|The last two days have been busy in the hotel. There is an international rugby tournament this weekend. We have met players from Hong Kong...male and female...the Chech Republic, and a team in blue. The breakfast room was crowded.
We had a nice drive through a part of Amsterdam we hadn't seen on our way to the motorway on our way to Delft. It was cool and cloudy. Comfortable. In no time at all, it seemed, we were on a ring road around The Hague and in Delft. The Hague looked like a big busy city. Delft was smaller. Parking was easy to find...down underneath.
We went first to the littlest factory in Delft to watch porcelain being painted with cobalt oxide. It paints black but turns blue upon firing. Only one painter was working and he was painting snowflakes. He used a small turntable to paint perfect circles on the porcelain.
Next we went to the Nieuwe Kirk. It was built between 1381 and 1635. The Royal Family is buried here. We were able to see a replica of his tomb. The crypt is off limit to all but the Royal Family. The arched ceiling was of wood. Windows were stained glass depicting the Royal Family. Services are held in the center of the church with all chairs and pews facing the pulpit. The Nieuwe Kirk sits on one end of Markt Square and opposite it sits the town hall built in the 17th century.
From here we went to visit the Oulde Kirk. It is somewhat smaller and is first mentioned around 1100. In the apse are many tombs. One in particular is that of Johannes Vermeer, the artist. Again the chairs and pews face the pulpit in the center of the church. The organ pipes were hung high at the rear of the church. The steeple has a decided lean to it. It is 3 meters off plumb. Unfortunately it was wreathed in scaffolding so it was not apparent.
We had lunch here before leaving to drive through the outskirts of Rotterdam on our way southeast to Maastricht.
Here we first found a room and then walked to Vrijthof Square. We could see the spires of the basilica, St. Servaas. The square is lined with cafes and restaurants. We had an excellent dinner then walked to the Maas River to see the old arched bridge. After we had a nightcap on the square. There were a group of people running a race through the Old City.
Here buildings date from the 16th century.