canal-side cafe and walked through the old city to the cathedral.
Today we went to Delft in the pouring rain, took photos of the historic buildings in the square, took a tuk-tuk style shuttle bus to the Delft pottery factory and museum and spent a couple of hours ogling the beautiful Delft ware made since 1653. Watching a painter at work hand painting a large vase was amazing – a man with 40 years experience. The paint used is black, derived from cobalt and turns blue when the pottery is glazed and fired.
After Delft we went to Gouda to see yet another historic square and look at the cheese museum. So much walking and braving the cold and wet! Of course, the sun started to shine a bit as we made our way home.
Impressions of Holland – really old buildings, thousands of bicycles everywhere, cigarette butts everywhere, cobblestones and narrow paved roads where you can’t tell the difference between the road, bike lane and pedestrian path, cafes and bistros everywhere and canals and waterways.