Church, Delfthaven, meeting Elizabeth in Den Haag
Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
241Trip End Mar 15, 2007
The morning we were there they had Morning Prayer which they do regularly. The priest was not in town and the clergy person gave a good sermon tying in mission to seamen and the gospel readings (fishers of men, I think). The hymns, old though they were, were sung with strength and enthusiasm
After the Morning Prayer service we were invited up to receive communion from the reserve sacrament and the language used was from the new English prayer book. It was really a rather nice mix and mash of theology. After church we went in to their coffee hour (which was also a pot luck) and then we went out for a walk down to Delftshaven, which is the harbour for the city of Delft, some miles away. There is a song story about a townsman by name of Piet Heyn who cleverly managed to acquire some of the Spanish Treasury for Holland in 1628 for which there is a statue of him and they have named a street after him and put up some clever tiles plaquette on the wall of the place where he was born which are plays on words of his name in Dutch.
The buildings in this area are from the 1600s and were preserved from the bombardment during WWII. They are all the lovely small brick used then. Must have been a huge job to build with them. Also fancy plasters and all the facades are just a little bit different, just as they are today
Something I was not aware of was that the Pilgrim Fathers started off from Rotterdam's Pelgrimvaderskerk in the "Speedwell". They traveled first to England where they were given a more substantial boat, the Mayflower, and set off for America from there in 1620. This church, first built in 1417 as a chapel, was converted in the 16th century into a cruciform church in late Gothic style with a three bay nave. The front was heightened in 1761 and renewed in Regency style and a wooden clock tower built behind it.
We took a leisurely stroll down the harbour, along places like Haven Straat, Achterhaven, Moutersteeg and Brug, Aelbrechskolk, Voorhaven and the harbour arms, canals, ditches, etc and saw old barges, some still working and some just as recreational items. It reminded me very much of the movie we were shown as kids about a working barge in Holland with people traveling with their cars for when they tied up and their bikes for little jaunts to get groceries and otherwise carrying goods up and down the canals of Europe.
There seem to have been more distilleries and breweries than you can shake a stick at. We went into one, which I think is the state brewery, which is still operating and could see the huge kettles and the entertaining room
After this we walked home again through more of old town Rotterdam seeing such places as the original bakery of the co-operative movement with its; intricate tile works and various small details which mark a Rotterdam house though it may be quite similar to its neighbours.
Had a bit of a break at home. Still trying to get hooked up to the internet. While I can get into Shaw, I can not get into web mail, which is a real pain. I do not know if other online friends or my relatives from South Africa Jaana have answered my emails about my visits. Hope it is just down for a bit and I will check again later.
Had a lovely visit with Grada's mom, Elizabeth. She is well over 90 and is failing with blindness and a stroke or two; however, in her time she was an amazing woman. She was born in the Netherlands, was going to become a pharmacist but had to give it up shortly before her exams to get out of Holland during the war. Lived for a time in Switzerland and America then she and her husband moved to Brazil where they raised their kids for about 10 years, then came back to Holland, I think though they may have gone to Indonesia as well. She was always on the forefront of helping people and the trade union movement and women's rights. She was knighted by the queen of the Netherlands a few years ago for this. Her English is almost perfect and she seemed to have no difficulty switching back and forth between Dutch for Grada and English for me
On the way home Grada showed me where she grew up and places she knew when in Den Haag as a child. Went out for Chinese food and had roast duck mmmm as well as an amazing array of vegetables. Took the rest home to Nora who had, as an art historian, been present for the opening of a new exhibit this afternoon. Watched the last half of the final for the world cup, which Italy won over Portugal on penalty kicks.
Grada's online note reminds me that the weather was glorious: not too hot, no rain and lovely sunshine most of the time. We did not talk of cabbages... but that was one of the
few subjects we did not, kings were there galore (amongst others: King William III of England who was also Stadhouder of the Netherlands) and there were falcons (white, which rights who had to catch them where (that was twin talking of course, in connection with a curious painting whose mystery she most probably solved and that involved genealogy as well). We saw the house her grandmother had built and her father grew up in, with Nora providing all the interesting historical background, as art historian, and as
scholar to the Rotterdam Historic Museum. I tasted fresh herring and liked it with chopped chives. They wished me all joy of further travels and they hope my peregrinating feet and wheels will lead me back to Rotterdam some time again.