So I’ve been living in the Netherlands for almost a year now (preparations are well and truly underway for the inaugural Amster-versary) and I’ve yet to explore much beyond my beloved three canal rings of Amsterdam. Sure we’ve done a couple of day trips here and there – Tilburg, s’Hertogenbosch, Den Haag – but I wouldn’t really say we’re any great connoisseurs of all things Dutch. Yet.
This weekend B was out of town seeing family, so I seized the occasion to meet up with one of my dearest friends who’s currently studying down south in the aforementioned Tilburg. She and her boyfriend are currently wrapping up their Masters theses and preparing to leave the country for the good old UK this Thursday, so we decided to meet halfway between our respective homes and explore a new place. The question was raised; Rotterdam or Delft? Delft or Rotterdam? Rotterdam or… Delft.
I didn’t really know much about Delft before going apart from that it was famous for blue and white pottery and that – being a Dutch town – it was probably pretty small. I was right on both counts. Pottery shops lined every corner, emblazoned with that recognisable blue and white tiled print that we know so well. The tiny streets were cobbled and twisted, with a huge town square in the middle of things, overlooked by a rather imposing Nieuwe Kerk. Turns out there was a jazz festival in town last weekend, so we had a lovely catch-up on bean bags in this historic square, wine in hand and saxophones in the background. Could do worse, I guess.
We interspersed our wine and talking about Made in Chelsea with a wander around the centre, exploring the tiny streets with their shops and bars that just made you feel like a local. We eventually settled on our cafe of choice, a small bar with a boat out back where you could sit and watch the canals go by. Add some bitterballen, and you have a very happy chappy or 3.
The day wrapped up with a quick meal, grabbed in a square lined by trees and around a fireplace. It was a truly wonderful day, spent in great company and in a beautiful place. Although it was a fleeting visit to Delft, I know that it won’t be my last. And not only that, but exploring my new country a little bit – alongside the many many many tales of discovery told by my friend and her boyfriend – has left me armed with a newfound determination to explore the Netherlands that little bit more.
Maastricht? I’m coming for you.