Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Netherlands!! Day Two: Damn, this place is cute.

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S aturday morning began with a trip to the local Albert Heijn for some food to stock up our apartment. Like Germany, they were selling cheapo Easter junk that no one needs. Unlike Germany, the Dutch cheapo Easter junk was CUTE and really hard to resist. In this way it reminded me of Denmark or Sweden. They just seem to have taste that matches mine. Some of the tourist crap for sale in the Netherlands was also cute, unlike any of the tourist crap here. (Other places with cute tourist crap: Budapest, Alsace)

We then took off for Delft, the exit for which is marked on the highway by a big dorky DELFT written out in daffodils. We parked and walked through a normal little neighborhood that I thought was so sweet and interesting and kept taking pictures of. Then we got to the center and everything was even better. The weather alternated between pouring rain and sun, so the photos look like a selection from different days, but they were all just within a few hours of each other!

Delft Apr 10

For lunch we had fish and chips at an orange-decorated place right on the big market square, and the super-friendly guy there told us where to look for some fresh stroopwafels for dessert. (We were also entertained in the restaurant by a little old British lady at another table who asked if they accepted pounds sterling.) Following his instructions we found a market with vegetables, hot food, and what we wanted, stroopwafels!! Yum. We also picked up some fresh bulbs for free - we got some daffodils at the bookstore when I picked up my requisite souvenir (a Dutch name book - a really nice, thorough one too!) and Cliff and Sarah got some hyacinths when they bought coffee. Cool!

After a little more exploration of Delft, we checked out Gouda - home of the cheese, of course, but also the place where stroopwafels were invented! They have an awesome 15th-century town hall which rivals Wernigerode's in spikiness.

Gouda Apr 10

We stepped into their cheese museum, which used to be a cheese-weighing building, but it was about to close so we just perused the gift shop for a bit to get out of the rain. We ended up with a delicious little wheel of chili gouda. (Note to potential purchasers of this kind of cheese: don't bother with the chili kind, it's not spicy at all!) As we explored the town more it actually started to thunder so we stopped for drinks at Cafe Central. Afterward, back to The Hague to relax, dig into that cheese and plan for the next day!

Coming soon: The Keukenhof and the sea!

Impatient? Get the Cliff's Notes on the trip (literally) here!

3 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds like a wonderful trip. I'm jealous =)

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  2. You're right about the cute.

    I was telling our pal Matt about this Netherlands + Antwerp trip, comparing it with the Bruges (Brügge) trip from October 2009, and the best way I could find to describe it was like this:

    Bruges is cute on purpose. Their stuff is cute because they work hard at it, and it succeeds. But the places we visited in the Netherlands (Delft, Gouda, etc.) made it look effortless.

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  3. Pounds sterling are often accepted in chops near the Channel ferries, just as euros are accepted in Switzerland, so maybe it's worth entertaining the locals to ask!
    Margaret

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