Sequel to the Tale of Eleven Dutch Destinations - Jaunts Seven to Eleven

avatar of @lizelle
6 min read

We needed a breather after being bowled over by Amsterdam, as I shared with you in A Tale of Eleven Dutch Destinations - the first Six Jaunts.

Although we visited a total of eleven towns and cities, we returned to some, ending up with way more jaunts than cities, as usually is the case!
2 Oct - Gouda - More than just a Cheese Market

After a couple of days getting our breath back, it was time to pack our bags - Andi and Dean had booked us into an Airbnb in Gouda for three nights, from where we explored more cities and towns.

It was a novel experience for me to go on a breakaway with luggage by train. We do it by car here, as our public transport system is a total failure!

Gouda with its canals, ancient buildings, a Gothic town hall smack bang in the middle of the town square, felt like stepping back in time to a medieval village. This was to be our base for exploring Delft, Rotterdam, and Scheveningen Boulevard at Den Haag Noorderstrand

Our accommodation was in an ancient narrow building, but ultra-modern inside, and in a perfect location. The spiral staircase up to the bedrooms was quite a challenge for me who have a fear of heights!

The sound of the town hall that chimes every half-hour, was quite enchanting.

My son mastered the art of brewing beer, so is a real beer snob, but was spoilt for choice at Barbier which offers over 130 variants. We chose typical Dutch pub-style dishes to share; Bitterballen, Krokets, Rookworst, and Dutch Frites.
We were quite chuffed that we ended up sitting inside when we saw the Barbier rotating glasses, and we could watch all the action behind the bar.
CLICK to view Video of the BarBier Rotating glasses
My own video

3 Oct - [Sint-Jan Kerk, the Longest Church in the Netherlands]( Our second day in Gouda, was a busy one. We were on our way to Rotterdam, but first stopped at the 123 metres Sint-Jan Kerk, to go on an audio tour. It is one of largest museums in the country, and each of the 72 exquisite Gouda Glasses, as they call the stunning stained-glass windows, tells a story throughout the ages, starting with Biblical times right through to the Reformation.

We were amazed to learn that all the glass windows were dismantled during the Second World War, and safely stored inside wooden boxes to protect them from damage, a fate our next destination did not escape.
3 Oct - Rotterdam Reborn - From Devastation to Reaching for the Sky Yes, still 3 October, after the Sint-Jan kerk, we took the train to Rotterdam. I saw mostly modern high-rise buildings and learnt that the Second World War blitz on Rotterdam destroyed most of the historical buildings.

We took a tram from Rotterdam Centraal to the impressive Markthal (Market Hall) which is the size of a football pitch, with a 40 metre high archway. The ceiling of this utra-modern building is the world's largest painting, all of 11,000 square metres, a beautiful mural depicting fruit, vegetables, seeds, fish and insects.
One really is spoilt for choice with over 100 food vendors offering cuisine from all over the world, with quaint Dutch names like Kroket Loket and Cromwijk Kaasdok;) There are shops, restaurants as well as residential apartments - no need for those residents to cook when there's so much food to choose from right on one's doorstep!

Our next stop was at the Cube Houses - Kijk-KubusHome that sits at 45 degree angles, as if they're floating in the sky, I was amazed to learn they were built forty years ago, yet they look very futuristic! A steep staircase took us up into one of the units on show, yes these apartments are for sale! Not for someone who has a fear of heights; I for one would very soon develop vertigo living in one of these units with not one wall at 180ยฐ, but I must admit the decor is super innovative.

4 Oct - Delving into the Charms of the City of Delft
As with every town and city in the Netherlands, there will always be a canal. The name Delft comes from the Dutch word 'delven' which means to dig.
What were they digging in Delft? Canals of course.

We were charmed from the time we walked outside the beautiful old station building, the pretty canals with ancient buildings and high church steeples in the background. We saw an elderly couple cycle past us, each comfortably cycling on their own bicycle. As with many Dutch cities, there were rows of gracious ancient buildings with restaurants and cafรฉs spilling out onto the sidewalks, some with fire-pit tables.

The Nieuwe Kerk located in the Market Square. close to the Town Hall, is the burial place of the Princes of Orange. We did not hear its chimes though!

We visited the Heinen Delfts Blauw store, where we could watch the artists hand-painting, some modern designs as well, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch inside this bigger store.

So, we were still based in Gouda, but did cheese-tasting in Delft! That's just how things panned out, but I would still like to go back to Gouda for a proper cheese experience and see the cheese-making process.
One thing I now know is that the Dutch people really know how to make cheese!

4 Oct - Scheveningen Fisherman's Wife and World Peace in Den Haag We still had a few hours of daylight left, so decided, on the spur of the moment, to make a stop at Scheveningen Beach.

We had to travel via Den Haag, hopping from train, to tram, to a bus, with lots of walking in between. It took longer than expected, as we waited at the wrong bus stop, so had to walk quite a long way to get to the right stop!

I must say, that was the only time the navigator led us to the wrong stop, or perhaps it was trying to tell us to turn around as the weather was about to get nasty;)

By the time we arrived, a cold and blustery wind was blowing. Not the kind of weather for a walk along the sandy beach, but the windsurfers were happy! The kids went to find something hot to drink, while my curiosity got the better of me as I saw a statue in the distance, so I carried on walking along the promendade.

It was the Fisherman's Wife, a statue that is a tribute to the fishermen and locals who lost their lives during the Second World War while serving in the Navy.

The figure of the woman gazes out to sea hoping her loved ones will return.

There is an annual commemoration at the local Oude Kerk, which is followed by reading the poem below, and a wreath-laying. It must have taken place a couple of days before we were there, as there were fresh flowers and wreaths around the statue.

The sea, which continues taking Will one day give back All who never returned To him who escaped first The Lord of wind and water To Christ the Victor.

Across the road I saw a beautiful well-maintained old building, the Hotel Zeerust, which used to be very much a part of society back in its heyday, but now is a Municipal Monument.

We took the last bus from Scheveningen, to yet another bus and had to get off at the Peace Palace in Den Haag so I grabbed the opportunity to take a couple of photos, not very clear though as it was directly into the sun, which suddenly was shining again!

All in all, a busy day where we made wonderful memories; I clocked up nearly 11 000 steps that day!
Jaunts Seven to Eleven* Jaunts one to eleven only covered nine cities/towns, so of course there are still two cities left, but much happened there, it's a blog all on its own, so that will be the final part of my Netherlands Saga.

I'm starting to make sense of what we did and when, so all this work has been worth it.

I had no navigator to help me find my way though, but I am 80% to the final destination, and don't think I will get lost from here on;)

Hive truly is my forever memory bank!

**Map from Google Earth depicting our Destinations

Pssst, it may be April Fool's Day, but don't forget to power up,
as many of us do on the first day of every month!

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