A Few Pictures
I'm working on organizing some of the pictures from our trip (which, I'll admit, I've already looked through about 15 times since we got back -- I'm a little bit homesick, I guess), and I thought I'd share a few.
This was my first coherent image of Delft this time around:
It was dark when we arrived on Wednesday, so this is the view from our hotel room on Thursday morning. Since we were staying in the city center (and right across the street from a department store and, um, one of Delft's two McDonald's restaurants), it was pretty busy around our hotel during the day. But just a short walk away is this:
This is the old gate to the city. During our summer visits to Delft, this is my favorite place. You can often find me sitting on the bench (the very same bench on which I froze my rear while I was taking this picture), reading or writing and watching the boats pass down the canal.
During the holidays, Delft freezes over the Beestenmarkt and turns it into a skating rink. Normally, during the summer, it's a nice place to sit on a bench, take advantage of the WiFi, and check your email -- or have a beer outside one of the many restaurants located around the square.
This here is Paul with the stroopwafel that I forced him to buy in the market on Saturday, on our way to the train station. Stroopwafels, you see, are the food of [Dutch] gods. They are heaven in a little paper sleeve. If you've never had one, you have no idea what you're missing, and I can't even begin to explain how wonderful they are, only to say that they're almost as wonderful as pannenkoeken, poffertjes, and boeterkoek -- all of which contribute to the weight I seem to gain every time I'm in Delft, no matter how much walking I do. Fortunately, this time around, the ice cream shops were closed, so perhaps I only gained 20 pounds on this particular trip...
This is a picture of Paul with Arjen, our friend and gracious host, who managed to spend almost the entire weekend with us without complaining even once. He even took us out to meet a bunch of his friends, as well as his brother, who told me a very funny story about his American colleagues and the toilets in Schipol airport.
And this is korfbal, a Dutch sport that, until last weekend, I had no idea existed. But it does. It's a bit like basketball, except there's no dribbling -- just passing. And each team is split into two parts -- and while one of them is playing on one side of the court, the other one is resting. The blur in the front is Arjen, who was quite upset that we'd been there to watch them play so horribly, but I don't really think he needed to worry about it. After all, it took us a great deal of the game to figure out that the teams switched sides (thereby switching from playing offence to playing defense or vice versa) every two points.
And there you have it -- our trip in a nutshell. Okay, so that doesn't even scratch the surface. We took 70 pictures in the few days we were there, but I'm pretty sure that Blogger would be seriously annoyed if I tried to share them all. And besides...if I shared too many pictures, I'd end up convincing more people that Delft is one of the most beautiful places in the world -- and then I'd have a hard time getting a hotel room. So I'll just keep it my little secret...