There were beautiful canal walks, with luscious trees and stately and really old canal houses to admire, including the old warehouses with big shutters. I was fascinated to learn that many houses have block and tackles attached to the front top of the house for ease of furniture removal. Sometimes the house even leaned a little to facilitate this. On the last day we went by train to Delft, home of the famous painted Delftware. They even made a chair!There were more pretty canals and houses. It was hard to take a terrible photo, everywhere was so picturesque.
I'm especially pleased to have caught this windmill from the train as we zoomed past. There were some impressive churches in Delft, a 'new church' and an 'old church'. This is a Green Man piece of plaster work from the old church that I like because it is so weathered - I believe it is from 1400-ish. Australians really do scratch our heads in wonder at the concept of such old buildings. Unfortunately both the churches were closed for the day and we couldn't go inside...pity, they each looked amazing from the outside.
One of the places that was open was the Johannes Vermeer Museum. It was really lovely, with lifesize reproductions of each of his 36 known works. It was sad to think he had so few works. Many of the works were painted in a setting in his studio with the light coming from teh upper left as seen below in this pic. There was a little setup with a camera holder to recreate the conditions. This is a random woman I asked to pose for me. She did take one of me but it turned out very blurry. Don was museumed out that day and he sat in the town square with a beer while I took in the JV museum. I'm glad I did. We both cried when we saw the original of the Milkmaid in the Rijksmuseum. It was extraordinarily beautiful. The Girl with a Pearl Earring was in The Hague, which we thought of going to see, but it seemed too hard to reach there from the station, so she 'got away'.
I'll post pics from Italy next time.