Nod to the North Sea

With our vacation about half over, we said goodbye to Belgium and headed for the Netherlands and the North Sea.  Our first coastal stop was at Delft, a city made famous by the blue and white pottery.

It seems that cities in the Netherlands have as many canals as sidewalks.  Delft was our first canal city, where we drove the narrow streets for an hour looking for a room at the inn.

Do you see that little sign above Allan's head that says "hotel de Vlaming"?  It's where we finally found a wonderful room and hospitality that could never be replicated in a Holiday Inn.  But it was 8 p.m. by the time we landed and we were very tired and hungry.

The lady of the house served a banquet breakfast the next morning in parlor rooms that were reminiscent of antique shops in America.

Nearby parking space was not available, but Allan brought our car up from a lot a few blocks away.  Notice the narrow street and the bridge over the canal, which was between the houses, and streets on each side.  Compact is the only way most cities around here operate.  Cars have to be small.

The next morning we attended Sunday Mass at a nearby church that was being renovated.  We walked a couple blocks in the wind and rain to get here and took pictures before Mass started.  It was First Communion Sunday and the pews got packed.  Mass was in Dutch.

The church, one of several in downtown Delft, had the largest Stations of the Cross that we'd ever seen.  They were painted and three-dimensional, each approximately ten feet wide.

After Mass, walking back to Vlamings' bed and breakfast hotel, we happened upon a Delft shop where the famous pottery was in the making.

Only two artists were on premise this morning, but the variety of pieces available was wide.

Everything was for sale, and we bought some tiny items for my windowsill.

It looks unreal, like a painting, because the sky is so blue, but it's a real shot of the luxury hotel on the North Sea at Zandvoort where we stayed three days and three nights because of the excellent accommodations.  Our windows on the fourth floor looked directly over the setting sun on the North Sea, and the train station was nearby.

Is there anything more spectacular than a setting sun?

The next morning the beach was waiting for more footprints.

What ship goes yonder way?

Fishing boats were always at sea.

Colorful roving vendors arrived on the beach and moved with the tide.

We said good evening one last time before we left to search for the Zuiderzee.

These type of windmills seem to be a world-wide phenomenon.

Yachts lined the isthmus on the way to the Zuiderzee Museum at Enkhuizen, which is a northern point on the "former" Zuiderzee.  Did I say "former" Zuiderzee?

We disembarked a ferry boat to find an island of yesteryear, a museum that recalled the Holland and Zuiderzee of years ago.

One of the villages on the Zuiderzee that flooded at least twice a year in the old days has been salvaged.  The cobblestone walk is about 18 inches higher than the homes because of the flooding.  In 1932 a large dam was built across the throat to the Zuiderzee.

Today, after the damn, the Zuiderzee has become a freshwater lake and acquired a different name.  Notice how the village (left) is two to three feet below sea level on the right, thus the need for windmills in the old days to pump the water over the dkye.

The windmill in the background continues to be a working apparatus.

Allan sampled freshly smoked herring from the former Zuiderzee.  I thought it was atrocious.

A church in the museum village is silhouetted here by trees subjected to native horticultural pruning.

We headed back to shore via the ferryboat and prepared for our next adventure.

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NOT the End

Love, Sue

Email:  Sue@PrintsPublishing.com

HomePage:  www.PrintsPublishing.com