kayaking in Delft

17Jun12

Since this is actually a kayak blog, I thought I should stop posting about the neighbourhood cats and get on with actually writing about kayaking.

Voorburg to Delft – map

Passing through the old Poort of Delft

We packed Sunny onto her shopping trolley and took the train to the Huygens house in Voorburg. The house was built by Constantijn Huygens as a summer retreat from his regular domicile in den Haag and it was subsequently inhabited by his son, Christiaan. Christiaan is pretty famous as a scientist and he did a lot of work on clocks, simple harmonic motion and lenses. Constantijn, his father, was a writer and an artist and he seems to have made piles of money managing the assets of the House of Orange.

The house is surrounded by a kind of moat, which reflects a lovely soft light up into the house.
light in Huygens' house

The moat is no longer connected directly to de Vliet (the Leiden-Delft canal) and our efforts to paddle across it were thwarted by an officious medewerker. Instead we had the pleasure of waving goodbye to two sweet old people on the dock by the canal.
het huis van huygens (voorbrug)

The trip between Voorburg and Delft was fairly dull. Delft, however, is a gorgeous town to see from a kayak! Bridges become picture frames.
bridges are picture frames

The canals are fairly narrow and there are lots of low bridges, which means that there is not a lot of boat traffic. There is a long bridge under the Voldersgracht which has a chain in the ceiling so that kayakers can pull themselves through without paddling.
reflections

There are a few spots where doors open right next to the canal.

This would be a great spot to get in and out of the canal, but this family of swans has taken it over. The cygnets were sweet and peeping, but the parents were nasty and hissing and there was a lot of poop and feathers around. I imagine that the swans are out there with a spray can at night, tagging the bench and the trash bin.
baby swans

More info about kayaking in (and around) Delft can be found at www.kanoroutes.nl.

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