Our ship stayed overnight in Rotterdam. The dawn did little to illuminate the grey curtain of clouds on our coldest morning yet. The day’s original itinerary had given us a choice between a walking tour in Rotterdam or a bus trip to Delft. > > Yesterday, our captain decided that he wanted the ship to pass through a certain canal lock before the lock was closed for repairs. Even a temporary delay would necessitate a reorganization of the tour. So the scheduled walk in Rotterdam was abbreviated to two hours. The M/S Harmony would sail to Utrecht. The bus would collect those who had gone to Delft for the day and take them to the Utrecht dock, to rejoin those already onboard. > > I had not quite realized the complexity of river travel until I had to revamp HL’s and my own plan. We did not wish to spend the majority of the day on the ship. There would be plenty of sailing that evening. So we elected to visit a porcelain factory near Delft, where we could watch artisans producing the blue and white ceramic wares synonymous with the name of the city. > > It was a pity that we could not stay in Delft. After a short stroll and an overly attenuated lunch, we dashed into the Oude Kerk, the oldest and grandest of Delft’s churches. The illustrious painter Jan Vermeer was buried there, as was the artist’s contemporary and friend, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, inventor of microscopy. > > Delft impressed me with its orderly grace, its gardens, its variegated canal houses and its dreaming air. Paradoxically, that prevailing mood did not seem hostile to common, as well as creative, pursuits. There was much more to Delft than I had the chance to discover. Please tell me about it, should you chance to linger there.
Cheese shop in Delft
Tulips beside a Delft canal
Painter applying glaze to Delftware by hand
Technician checking newly-fired wares at Royal Delft Porcelain Factory
Antique Delftware panel