Yes, that's a gondola on the left bank. Usually it's in the canal; now it's out for spring cleaning.
A 17th-century church. Its bells ring every 15 minutes. That can get annoying after hearing "If I Were a Rich Man" several times a day for an entire week (the bells' playlist changes every Monday).
A month ago, I endured the most chaotic and stressful move of my life, thanks to French movers showing up a day early and resulting kerfuffles galore. The movers managed to damage antiques; break rare porcelain and worst of all, lose seven pieces of my beloved Nelson McCoy pottery collection. Currently I'm wading through a maze of French bureaucracy to settle the claim.
Now we live in a 200-year-old maisonette in this charming little village (a city in terms of population, but it feels like a village. It's a brief train ride from Amsterdam). Some highlights:
Fresh stroopwaffels...caramel goodness impossible to resist, made in front of you.
A florist who is a design genius, has impeccable taste and sells exotic blooms I'm seeing for the first time. The entire staff is friendly and helpful (not pictured; will do a photo essay about this third-generation florist soon).
Sunny bay windows filled with orchids: magenta; fuschia; yellow and white - a flower until now I've never successfully grown.
Climbing steep and dangerous stairs 20 times a day (the up side means I have tightened my belt a notch. Hooray!)
Bureaucracy: I was unprepared for bureaucracy that rivals the French (although the Dutch are in a better humour, when administering it)
An award-winning baker, selling a variety of truly delicious breads.
Friendly neighbours and helpful locals.
A simpler, cleaner look...90 percent of my art is NOT on display. Suddenly I don't need all those collectibles that filled our Paris apartment; it feels lighter and freer.
Exquisite light for photography.
Canals. Water, water everywhere.
Bicycles...my bike has been for a tune-up and now sports a basket to carry my camera gear.
Airy, light-filled space - even on grey wintery days (interior photos to follow).
The historic town gate; the River Lek lies less than a mile beyond it.
Inside the city's gates is the Town Hall complex (with a white stork's nest on the roof).
A bronze horse and a box of wooden birdhouses outside one of the town's florists.
The obligatory Dutch cheese shop featuring large wheels of Gouda.
Spring touches on a bicycle.
Flowers in unlikely places.
Wreath of roses.
Sign of serenity in a private garden.
A beautifully-paved brick-and-cobblestone street on a foggy afternoon.