Homeward bound

We started early so we could visit Het Keringhuis, the storm surge barrier protecting Rotterdam, on our way back to the ferry. We wandered through some of Haarlem’s lovely back streets for breakfast in Barista Cafe, which appears to be a Dutch Starbucks but far nicer.

We’d tested out their hot chocolate, yesterday, complete with whipped cream and salted caramel syrup. It was really very tasty!

John continued his healthy breakfast theme of yoghurt and granola. Kim continued her challenge to have cheese with every meal since we came away.

Before checking out John managed to take a photo of the hotel’s best feature, a decorative spiral staircase leading up to a beautiful stained glass dome.

The Netherlands are trying to dissuade the use of motor vehicles and one of the ways is at the expense of parking. We practically had to remortgage to retrieve the Beetle from its underground car park where it had been abandoned since our arrival.

Het Keringhuis is part of Holland’s Delta Works, similar to the Thames Barrier but a very different design. Consisting of two massive gates which fill with water, they swing into position to protect low lying land from seasonal storm surges which have the potential to devastate communities while keeping the busy port of Rotterdam safe and operational. Did you know that Holland’s lowest lying town is almost 7m below sea level?

That’s all from us, we’re on the ferry home and hope you’ve enjoyed our ramblings