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It was the last shot I took of Delft. Luggage in one hand, camera in the other, I was nearing the station when I couldn't help but notice this neat bit of architecture.
As you would have already guessed, it's the local dance hall, should you be so inclined.
Written May 22, 2007
Wandering without itinerary and keeping your eyes open can lead to many interesting spots, some of which I've included here.
The first shot was a plaque I found on a wall. No-one I spoke to knew what it represented but eventually it represented a golden bale which is where the money came from to build the original house here, i.e. trading in grain.
Picture 2 is my favourite sign. Fairly obviously it was hanging over the bookshop in Delft. I loved it.
Picture 3 shows the front of the local synagogue and picture 4 shows an alley heading towards the station. Not the sort of thing you see on tourist brochures.
Picture 5 came from down where I shot the ship on the Oostsingel. It was a pool of stagnant water that, somewhat surprisingly, had been chosen by a couple of ducks as their abode. I thought that with a little more foresight it could have been a lovely nature park. Shame really, but not everything's perfect all the time.
Written May 22, 2007
I went beyond the boundaries of the maps that had been provided. I felt that maybe the local tourist authorities might have erred a little here as I, for one, found it quite interesting. First I had come to the bridge in the previous page then I couldn't help but notice this wonderful scene from a past almost forgotten.
The lovingly cared for boat, a feature of so many Flemish paintings and the Gothic exterior of the building behind, these days I believe it is for those who are out of work and seeking employment.
Updated May 21, 2007
Address: Nieuwe Plantage
Within these walls you can see a permanent collection relating to things pharmaceutical and nursing in the Netherlands.
Displays include the work of Pieter van Foreest, who was Prince William of Orange's personaly physician, and the microscopes of Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek.
The tours are for groups only, 10 to 25 persons.
Updated May 20, 2007
Address: Koornmarkt 66
On this site there used to be the Heilige Geest (Holy Ghost) Nursing Home which became an orphanage for girls. However, the building was demolished in 1769 and replaced with what you see here, done in French style, but still a girls' home.
From 1955-2002 it was used by the municipal authorities but, from 2004 on, it has been hired out to the Cultural Heritage House people. At Oude Delft 137 is the Boys' Orphanage and it is still used by the municipal authorities.
In the garden next to this building is the bust of Dirk Coster (1887-1956) and, on the fence is a plaque dedicated to Anthony Van Leeuwenhoek, incorrectly placed here in the misconceived view that he had lived here.
Updated May 10, 2007
One's vision of canals is often much like the first picture. Lovely verdant lawns and rows of trees alongside a reflective body of water.
Of course, not all water is so pretty. After having seen what is dumped into them (pic 4) and skirted the sides into what seemed like an attractive park I can assure you there are other sides to Delft and just about everywhere I've ever been that aren't so pretty.
Pics 2 & 3 show a foetid cesspool of muck, the latter amazingly with a duck swimming in it. I must remember not to order Peking Duck while staying in Delft!
I actually thought it was a bit of a shame because the area had much potential as a nature park similar to the one I used to go through and admire every day but obviously there was a lack of commitment to same.
It was right next to where I took the passing boat shots in the previous tip.
Written May 10, 2007
This building of many uses was originally, as the name suggests, a guest house from the 16th century but it later became a "Foundling Hospital".
It was very long in its former guise, 72 metres in fact. From 1578 to the 19th century it was a carpenters yard for the town carpenter.
Around the town on various buildings of historical interest you can see signs (pic 2) that give you some brief information on what the building has been.
Written May 9, 2007
They walk among you, yet you know not who they are. They impact upon your life, yet they are hidden behind a veil. They are liable to pop up anywhere, when least expected. They are the products of the world's greatest salesmen; those who seek to unleash these monstrosities upon an unsuspecting public. And who are the bureaucrats that allow them to do it?
I have no answers unfortunately but I do know that Delft has no exclusivity for the species yet they clearly are in evidence.
The first two are to be found near the Prisenhof while the latter sits beside Oude Delft canal.
Written May 9, 2007
The best approach to the park is along the Twee Molentjes Kade, definitely a street you won't get confused with any other. This will take you under the motorway and then you can take you pick of trails on the right.
At some stage you will undoubtedly notice the boat shed and restaurant that is all the go in summer. You can hire canoes or just sit by the small lake and enjoy the ambience.
Further around there is a larger lake where sailboarding is the main sport though there is also some birdwatching for twitchers (pic 3), understandably at different times to the sailboarding.
I made a point of going home on a different trail each night and it was like recharging your batteries on the way home instead of fighting your way through traffic.
Though I cursed when first finding out where my accommodation was, in the end I loved it for being just outside the city.
Written May 8, 2007
On reflection, it was really a ride in the park with little bits of walking. No matter, it was being there that counted and being there every afternoon that ended each day on such a pleasant note that in the end I really looked forward to going back to my accommodation every night, just so I could pass through Delft's delightful, but much underpublicized, park.
Written May 8, 2007
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