Simple Joys Scheveningen, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Simple Joys
Scheveningen, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Seaside Sculptures Scheveningen, Netherlands July 29, 2014
Seaside Sculptures
Scheveningen, Netherlands July 29, 2014

A morning trip to Delft was well worth it. We arrived mid-morning to an empty street. The store windows had signs up listing their hours, and most shop owners seemed quite content opening the doors frequently enough to earn business, and infrequently enough to allow themselves a decent holiday.

Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Delft, The Netherlands
July 29, 2014

To sum it up, everywhere was closed.

Europeans take this ‘going on holiday’ business very seriously!

Rounding a few street corners, we found a Dutch cafe open, and a few English women conversing with the owners. The big souvenir I’d hoped to purchase this trip is a true teapot. One crafted from the finest china that would be passed down from generation to generation as a reminder of a great adventure once had. This was just the spot! The white ceramics laced with blue are the classic dish found in the area. Inspired by authentic China brought to Europe in the 16th century, the Dutch began creating dishes, pots, kettles, and vases depicting scenes true to life in Holland. Windmills, tulips, cows, fields, houses, and churches- they can all be found in detailed designs sometimes less than a square inch.

Green Cheese, Please! Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Green Cheese, Please!
Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014

Why not get a beautiful tea kettle from here in Delft?

Great idea! Except that we were backpacking and still had a few journeys to make. 10 to 1 that thing would come back in a few too many pieces to serve its purpose.

So, no Delftware Teapot for this girl.

Full Dutch Dress Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Full Dutch Dress
Delft, The Netherlands
July 29, 2014

However, we did get our first taste of another Holland gem: CLOGS! Yes. So many clogs and those hefty Dutch dresses designed for not only style, but warmth. Maybe not really for style. Maybe just for warmth.

The city's last entrance gate Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
The city’s last entrance gate
Delft, The Netherlands   July 29, 2014

Saying goodbye to the teapot that never will be (sorry, future generations), we made our way along some canals and into Delft’s city center. More Delftware! More clogs! More cheese! More churches! And more people!

Awww the Cheeses! Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Awww the Cheeses!
Delft, The Netherlands   July 29, 2014

The shops in the city center cater heavily to tourists so we were able to find plenty to do, including spending a solid hour in the basement of an antique collector. He was full of information about the area, sharing the history of Delftware (all that I shared before can be credited to him) and the origin of “The Stinking Rich” phrase.

Nieuwe Kerk Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Nieuwe Kerk
Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014

Traditionally in Oude Kerk, the city’s Old Church, the most wealthy citizens were seated toward the front of the church. As fate would have it, centuries ago, bodies of the rich and famous were buried under church floors nearest the pulpit.

Oude Kerk Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Oude Kerk
Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014

The decaying of corpses does not produce the most pleasant of smells and therefore, the wealthiest members of the church were able to enjoy the church service up close along with a stench unmasked by heavy waves of incense. Bring it all together and what have you got? The stinking rich.

The tomb of William of Orange Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
The tomb of William of Orange
Delft, The Netherlands
July 29, 2014

We also learned several of The Netherlands’s historical celebrities were buried here: Vermeer, the talented artistic hand who produced Girl With the Pearl Earring, was buried within the Oude Kerk, and across was city center, William the Silent, or William of Orange, was laid to rest in the Nieuwe Kerk and eternalized through a large monument within the church.

City Hall and City Folk Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
City Hall and City Folk
Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014

The history that we’d been absorbing over the past week started to come together as we took in this information. William of Orange had been written about over and over again as we passed through History museums, art museums, and even the Belgian Palace. Vermeer was an icon in my mind even before the trip, but a visit to his grave brought it all to light.

The Smurfs of Delft's Botanical Gardens Delft, Netherlands July 29, 2014
The Smurfs of Delft’s Botanical Gardens
Delft, Netherlands July 29, 2014
Our trip to Delft included a stop at the Botanical Gardens. Greenhouses and Hostas brought up back to our PL gardens :) Delft, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
Our trip to Delft included a stop at the Botanical Gardens. Greenhouses and Hostas brought up back to our PL gardens 🙂
Delft, The Netherlands
July 29, 2014

These people that we’d been learning so much about, they were real. They were no longer characters from a novel or images in a painting. The stories we’d heard were not fabricated, they were created and lived out as absolutely bizarre as that seems. (And here is further proof that history is quickly becoming an interest of mine. Still, please don’t tell!)

Seaside Sculptures Scheveningen, Netherlands July 29, 2014
Selfies and Seaside Sculptures
Scheveningen, Netherlands July 29, 2014

After we wandered through every church, every souvenir shop, and tasted every bit of cheese that lay out at the Henri Willig Cheese and More shop – from smoked goat’s cheese (which we are still savoring after a wise purchase) to green pesto cheese and ginger cheese and asparagus bacon cheese – we left on a full tummy and took an hour’s bus ride to catch some waves and enjoy the breezy beaches of Scheveningen, Netherlands.

Scheveningen, Netherlands July 29, 2014
Scheveningen, Netherlands July 29, 2014

P1060535

P1060561

When originally planning this trip to Europe, the intent was to find a job over here and stay for a solid year, if not more. I tried hard to find a teaching job, and realized that it’s easier said than done. Instead of staying for the full year, Americans are welcome into an area called the Schengen Zone for 90 days each calendar year.

We made it! Scheveningen, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
We made it!
Scheveningen, The Netherlands July 29, 2014

Never ever remembering the proper name, my roommates and I would jokingly make up any name beginning with “Shen…” Shennenena, Schevening, and now, why not.. Scheveningen! What an accomplishment.. I’d made it 😉

P1060485

A bit different from the touristy beaches of Oostende, Belgium, these North Sea sands were open and free, with fun restaurants lining the beachside. Perfect end to a perfectly Dutch day!

DSCN0895

DSCN0892

See No. Hear No. Speak No. Scheveningen, The Netherlands July 29, 2014
See No. Hear No. Speak No.
Scheveningen, The Netherlands July 29, 2014

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s