Yvonne and I have rented a car and are starting our tour around the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a small country but a week is just enough time to scratch the surface in a small area.

Yvonne agreed to drive the rental car leaving me to navigate. The rental car, a Toyota Yaris is a hybrid with key less entry which are foreign to me but known to Yvonne (yeah!!!). By the way Yvonne did a fabulous job driving especially in Den Haag when the GPS took her down a small street that was closed and the street we turned on was block with a garbage truck. Luckily the garbage truck eventually moved. We found a parking garage, landed and determined we were near the sights we wanted to see.

According to google ----Den Haag, or the Hague, is a city on the North Sea coast of the western Netherlands. Its Gothic-style Binnenhof (or Inner Court) complex is the seat of the Dutch parliament, and 16th-century Noordeinde Palace is the king’s workplace. The city is also home to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.

The Grote Kerk --- the large church.

In the court yard of the Binnenhof.

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A fountain in the court yard of the Binnenhof. A tree lined street.

The Peace Palace.

At the Peace Palace is the "Imagine Peace Wish Tree". Each piece of paper has a wish on it.

A playground in the Noordeinde Palace gardens.

Next stop was Delft. Here we found some free parking --- we needed to make up for the 15.60 euro we paid for parking in Den Haag. Unfortunately, we had to walk a little over a kilometer to get to the area we wanted to see but given that the Delft is flat it wasn't a bad walk.

According to google (I copied and pasted), Delft, a canal-ringed city in the western Netherlands, is known as the manufacturing base for Delftware, hand-painted blue-and-white pottery. In its old town, the medieval Oude Kerk is the burial site of native son and Dutch Master painter Johannes Vermeer. Once the seat of the royal House of Orange, the 15th-century Nieuwe Kerk houses the family's tombs and overlooks Delft's lively market square.

Beestenmarkt is a beautiful square. Most of the building along the perimeter of the square are restaurants. Yvonne and I ate a very lovely dinner here. When you sit outside a restaurant in the Netherlands, you sit beside each other so everyone can look into the square. You sit normally (across from each other) at the tables that are in the center of the square.

The cow of Beestenmarkt ---- I have no idea what the significance of the cow is.

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The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is on the left and it dates back to the 1300's. The Oude Kerk (Old Church) is on the right. It's about 100 years older than the new church.

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This is a third church in the old area of Delft. The churches are within a 5 minute walk of each other. The inside of this church was really beautiful.

The outside wall of some buildings are one side of the canal. I wouldn't want to get a leak in the wall!

There are a number of picturesque canals in Delft.

Windmill the Rose

Leaving Delft we drove to our hotel that is on the ring road that goes around Rotterdam. We're on the 14th floor and have a great view of a couple of bridges, a soccer field and the city.