Delft turned out to be a really cool town! We took the local train and it was about an hour there. We walked first to the DOK Library, which is a really amazing public library (it calls itself a library concept center) that has, among other things, a coffee shop inside the library and encourages people to take their beverages and food into the library to enjoy. They also have a Microsoft Surface (which was displaying pics from the huge railway project that’s going on), gaming stations for kids, and music listening stations. We walked around soaking in the coolness and snapping pics like tourists. Libraries really are the most wonderful places!
After leaving DOK we headed off in search of old town Delft, after first enjoying a yummy lunch some beer in a local eatery which was a simple matter of following the church tower. The Nieuwe Kerk was built in the 14th century and has a very tall bell tower that you can climb. It’s over 350 feet high and the staircase is a crazy narrow winding spiral that goes on forever. this constituted my “do something every day that scares you” it was that high and that narrow – and at various stops you could go out and walk around the tower compounding both the beauty and the terror.
We spent the last day of our trip back in Paris due to the fact that all of Europe takes a holiday the day after Easter and we couldn’t book any train seats for Monday (they were completely booked). Who knew?
We spent our last two nights in Roissy (where we stayed when we were trapped in Paris by the volcano), and even stayed at the same hotel (which was much better in our memory than reality, sadly). We spent our bonus day in Paris touring Sainte Chapelle (which really does have the most amazing stained glass) and the Conciergerie (where we learned boatloads about the French Revolution), which neither of us had seen before (as an aside, the amazing thing about Paris is that no matter how many times you go there, there is always something that you haven’t see before! The only city I’ve been to that is like that is Washington DC).
And just like that, our trip was over! We flew home, enjoying a lovely flight on Air France in comfy Premium Voyageur seats where I got to watch The Iron Lady, J Edgar, and cried my way through Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Good times!
Things I noticed/learned:
- Is it me, or does 3/4 of the population of Paris smoke? I think we’ve become massively spoiled living in California (where we are about three steps away from basically making it illegal to smoke anywhere in the state limits). Blech! But at least they can’t smoke inside restaurants.
- Euros! They are really the best invention ever! you only have to change money once! And the bills are different colors so you can’t confuse them!
- Playgrounds – wow! In America most of the playgrounds we saw would have been deemed death traps and closed down. And yet those crazy European kids were climbing, swinging, falling down and getting up to their hearts’ content and their parents watched without concern.
- American culture has a lot to answer for. The droopy pants look and the Justin Bieber hats are all the rage among the young.
- I had the misfortune to listen to some Dutch rap, and learned that the term motherf*cker is the same in Dutch as it is in English!
- If you have an iPhone, turn OFF Photo Stream before you go. Otherwise you will accidentally use up a boatload of data (oops!).