11 March 2010

DELFT - The city made of pottery...

Last October my husband surprised me with a trip to Europe.   At the time he was working in Qatar and I was on my way to meet him there.  He decided to meet me in Amsterdam and take a week off of work.  At the time I was staying home taking care of my babies, age 20 and 22.  I know you are laughing but just wait till your kids reach that age.  You know what they say:   60 is the new 40, well 20 is the new 10.  Anyway, that is a whole different topic.  We decided to  travel throughout Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

I reserved a room for 2 nights at the Hotel Koophandel in Delft.  There are not too many hotels in this city and this hotel was made famous because it was the birthplace of Johan Vermeer Van Delft's father.  Mr. Vermeer was a famous painter who lived in the 17th century and painted the Girl With the Pearl Earring:

I booked the hotel using Tripadvisor.  I verified the pictures, its location (walking distance to old Delft, the price and felt very safe that I had made a good choice.  Here is the picture of the room I booked:

There was also a beautiful courtyard.  When I arrived there, I was disappointed.  First the room that I had wanted was not available.  They gave us a room way at the top almost in the attic.  Not a big deal, but we had 4 giant suitcases and there are no elevators in most of these hotels/museums.  Past forty, this is risky business.  The most deceiving part of the hotel was its location:  it was sitting on top of a drinking establishment....The Billy Beer bar and grill....  If you look way up, you will see a couple of windows:  that's where our room was.  It was Friday night and of course there was drinking and shouting and partying till 3:00am.  They say that we attract what we fear.....My husband slept through it all and I had a good book...

Before I went to Holland for the first time, here is what I knew about it:


WOODEN SHOES (that's not me)


There was also the infamous red light district and pot and hash cafés.  It was all there of course but I wanted to see what else Holland had to offer.  I've pretty much visited every major city in Holland but Delft is my favorite.  Here are a few pictures that explain why:
The Saturday flea market full of antiques,
fresh flowers, local cheeses, etc.

Everybody participates

The old Delft with its many stores
selling mostly Delft pottery.

The beautiful architecture

The canals dotted with coffee

This was the view from my room.  The 
food was fantastic in every restaurant
that we went to.  Their butter "caken"
was decadent!

 City Hall.  The second day of our visit,
which was on a Saturday, we were lucky enough to witness a wedding in front of City Hall.  Very beautiful and

Delft is highly populated but
very quiet.  Most people dont
drive but ride their bicycles.


The Delft pottery.  If its Delft
pottery you want, this is the
place.  In the 16th century, only rich 
people could afford Asian pottery.
The Dutch decided to design their own.
Its reputation for beauty became popular in many other European countries.  It was even exported to China and Japan.

See that strange vase in the center.  Do
you know what it is?  I bought something similar.
Try and guess what it is.  I will tell you at the end of this post.
We were told to always check
under a Delft piece to verify that
its not a fake (as in made in China)
which is ironic as its inspiration 
originates from Asia.

This is also very beautiful.
The more colors there are,
the more expensive it is.

This is hand painted and
very $$$

Cute fridge magnets that
I bought as souvenirs but 
ended up keeping.  My
husband was very patient
as I stopped at every store
to pick just the right one LOL

Now my fridge looks like
this display....

No trip is complete without a visit to  HEMAHema  is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam.  Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands.

Have a look at their website just below. DO NOT click on any of the items in the picture, don't scroll, just wait and see what happens.  This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer who does the company justice....and maybe has a little too much time on his hands.  
                         Click the link below and enjoy - you'll need sound to enjoy it to the max! 


PS.  That odd looking thing  is a tulip vase.  When I arrived in Qatar I could not wait  to  see how it looked with flowers in it.  Did you ever try buying flowers in that part of the world where everything is dry and beige and sandy?  I think I paid more for the flowers than I did for the vase.  Anyway, the ugly looking vase leaks....I should have bought those cheesy wooden tulips  LOL


  1. What a fabulous post and I LOVE that site-got a bit of a fright as I had the sound up quite loud! I am going to send this post to my sister who is living in the UK at the moment. She will have to look at all of these great places to visit! She actually posted some pictures of Amsterdam on our shared blog.

    Happy Friday and best wishes always,

  2. Thank you Natasha. I tried to comment on your blog a few hours ago but there was a technical difficulty. I will try again later. I remember eating barramundi in Australia. It was delicious. It does have a unique look. I really enjoyed my short stay in Delft. Your sister is lucky to live in Europe. You now have an obligation to visit...and fit in as many countries as you can. : )

  3. Holland is still on my list of countries to visit/ride through :-) Thank you for sharing your lovely photos hon.
    We've used Tripadvisor & can't say I'm too impressed really. We had the same kind of experience with a hotel in Milan, shlepping up 3 flights of stairs carrying all our gear - not impressed!

  4. ...and..?...did you two get into the local vibe and try some of the Dutch Delight wacky backy?

  5. Heyy...the link to HEMA store is kewl. :)

    Also, try this one here. It is super fun :P


    Anyone who is into animation, will enjoy it more.


  6. Hi Jayne,

    I'm told that they understand Afrikaans. I cant remember too much anymore but it would have helped. When I'm traveling overseas they always assume I'm American and when I tell them that I'm Canadian their demeanor changes. What's up with that? My husband was not too impressed with some of my choices of hotels during our last European adventure. I booked ourselves in hotels that were historical landmarks. I found out later that they are not allowed elevators. He is still suffering from his "European" inflicted hernias LOL

  7. Hi DR,

    No I haven't tried that in a long time. I find menopause puts me in a wacky unstable mood all by itself. Just have a look at my blog...tell me I'm stable....How is the new house coming along?

  8. Hi TDMan,

    Happy you enjoyed it! I like your new profile picture. You will have to change your name to match the picture to Tall Grey Man. I will try the website you suggested. I wish I had those skills.

  9. Bonjour! Je parle francais aussi...un peu...thank goodness you can't hear me...I see you're following me and I'm glad. I'm following you, too, if that's okay. You live in my favorite city to visit...must go back soon. Don't be afraid to comment; I'd love to hear from you!

  10. well....just paste it (http://bit.ly/2kQSSN)
    in the address toolbar of your browser, wait for it to load...and then click "play". Have tried it in Internet Explorer. Perhaps you need a flash utility installed / enabled.


    PS : the pic depicts me...a material sadhu...still bound by worldly bonds and desires ;)

  11. What a great tour! I feel like I've been to Delft myself :) Don't you hate the ol' hotel over a bar trick? Grr!

  12. I arrived at your blog to write you to say Thanks for commenting on mine! You are so sweet, & the comment you left was very touching. Having your husband gone is something that no one can understand unless they go through it too. Thank you for your kind words :) And what a cute blog you have! My husband & I want to travel to the Holland area sometime soon, & your pictures were wonderful to look at! I will definitely be coming back! Oh, & ... how did you find my blog?! Have a wonderful day!

  13. Bonjour alyssa,

    Thanks for stopping by. I will post a comment when I'm feeling better. Terrible cold....

  14. Hi TJ

    What a cute picture! Yes, I was not impressed. It sounded so good on Trip Advisor. What a let down! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Firstly, a HUGE thank you for coming by and visiting me on my SITS day!! *smooooch*!

    Second...OOOH I LOVE this post! You see my other half is Dutch and comes from Rotterdam!! I ADORE Holland (we live in the UK - though I'm American..I know right?) in fact we are hoping to move there again one day. Delft was amazing, we ate at a Greek restaurant there that was totally divine. His Step-father works there in Delft at the Legermuseum (Army Museum. Great post and you did Delft justice! :)

  16. I LOVE this post! I hope to visit Holland in the next year or so and you confirmed just what I have been thinking.

    I'm surprised that Trip Advisor gave you such bad advice. Did you go back to the article about the hotel and write a review? You should, save someone else (like me) from making the same mistake!

  17. Hi Mesina,

    You have a unique background. They say that kids from mixed backgrounds are smart. I'm also a Heinz 57...Good luck on having your 4th. You are quite the trooper. I'm happy you enjoyed the Delft post. It was fun to write. I did not know there was an Army museum, my husband would have loved that but he was also content with looking at the 1001 items in the open air antique sale. The food was fabulous everywhere we went especially the butter "caken". Its 5 months later and I'm still drooling...

  18. Hi Sandy,

    I have to go back to your post and see if you wrote something else about South Africa. Your posts were written professionally with such beautiful personal pictures. You are right, I should write a review about the hotel's location but there is always a little voice in me that says that I should stop thinking like a North American. Europe is different. We are spoiled here with all the fancy amenities in hotels. I went back to check the comments to see if I had missed anything. All the comments were positive. There were very few hotels walking distance to old Delft and this one was affordable. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for your visit. I found your blog through the Saturday Sharefest (SITS). Your post spoke to me and no one truly understands what it feels like to be by your "onezy" for months at a time. It must be tough to be overseas without your husband. I will keep you in my prayers!

  20. Quads rooms are designed for 4 people or more.

    Hoteis Em Joao Pessoa