Time has flown past again and I've neglected my blog for two weeks. Shame on me! I've got quite a lot to catch up with so I'll do my best to add another post this week if I can. This week's offering is about a day's dash up to the beautiful town of Dordrecht to meet my niece. She and her husband were over here celebrating her birthday at the end of January, but since they were spending an entire week in Amsterdam, I managed to get the train up country to join up with them on 1 February.
But why Dordrecht, you might ask? Why not Rotterdam where I spent so much of my life. Well, three reasons. Firstly, my niece has been to Rotterdam before (albeit a long time ago), and secondly, Dordrecht is singularly beautiful, so I thought it would be nice to show her somewhere different. The third reason is that it is almost exactly halfway between Amsterdam and where I live in the south. Being on a direct train line as well made it easy for us to find each other.
I was so pleased it was a sunny day, although it was quite chilly. We had lunch at one of those rustic style cafés that the Dutch do so well and then we took a stroll around Dordrecht's more traditional areas. To my shame, I got a bit lost and we never reached the places I would really have loved to show them as time was running out for me to catch my train back to the wilds of southern Zeeland. I feel I can be forgiven, though. In the past, we've nearly always approached Dordrecht by water; not only on our own boats, but on the Fast Ferry, a public transport service from Rotterdam (see this old post from 2019 of a previous visit ). It's always been our preferred way of reaching the city.
Unfortunately, I have a terrible sense of direction. This shortcoming resulted in my getting confused as to which way we should go, the upside of which was that we saw buildings and streets I'd never seen before. By the way, Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland (the province, not the country) and it has a history worth reading about. See Wikipedia's summary here.
One example is the old Gemeente School (otherwise known as the statenschool or state school). It was the first time I'd come across it and I found it quite impressive. Apparently, a number of such schools were built to cater for all the children who needed to be educated following the compulsory education act of 1901. Dordrecht's was built in traditional Dutch style, giving it a very noble appearance. I think I'd have enjoyed going to school in such lovely environs.
|The facade of the old 'statenschool' built in 1913
(Article here. Ask Google to translate)
|Strolling the inner courtyard of
Dordrecht's old school buildings
We then meandered our way through some of the town's gorgeous old streets, admiring the traditional Dutch architecture and marvelling at how so many of the houses were skew or leaning out over the streets. They are all beautifully maintained, but even so, it almost defies belief that they manage to remain standing.
|Taking photos together
|My nephew-in-law (if there is such a thing)
He was taking the picture of us taking pictures
|I've made this photo extra large to show the delightful
wonkiness of the facades here. Nothing is straight!
|Of course, we gravitated to the waterside. This is one of
Dordrecht's many inner harbours
We only had a few hours, but it was just right. I am a very fond aunt so it was a real joy to see one of my sister's daughters here. Maybe they'll all come over one of these days... I can but hope.
To sign off, then allemaal, here's a photo I've pinched from a website about Dordrecht's harbours. I wish it were mine but it's by AC de Leeuw.
Wishing you all a great week to come, and I'll do my best to write another post during the coming days.