Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Delicious Delft

It is 9pm on a Wednesday night in late June.   I am wearing my warmest pants, two shirts and I am blogging from under a duvet piled high with all of our laundry.  (Jannie was generous enough to let us use her washer and dryer after breakfast, here is hoping we can make it through the next ten or so days without doing laundry again!). A pot of tea is whistling on the tiny stove and yet I can't seem to get the chill out of my bones. If I were at home in So Cal even the suggestion of a sheet over my bare legs would warrant a flop sweat at this stage of summer.  But here I am in Holland, and though I wore three layers to dinner, my umbrella nearly turned inside out on the way back to the car, a piercing wind seemed to penetrate right down to my soul, and dark clouds hung ominously in the back lit sky.  Still this country is insanely enchanting.

This afternoon we visited Delft, and we did get about 30 minutes of sunshine to peruse the famous royal blue pottery in the main Markt square, for which we were truly grateful.  The craftsmanship and architecture of Delft are marvels to behold.  From the new church to the old church, to the fine lines etched in Delft blue on platters and pitchers, even the man cobbling clogs near a wagon attached to his bike add an indescribable charm to this old city.

We had dinner at a hip restaurant called Huszar which takes a modern approach to traditional dishes.  Greg has been eager to try bitterballen, I have been somewhat terrified because it sounds disgusting, right?  Plus he could not give me any sort of explanation for what this snack is made of. Here is what we got when we finally bit the bullet, so to speak; a breaded deep fried globe filled with something akin to a thick sausage gravy.  Surprisingly creamy inside and dipped in mustard, not half bad.

One learns many life lessons through travel.  Perhaps one of those lessons is to be more willing to try new things; it's not always as scary as you may think.  Another, that we re-learned today, is to just slow down!  We have been so excited to explore this country that we've been racing off each day, traveling great distances and exhausting ourselves just to get a taste of new regions, almost desperate to sample all this country has to offer.  By taking the morning off to do laundry, we found more time to chat with our host, who we found was eager to hear about where we come from and what our town is like.  We wisely limited our afternoon and evening to one destination about 20 minutes from home and we opted to drive saving ourselves what would have been a miserably wet and cold ride home.  Instead we had time to browse, have a drink in the square and people watch, take our time at dinner rather than rushing to get back on the road.  Hopefully we'll find more opportunities to take it slow during our travels.

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