Benelux Trip Report

Jul 24th, 2006, 11:44 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,759
Maastricht has some great little galleries filled w/inexpensive art + a great little main square. Actually let me correct that, there is also some very expensive art if you are so inclined.
SAnParis is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:47 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Rufus,
Thanks again for finishing your report. It's very helpful, and of course the writing is quite charming.
Leely is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:55 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 111
My mother used to have a Benelux vacuum cleaner.
ImitationOfChrist is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 07:27 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 679
Bookmarking to read this more thoroughly at work tomorrow...
Meredith is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 08:18 PM
  #25  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Well, it's not actually finished yet. I've been trying to find a block of time with no success. So I'll peck away at it starting right now.

The drive to Delft in the Netherlands was pretty uneventful. There were a couple of spots along the highway where signage had explanations in French, but we guessed right (largely based on Mrs. Fly's mapreading skills and brains) and had no misturns.

Until we actually arrived in Delft. Then we had the typical problem finding streetsigns--some were prominent, others we never did find. As a result, we ended up by the train station and driving on multiple tram tracks and backing up on a couple of one-way streets. No Dutchindividuals were killed in the making of this film.

But after about 10 minutes of circling about, we did end up on Koornmarkt at Hotel Leeuwenbrug. There was a parking space along the canal in front of the hotel--of course there is no fence or rail or curb along the canal, so one must be extremely careful while parallel parking. It was a pleasant day, but the canal water looked kind of cold.

Anyway, Mrs. Fly got out and directed me in my parking efforts, and we managed not to dunk the car. After I got out, the Mrs. informed me that a tour boat had gone by while I was manuevering, and that my efforts elicited many oooh's and aaah's, and that we and our little Chevy are now immortalized in numerous cameras and camcorders brandished by the floating Japanese tour group.

I hope they weren't too disappointed that I didn't back over the edge and into the drink.

Speaking of drink--the Hotel L. had a fairly new little bar. Quite reasonable, and after the drive a Camapri and Tonic provided just the pick-me-up I needed to grab my camera and camcorder to see if I could find someone about to back over the edge of a canal (no, never saw it happen while we were there).

Delft is a pretty and very historic little city. We made our way to the main square (just a few minute's walk up the canal) where the weekly market was in full swing. A very nice setting with the city hall on one end of the square and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) on the other. Unless I have the Niuewe and Oude Kerk's mixed up--they both looked old to me and I would have called them the Old Church and the Older Church (Oude Kerk and Ouder Kerk).

We were feeling a bit peckish even though we had enjoyed a couple of little fruit pie welcome thingies when we checked into the hotel. We ended up at a seafood stall and had fried mussels. A tasty and not terribly expensive lunch--I think it was 5 or 6 euro for enough to fill us both up.

We browsed thru the market for a bit--we aren't big shoppers, but we do enjoy looking at what folks like to buy and sell around the world. And something will catch our eye and our cash on occasion. But Mrs. Fly did have her heart set on one purchase on this trip.

So it was off to look for Delftware Christmas decorations. It is an interesting phenomenon that many non-Christian Koreans really, really like a traditional Christmas with the tree, decorations, lights, candles, mistletoe, wreaths, presents, etc. Mrs. Fly is among these--she makes wonderful Santa Clause "dolls" that I know could sell for good money. But nooooooooooo, they stay in their plastic bags in the basement until after Thanksgiving when you-know-who has to go down and gather them up and haul them upstairs along with the 6 or 7 decorative trees, outdoor lights, and sleighs, and elves, and and and.

I'm not a Christian either, but I do like the presents and everything really does look beautiful when she's got it all set up. It's been even better the last few years since young Rufus Junior went off on his own to Washington D.C. and he no longer wheedles me into going out into the wilds of a tree farm to cut our own muddy crooked tree down. Usually in the rain and sleet.

But I digress. I do that a lot more now that I'm well over 50 years of age.

We looked in several shops around the main square, but most of the stuff looked pretty bad--made cheap and looked cheap. Finally we noted in the guidebook that there is an "official" Delftware store on the square. The stuff was more expensive, but it looked a lot better, too.

Anyway, we wiled a good hour away in the "official" store (found out they also keep some of the cheap stuff on hand as some folks just want something blue and white no matter how crummy it is.) Finally, we had the chosen Christmas tree baubles in hand, nicely padded and packaged for the journey home, and charged to MasterCard. They really are attractive.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 09:58 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 679
Rufus, I'm really enjoying your trip report - can't wait for the Amsterdam chapter!
Meredith is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:00 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Hmm, well you could look at my spacey-ness as a product of my California upbringing or you could see my "thanks for finishing your report" as a very subtle hint. In either case, this is hilarious and I love reading it.
Leely is offline  

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