We don’t have anything against Germany but we didn’t have enough time to stay longer than an overnight as we were heading towards Hollands Hook. Primarily a autobahn drive we had the pleasure of the “woosh-mobiles” again, more or less flying past us at ridiculous speeds, for company. It got us talking about how we pass the time on this type of drive…. here’s our nauseating top 3… 1) country number plate spotting, we are now at 35, top trumps being Faroe Islands, Ukraine, and Bosnia Herzegovina 2) the design variety and styles of electricity pylons and 3) Kampervan Karaoke….. we just know that you are so looking forward to our company when we return!
Anyhow, last couple of days we planned to be not too far from the Hook. En route we stopped at a small and very attractive town called Doesburg where we were nearly run over by the Dutch equivalent of the ramblers, a mass of folks, of a certain age, on bikes… maybe the bamblers, or judging by some of the riders, the bumblers 😉 Doesburg was small but had some smart period buildings and lots of cafes… and bikes!
Staying at a small site surrounded by water, Boskoop, 10km from Gouda we biked into the town. The water based infrastructure of the area is incredible to cycle through into Gouda, each property has its own little bridge to it and generally are surrounded the network of draingae ditches and canals. Hopefully the pic below demonstrates it somewhat. The green duckweed, against the land made the properties appear floating. Lots of unique properties waterside, old and new, large and small and some great period pieces. Some of the properties had glorious views, of the passing canal barges with containers aboard.
Gouda was lovely, daft to describe it as a mini Amsterdam but it was! There was a surprising lack of cheese shops and we were able to pleasantly sit in a café on the square, without being surrounded by plastic cheese key rings or Gouda’s in a Snowstorm. There was a light tourist buzz but away from the square with the fabulous Town Hall and period buildings, it was quiet suburban housing streets. A roof party in full swing caught our attention, and the customary, random cat on a bridge! The town, is, very pretty. As you’d imagine, lots of beautiful tall, well preserved properties edging the water and bridges decorated with flower baskets, all overseen by the clock tower of Sint Jan Church with it’s delicate bells, playing quite a long tune on the hour, a delight!
The problem with water is birds, and you know who likes birds… Unfortunately on this occasion, while the coots could have been fair game out of the water, a stunning black swan wasn’t. Thankfully she sat that one out, both nights we were there! The blue (eyes) corner versus the red (beak) corner wasn’t a fight we wanted to see!
Our last day away and we thought we’d go Daft in Delft. No, we didn’t get caught up in the sails of a windmill or fall in a canal from a pedalo bike, but we waffled with waffles in a very picturesque square watching the young ‘uns on their phones. The imposing the Nieuwe Church (not that new really) a building where the add on’s over the years are architecturally distinct and it’s delicate bells and tuneful chimes every quarter. It was genuinely a ‘stop talking and listen’ sound versus any old dong!
Nearby, the wonky tower of the Old Church, Oude Kerk, as askew as Pisa, looked precarious. Inside the Old Church however, a music performance that filled the space as we wandered an unusual but very well curated, photo story of the occupation times. A fabulous space though, delicate stained glass windows throughout, busy due to it being “Open Monuments Day” which had brought lots of people into the centre. The windmills were rotating, Delfte Molen de Roos, built in 1679, was enormous and spectacular, and lots of buildings had open doors, all free. Random art pieces scatter the town, notably a round, Laurie Lipton style installation next to a church and a ‘cow on a thimble’ in an eatery square. So many buildings had superb oversized (in our book anyway) windows, similar to Flat Iron style, NYC, and peeking into the rooms waterside, the light with the high ceilings created lovely living/office spaces. We preferred Delft to Gouda, it’d make a fab weekend break. Loads of cafe’s restaurants and bars and a very casual, laid back feel as you can imagine with the Dutch. Stroopwafel aroma and other sweet smells filling the air!
Anyhow, sadly, that was it for this trip. That evening we drove onto the boat, back to the UK knowing we’d had a blast of a time, managed the situations presented to us, max’d out the opportunities too and packed lots in, including 8½k miles driving. No surprise, talking about where next!?!
Now we are back at The Ranch, the romance is still going strong but there’s a new addition to the clan. No there’s hasn’t been any unplanned births, but cousin Dave is back from locked down Oz. Jigsaw was very sad though to hear that Biscuit has joined Cheese in cat heaven. She now only has Sammy, Wiley and Smarty to hiss at. More from Dallas soon! Ciao!