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4/21 - Gouda to  Delft - Another nice day - 35 miles, sunny and a bit warmer.

 The high today was in the 50s, so we took layers off earlier.

                             

ABOVE - Windmill on a house in the city of Gouda, Drawbridge entrance to one of today's bikepaths

This woman from Gouda gave us lots of interesting information about cycling in Holland.

She looked at our map for the day and was impressed by the out-of-the-way paths

Tulip Cycling selected for us. She said many cyclists miss the best scenery

by taking only the "LF" (long distance bike paths) routes.

Lots of swans on the canals.

Below - Trees full of cormorant nests near Zevenhuizen (near Rotterdam)

Close-up of cormorant nests

We saw several windmills near Zevenhuizen. Each is different from the next!

                   

Below -

Welcome to the never-ending greenhouses where we saw huge hothouse tomatoes,

red/yellow peppers (paprika), orchids, roses and many other varieties of flowers & vegetables.

We cycled past greenhouses like this for many miles. The tomato plants that

we saw inside were probably 12 feet tall and loaded with ripening tomatoes - yum!

Our hotel for the night in Delft

                   

Below, left - Our hotel for the night in Delft

Every wall in the hotel is painted differently with mostly tree scenery.

This is the hall outside of our room - tree in the center

Judith is loving this hotel and our "magnolia" room

                   

Below, left - The tree theme continues with headboard and falling leaves

on the shower stall in the corner.

Here we are along one of the many tranquil & picturesque canals in Delft

                   

Below - The Gothic Nieuwe Kerk built in the early 1500s has at least four different

architectural styles in the Tower. They've recently cleaned it up to the clock level.

Below, middle - Church Towers everywhere

                      

Below - Left, Nieuwe Kerk

                   

Below, middle - The Old Church tower

                   

Below, left - English: monumental building - Nederlands: monumentaal pand

Below, middle - Interesting decoration on this building

                   

Below, left - Buildings around Market Square

Below, right - One of the large churches in Delft near Market Square.

There were lots of people at cafes on the square enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon.

                   

Royal Dutch Delftware is manufactured here and famous worldwide.

Chinese designs were copied three centuries ago by local potters and their

descendants are still going strong today. Shopping!!!

The great Dutch Golden Age painter, Johannes Vermeer was born in Delft in 1632.

Most of his paintings were done here, but Delft owns none of the remaining 37.

This art bike in the window of the Vermeer Center depicts one of his most famous,

"Girl with a Pearl Earring". Ironically, the painting is now on display at the DeYoung Museum

in San Francisco (temporarily on loan while it's home in Amsterdam is being renovated).


Below - Reflections on a delft pottery window and mosaic of "Girl with a Pearl Earring"

                   

Below - Tulips and wooden shoes - this is definitely Holland!