zondag 18 juni 2017

Barcelona - 16-18 June 2017 - with Marieke

Barcelona here we come

A long weekend Barcelona with Marieke (16 -18 June 2017).
When all goes well Marieke will be finishing her studies at the University of Barcelona. We invited her to travel with us to Barcelona to give her a short impression of the city where she will probably live for 5 months.

We didn't visit all the highlights coz there was far too little time, and moreover, Marieke will have lots of time to visit all the sites when she lives there. As it was extremely warm for the time of the year (around 30 C), we made a tour with a hop on-hop off open bus, which showed us all the sights.
Of course we shopped a bit and had great food and wine.
We stayed in a nice apartment in the middle of town in the Eixample barrio, which made us feel if we lived there. Loved it, although it was of course too short.
Some pictures to tell the story:

Friday, 16 June: arrived in Barcelona: barrio Eixample, time for a late lunch.

it's warm, Marieke bought a cool fan, which she lost a day later :-(

First stop: Gaudi's parc Guell: wow how this has changed since we were here 7 years ago. Nowadays one has to pay to be able to enter the area of the mosaics

a cold beer tastes great when it's this warm

Tapas and drinks at a very Spanish bar with lots of things happening in front of us: never a dull moment.

the vibrant district El Raval, with on the right the Museum of Contemporary Art

vibrant indeed

Sunday, 17 June: hop on-hop off - exploring the city

Montjuic hill where a lot of museums and sports grounds are, and which hosted the 1929 International Expo as well as the 1992 Summer Olympics  

at the left: Marieke in front of the beach, which she plans to visit frequently when living here. top right: Casa Batllo, one of the famous Gaudi buildings in the city

modern buildings and tourists near the harbour, with top right the Casino.

La Boqueria market, where we both bought delicious Spanish cured ham

and ... an oyster for me 

We walked through the Gothic district to the old harbor (Port Vell) where we had a late lunch/early dinner at one of the posh restaurants. We ordered paella and a great bottle of white wine.

light from above (in one of the old churches we passed)

Concluding the day with the 'Font Magica Montjuic': the water and light show, which takes place every evening  

Sunday, 18 June: Sagrada Familia and a relaxing lunch 

after breakfast at  the Cafe Zurich on Plaza Catalunya we visited the Sagrada Familia. We didn't enter (no tickets available) but lingered in the parc. 
After exploring the Raval district we found a cool place to have dinner outside.


going to fetch our suitcases

On our way to the airport. It was a too short but great trip

maandag 5 juni 2017

Whit Sunday & Monday 2017 (4 and 5 June)

Whit Sunday 4 June & Whit Monday, 5 June 2017

Beautiful 'cycle weather' this looong weekend.
On Saturday, our focus was on grocery shopping, although we did use our bikes to go into Leiden town to buy our favourite French baquettes at Mamie Gourmande

However, Sunday we made a tour of about 40 kilometer in Middden Delfland, which was really super. I made several pictures, which I wanna share as Holland can be lovely, especially in spring.

map of the Midden Delfland

crossing the new part of the highway A4

lovely flowers inside and along the waterside


drinking tea at Grandcafe 't Hoofd at Maassluis: enjoying the sun and watching the boats  
very 'Dutch views'  

scenic Maasland

'beer stop' at Het Raadhuis in Schipluiden. They make their own beer here, which tasted yummie. We asked to buy some bottles for taking home, but unfortunately that wasn't possible. 
We loved the beer 'Zonnetje'; a light summer beer.

'boarding'  in Delft, where we started our cycle tour.


Whit Monday, 5 June we visited De Haar castle and gardens at Haarzuilens.
After parking our car at the parking lot, we took our bikes and made a tour in the neighbourhood before returning to the castle where we booked a special tour at 15 hours. 

the outside of the castle, our starting point for this cycle tour

Vleuten, where we had a 'tea stop' 

back at the castle 

awesome gardens

the Main Hall

the special guided tour we booked showed us the guest bedrooms and views of the garden

the dining room

Luca della Robbia 

art in the Ball room

hairdresser's: the hosts gave the visiting guests the opportunity to have their hair washed

the kitchen of the castle

mirroring effect

drinks to conclude our visit, with a view on the castle

It was a lovely loooong weekend.