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May 2000
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Bike Ride to Delft
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Bike Ride to Delft
Sunday, May 21, 2000; posted by Paris

Lisa and I rode the 9 miles from The Hague to Delft this past Saturday. The roads are not always clearly marked, and they frequently change to a different name throughout their stretch. This meant a 1:30+ ride there and back.

We started around 4:30pm and got to the city center by 6:30 (we made a wrong turn in Den Hoorn. It didn't matter because it was such a beautiful day and every wrong turn provided us with an even more detailed experience. Besides, there was no rush since "we have nothing else to do". We had more than enough daylight to get home because the sun does not set until after 10:00pm.

We rode on the bike paths that crisscross the countryside. We went down main thoroughfares and through the countryside. The smell of flowers and evergreens and nature in general was great.

From a distance we saw the spires of the churches of the old city center and knew we had finally found our goal.

The cobblestone streets that lined the canals were calm. We did not get to go into any of these buildings, but have plans to do that in the future.

One area not pictured here is the beautiful Het Prinsenhof (Prince's Court), originally built as a convent in the 15th century and was used by William of Orange as his residence in the 1570's. The old buildings wrap around a lush garden of old, tall trees bordering an open garden with shrubs and flowers growing in geometric patterns.

This is a composite picture of the market square and the Nieuwe Kerk taken from the steps of the Stadhuis. We had a snack in a café on the right side of the square, at the foot of the Nieuwe Kerk. The time was told by the ringing of the church bells.

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) has many of the Dutch monarchs from the House of Orange buried in its royal crypt. This stands across from the Stadhuis on the market square.

Oude Kerk (Old Church) - founded in 1200 is the oldest church in Delft. If you look closely at this picture you can see how the tower actually leans in four directions at once. The bell tower contains the largest carillon bell in the Netherlands, weighing 20,000 lbs. Across from the church is the Het Prinsenhof.

A foto for Lisa's cousin Bill. One of the narrowest streets we have found so far. The name is Schoolstraat.

Stadhuis (Town Hall) is on the market square (opposite the Nieuwe Kerk) was built from 1618-1620. The medieval tower attached dates from the late 13th century and was originally from a count's court that was taken into service as the town hall in the 15th century. Behind this building (not shown) is a row of buildings that were important commerce sites, and now serve as restaurants.