We had a quiet train ride to Delft, and we had to transfer in Rotterdam before getting there. Once there, we had the choice to either take the bus or walk out to the place where we were going to be camping. Once we got to the train station in Delft, we quickly realised that the bus station that was supposedly there was not as easy to find as we were told. So we decided to walk since it was already colder than we expected it to be. It was nice, though, to walk through the city centre and look at all the Dutch quaintness of the city.
We no sooner arrived at de Uylenburg, where we were camping, when the sky opened up and rained on us. Although we quickly realised it was actually hail! Thankfully there was a café there, so we ducked in for a few minutes to get our bearings before we found reception to check in. It finally stopped hailing, and didn’t rain just long enough for us to get our tent up and dinner cooked. While checking in, we quickly realised that we were the only customers camping in a tent. Everyone else had a caravan with electric and heating. On a night like that, you would want a caravan over a tent–unless you are crazy like my husband and I. :)
Anyway, we got settled into our tent and warmed our cold wet bodies. Then it rained all night. We weren’t exactly certain we would stay dry since the tent was new and we hadn’t used it before. Thankfully, our little tent is incredibly waterproof! By the time the sun came up, it finally stopped raining.
The rest of our trip wasn’t nearly as wet as our start–it was still a bit unseasonably cold, for which we weren’t prepared since we had packed 2 weeks prior to this trip. Yet all the walking around we did kept us warm enough. And it made us appreciate the warm places we visited indoors that much more.
We spent both of our days in Delft looking at the Market in the city centre and toured the Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk (Old Church and New Church). We took a stop at the library in Delft to take a break from walking all day. The following day, we began our day by having a second breakfast for 1€ at IKEA. It was cold enough outdoors to warm up at such a neat place that was within walking distance of de Uylenburg!
My favourite place to visit was the Royal Delft Factory. There they still make the famous blue Dutch pottery by hand and then paint it by hand as well. However, there are only 7 painters left on staff because the demand has gone down significantly.
It was really interesting to see the process for making Delftware by hand. They pour the clay into plaster moulds themselves and then shape the pottery once it’s been dried. It gets glazed once before the painters paint with a black-looking paint on it. The paint doesn’t actually turn blue until it gets fired. And, come to find out there is more to Delftware than just the blue and white colour scheme that we are familiar with. There are other colour combinations as well, even just plain white pottery.
Enough about the Royal Delft Factory. It was well worth the 6€ we paid, but it’s time to move on. :P
That evening, we took the tram out to Scheveningen, which is a district of the Hague. There is a beach in Scheveningen, which is on the North Sea. We had wanted to get cycles to go, but decided it was too cold. It actually was rather windy, too. Despite all my negative comments about the weather, though, it really was quite nice. The sun was beginning to set once we got there, so that was nice. And we walked along the edge of the sea. I would have gotten my feet wet if it weren’t so cold… just to say that I’ve touched the North Sea. Leon decided to go barefoot, though… What a surprise. There was a pier there on the beach with a tower going up so you could see far out. What a view!
Overall, we had a lovely trip to Delft. I haven’t been scared away from camping just yet… even though it was a challenging trip with the weather to start out. I have, however been scared away from the last train to Carlisle from Newcastle on a Saturday evening. That story, however, may have to be kept for another day!