On Saturday I went to Delft with a friend, Eliot. Delft is best known for the blue and white pottery, Delftware, and the famous painter Joseph Vermeer who painted during the Dutch golden age, it also has lovely canals and a popular university.
From where I live it took about and hour and a half and two trains and a bus, this is pretty close for me but in Dutch terms not that close but also not too far. The train station at Delft is under going major construction and is not running so there are busses that do the train routes at the moment.
When we got there it seemed like we were very far out of the town but it was just a short walk in the main centre of Delft. The city is very quaint and has a sixteenth century feels to it with many of the architecture still visible.
Some graffiti near the train/buss station.
The first stop on our list was some brunch – preferably a typical English type breakfast but that is hard to find in the Netherlands – so after a little look around the town centre we choose a café. We sat down inside at the lowest table near the window, I liked in because the canal we were next to was at about the same height as our table.
We happened be in Delft the day that Sinter Klaas arrived in the Netherlands, there was a parade with lots of music and. From the tower we watched the Sinter Klaas and his quirky helpers, Zwarte Piet.
Outside there was the beginning Sinter Klaus’s arrival in the Netherlands. He arrives three week before his birthday, the fifth of December, on a ship from Spain. Before the parade we decided to check out the new church (Nieuwe Kerk) and climb up the tower.
We walked up the small spiral stairs to the multiple levels and spent lots of time gazing upon the town below. I loved the 360 views and spotting all the interesting scenes happening below. I think I could have stayed the whole day up there but we wanted to see more.
We also went to the Vermeer Centre in Delft. It does not have any of his painting just live size copies but despite this I would highly recommend it. I still cannot work out if it was anything particularly special but it is really well put together, there is a lot of history and also some interaction which I always think is great. I really liked how they pulled apart and explained the individual parts of the paintings, there are many symbols that held ample meaning in the sixteenth century but these days we often are not able to fit into context.
Eliot has lent me a book ‘Vermeer’s Hat’ which also uses paintings to give context and a history based on Dutch paintings from the Golden Age era. It is very interesting to learn about connections between distant places and how they influenced each other.
When we finish in the Vermeer centre it was past 4pm, the day just flew by, so we wondered around the town a bit and had a look at a few stores. We managed to check out the local markets before they closed – there are markets all over the country, it seems most towns have local markets once or twice a week – and I picked up a tasty bag of liquorish and small bunch of roses and bunch of purple cabbage look alike plants for one euro.
As with most places all touristy activities start to close about 5 or 6pm and after a long but lovely day it was time to head home. Even trough it was very cold all day and I was coping with a cold, with good company and no deadlines it was nice to wonder around and get a feel for the Delft.
There is some much that we missed in Delft but the good thing is that it is quite close, I definitely think I deserves another visit, just hope I can fit it in before I go home.
Till Next time, Arian