This is the seventh in a series of posts describing my recent trip to England, Ireland, the Netherlands and Wales, from writing course to school reunion and more.

It couldn’t have been more different. In one short flight, I went from a hilly country to a flat one, from not many bicycles to a multitude of them, from coolish temperatures to nights so hot it was hard to sleep, from one language (I did hear only one, and it wasn’t Irish) to another, from people I’d only just met to ones I’ve known all or most of my life.

One thing remained the same: the currency. It was hard to believe I could take out the coins I’d collected in Ireland and hand them over to shopkeepers here in Amsterdam.

During the four days I spent in Holland, I visited the newly-renovated Rijksmuseum and cycled through the Amsterdam Bos to a lake where (as if my legs weren’t aching enough from cycling) we went out on what they called a water bicycle and what I’d call a pedal boat.

Cycling in Amsterdam

Cycling in Amsterdam

We also joined a coach tour to Rotterdam, Delft and the Hague. Delft is a fascinating old town with plenty to see all around the central cobbled square.

At the Royal Delft pottery factory, while the guide spoke to us, I took the photo below. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the story behind the tiled picture behind her and neither can my brother. I do remember that it was sold, but the factory is allowed to keep it for now. If you know any more about the picture, please let me know in the comments. (The comment button is at the top.)

Royal Delft Pottery Works

Royal Delft Pottery Works

I hope to return to Delft one day for a longer visit.

There had been threats of thunderstorms every day, but these didn’t materialise until the last day, when my brother and I went out for a short walk around the Vondelpark, decided there was no need to take rainwear and of course got caught in a thunderstorm. Oh well, I lived to tell the tale.

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