The Netherlands Diary #2: Delft & Leiden

While I was in The Hague, I took two day trips to nearby towns, Delft and Leiden. They are good samples of what a typical Dutch town is like – cute canals lined with shops, boats, and houses (and houseboats), with a couple of churches to provide navigation points (most of them are named Oude Kerk & Nieuwe Kerk – Old Church & New Church. Old churches were usually built in medieval times, around 1300s, and new churches were usually built around 1600s.)

The main canal in Delft

Leiden harbor

A very romantic-looking houseboat

Leiden is a bit bigger than Delft thanks to its university, but I think Delft, due to its small size, has more concentrated cuteness. Even then, with both towns, you don’t have to walk far to find a photo-worthy spot. In both places, my friend and I spent most of our time walking along the canals, taking in the sights, people-watching, window-shopping, and stopping at a cafe or a fish-and-chip van when we were tired (no raw herring for me though!)

Fish & chips and weed – you can’t get more Dutch than that (no, I didn’t try the weed)

An old sailor we met at the fish&chips van

Cheese and Delftware – two of the most popular items on sale

A common sight on every Dutch street

A man making klompen (Dutch clogs) on the main square in Delft

We happened to be in Delft on the day its municipal museum was free, so we spent the afternoon admiring the artwork and gorgeous Delftware. I wish we had time for the Royal Delft Factory as well, but I didn’t mind wandering around. In fact, I prefer to just wander instead of rushing through a place to cross things off a list.

Another thing I noticed about Delft and Leiden (and other Dutch towns too, as I came to realize) is that they have these mini libraries on the street, filled with free books for anyone to take. Of course most of the books are in Dutch, but that is an idea I can totally get behind.

One last funny anecdote: as we were walking along the outer canals of Delft, my friend suddenly said “Is it me, or is that church tower leaning?” We were pulling out our phones to look it up when a tour boat passed us on the canal, and I overheard the tour guide saying something along the line of “… leaning at a 20 degrees angle.” Turns out the Old Church tower does lean – it’s even called the Dutch Leaning Tower, to differentiate from the one in Italy, you know. We just didn’t notice it because we had only been seeing it from the front!


4 Comments on “The Netherlands Diary #2: Delft & Leiden”

  1. Mike says:

    That leaning tower is totally awesome! Move over Leaning Tower of Pisa (no pun intended)!

    And on that note, if that church tower looks like it’s leaning even more than Leaning Tower of Pisa, it really is because currently, the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans at about a 4 degree angle, while this one you say leans at a 20 degree angle. You can definitely see the difference!

    • Salazar says:

      Yeah, I don’t think it’s leaning at a 20-degree angle, because that is a lot. That’s just what I heard the tour guide said. It may have been just 2 degrees (I couldn’t find any exact measurement on it, just that it is leaning.)

      • Mike says:

        I agree. I mean, it does look like it’s leaning a little farther than Pisa, but a 20 degree angle? That seemed like a lot. So I went to Google (don’t you just love Google?) and typed in “20 degree angle”. I found some images of right triangles. And after doing a little comparison, I saw where the hypotenuse side of the triangle represents the church tower leaning (the vertex would be on the ground), while the side opposite of it would be the tower if it were standing straight up. That’s a huge gap, just looking at it visually. So it may in fact be leaning at a similar angle to Leaning Tower of Pisa. If it were leaning any further, it would probably fall over!

  2. Kezzie says:

    OOOh, it is so beautiful there! Your fish and chips look really tasty and I just love the bright colours and cleanliness!

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