Bidding adieu to Delft with a little bit of a hotel review of Bridges House Hotel

A day in the life of cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora on holiday is a whirlwind skedaddle along the cobblestoned rues snapping National Geographic images of monuments galore, savouring gastronomic cuisine and chasing after the bargain of the day.  Whilst my waking hours are consumed with pounding the pavement and wearing down the tread on my Keds, evenings are devoted to guzzling vino and bubbly, burning the midnight oil and scribbling the night away.  Penning my globetrotting adventures onto the New York Times bestseller list is a task of monumental proportions requiring a hearth to hang my hat on and a tranquil space to call my home.

Scribbling the day away

It therefore goes without saying that one’s overseas home away from home be as quaint and cozy as budget permits – a palatial abode worthy of Kings and Queens or at least one that caters to peasants with loftier aspirations.  After all, battling it out with an army of critters in a rat-infested dive is a sure-fire guarantee of sleep-deprived nights, not to mention itchy, scratchy souvenirs of scars, tics and bites.  There’s a price to be paid for miserliness, and it’s called checking into el cheapo fleabag motel. 

No scrooge on the loose was I, merely a backpacking wanderer determined to cement a pink sneaker footprint on every last inch of the map, all without cutting corners or breaking the bank.  Unswerving in my resolve to score suitable accommodation for a fraction of the going price, I left no stone unearthed in my quest for that steal of a deal.  Scouring the Web for days on end, forgoing much-needed zzzz’s, nutrition and meal, I subsided on hope and a prayer, locked in a catatonic and zombie-like state, pecking like mad at travel sites galore.  Why risk succumbing to shut-eye when the gem of a find was just a click away - the difference between camping out on a park bench scrapping with the hobos for that desirably coveted spot or languishing on silk satin sheets in the castle of your dreams?

Yikes!!  Catching a few ZZZ's whilst scouring the Web

And so, I, a middle aged older bag and seasoned hotel booking pro (kudos to me!!), miraculously snagged the bargain of the day and struck virtual hotel gold when I stumbled across Bridges House Hotel.  A three star Inn worthy of 5-star acclaim, this 11-room residence located in the heart of Delft, was the needle in a haystack that was well worth the wait.  Overlooking a picturesque canal, the 3-story edifice occupied prime real estate, its desirable location quite the easy find.  A seven minute sprint from the train station made the dreaded luggage schlep that much more bearable and was a welcome respite from carting over-burdened baggage in circles for miles on end.
Bridges House Hotel in Delft

Forewarned that a daunting jaunt up 3 flights of steeper than vertical stairs awaited, I was not primed for the bolt to the attic, where my digs were located.  Not for the faint of heart, the trek up a typical Dutch set of skinny stairs was a challenge in itself, requiring the stamina of a bull and a sideways tread, made all the more problematic if weighed down with denizens of cumbersome bags.  So, what’s a clever ol’ Auntie to do?  Whine, moan, gripe or wail?  Nope.  Just spill a bucketful of crocodile tears and hand over a Euro or two to the strong as an ox young lad that worked at the inn to run your baggage up the stairs.   Luggage issue solved!

The stairs leading to our spacious room on the 3rd floor

Bridges House Hotel did not disappoint and exceeded my expectations on all levels of hospitality.  The larger than large suites (a rarity in Europe!) were beyond spacious, neither cramped nor crowded, even boasting a luxurious sitting area if I needed to retreat.  The included all you can eat breakfast buffet was both nutritious and delicious, filling my tummy and staving off hunger until vino and lunch time beckoned. 

Enjoying the view!!

My only regret?  Bidding adieu after five glorious days.

Next post – In two weeks!!   May 13th!!
Stay tuned for the fabulous adventures of cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora en route to Belgium. 


Much to my surprise, I was both honoured and delighted to receive the news on a dreary Monday morning that I had been nominated for a LIEBSTER AWARD!!  An award given to up and coming bloggers by fellow bloggers in the blogging community, the Liebster Award is a pay it forward kind of deal.  A fun way to promote blogs that inspire, educate and resonate with you. 

Vicky from EatSleepLoveTravel so very kindly nominated me and to her I owe heart-felt thanks!!   I’ve attached the link to her website, so please check out her travel blog as it's chock full of informative and entertaining posts as well as magazine worthy pictures of places she's visited.  Link is:   eatsleeplovetravel

(Cutting, pasting and linking is not my forté and I’m a technologically challenged  ol' Auntie so hopefully this link works.)  Yikes!!  Hope, hope, hope. 

The rules are as such:
Thank the person who nominated you and post the link to their website.
Answer 10 questions from the person who nominated you.
List 10 random things about yourself.
Nominate 10 bloggers with less than 300 – 1000 followers that you admire and nominate them for a Liebster Award.
Post the above on your website.  

May 13th!!  Read all about my answers and which blogs I’ll nominate!! 

Gesloten. Locked out (of the shops) in postcard perfect Delft.


Closed.  Doors locked.  Bolted.  Key thrown away.  Come back another day.

The dreaded words no shopaholic with grandiose acquisitive tendencies ever wants to have to hear. It was our last morning in picture perfect Delft and I was primed for a whirlwind day of splurging and snatching, hell-bent on an out of control spend-a-holic spree guaranteed to decimate the last of my nest egg and then some - a potentially catastrophic event that could inevitably catapult my financial advisor over the edge of the ledge upon hearing of his client’s momentary (or was that monetary?) lapse of fiscal responsibility.

So there I stood, drooling and salivating, within arms length of possessing that limited edition caramel hued one of a kind tote enticingly perched in the vitrine of a closed and bolted shop, our union separated by mere inches of glass - so close, I could almost reach out and caress the buttery smooth calfskin, the scent of finely crafted Italian leather an aphrodisiac like none other.  Rows upon rows of a kaleidoscope of satchels all neatly lined up for the grab, beckoned, teased and enticed, but alas, woe was I, for all the shops were - Gesloten!  Closed.  Not open for business.  Come back tomorrow.

Tomorrow?  Like, 24 hours later?  You’ve got to be kidding, right?  Twenty-four hours from now I’ll be hundreds of miles away, gallivanting in Belgium, scouring souvenir shops for baubles galore, haggling with sellers and vendors, on the hunt for the bargain of the day.  With panic mode setting on in, my options now limited to window-shopping, I was quite the dejected mess, a snivelling ol’ Auntie ranting and raving about marketing opportunities lost.  On an agenda to squander, my pocketful of Euros was burning a hole so deep - the trail of coins clinking on the cobblestone rues quite the unexpected surprise for a handful of lucky pedestrians strolling behind me.  Ka-ching!!

And to think, just the other day, I meandered, with denizens of flea minded hoarders and budget conscious shoppers, along the canals on a Saturday morning, on a quest for that diamond in the haystack.  Oohing and awing at the plethora of wares on display, the market did not disappoint, showcasing porcelain and trinkets, and even hawking the kitchen sink!  Never one to exercise restraint, let alone curtail my spendthrift ways, I was in uncharacteristic frugal mode, exhibiting a rare display of prudence.  Keeping a tight reign on my purse strings, hoarding my stash of cash for el grando splurge on designated shopping day Monday, I wandered, appearing disinterested, determined to skedaddle away empty-handed.  Not securing that deal of a steal nor shopping till I dropped, my sights were set on the day after Sunday when I would let loose and charge like a bull through a china shop.

And so, my words of wisdom for shopaholics worldwide are few and far between.  Read up on when the shops are either OPEN or GESLOTEN! 

Lesson learned.  And with it, my vision of sporting that highly coveted one of a kind satchel, now a walk down memory lane.

Come amble along the Saturday markets in postcard perfect Delft and gawk at the wares on display, yet all the while you’ve set your sights on the day after Sunday for a mega splurge on shopping day Monday.  Not!!  The joke’s on me!!  Needless to say, I learned real quick how to translate Gesloten!!

Next post - In two weeks – Wed, April 29th!! – Catch up on the adventures of Pink Sneakers on the Go en route to Ghent in Belgium. 

If it's raining cats and dogs in Den Haag on your one and only day of sight-seeing....

Splish-splashing along the cobblestone rues and avenues, dodging puddles left, right and centre, my pink sneakers were beyond drenched, a waterlogged mess of footwear attire gone wrong.  So, there I stood – in the midst of a torrential downpour – in the Royal City by the Sea and all that I was able to focus on was rubber boots.  Or, lack thereof.  My long anticipated sojourn to the aristocratic gem of Den Haag had taken quite the unexpected detour, my sights no longer set upon gawking at palaces and architecture, but on the more mundane task of scoring some dry and leak-proof raingear.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day....

Really jealous.  Wish I had an umbrella!!

The residential abode of the Prime Minister and generations of Dutch royalty, this compact metropolis is home to the international Court of Justice, as well as to Parliament and government offices.  Offering the best of both urban and seascape, The Hague draws upwards of thousands of visitors from around the globe each year, its world class museums and seaside resorts just a fraction of the attractions on offer.  From wide leafy promenades and spacious green spaces to the relaxed and easy breezy beachy feel of Scheveningen, the Hague does not disappoint, its cosmopolitan flair ensuring a little bit of something for everyone.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Oh, and did I happen to mention that it’s also home to one of the oldest shopping arcades in Holland?  Built in 1885, the Haagse Passage is a World UNESCO Heritage site, its ornate fixtures and glass domed roof visually transporting one back into the 19th century – a prestigious European shopping mecca dotted with cafés, bistros and high-end boutiques catering to 21st century shopaholics.

Shopping mecca extraordinaire - bags, boots, bistros. Off to the races!!

Salivating at the prospect of indulging in excessive acquisition and hell-bent on snagging the bargain of the day, I was in seventh heaven, visions of rows upon rows of designer satchels dancing in my head, I was up to the task of a marathon sprint, snatching and grabbing until I dropped.  Or, at least, until my Euros ran out - whichever came first.

Ditching my travel pal, I barrelled on in, on a frenzied mission like none other, on a quest for umbrellas and slickers, boots, bags and whatever.  Huffing and puffing, determined to outrun the mob, jostling with hordes of soaked pedestrians seeking refuge from the rain, I was on a whirlwind spree, a cyclonic force to be reckoned with, virtually unstoppable in my tracks.  Until the unthinkable.

Umbrellas!! YIPPEE!!  Too late.  It stopped raining..

Casually languishing on an outdoor patio in this indoor promenade imbibing on quite the selection of ales was none other than my globetrotting buddy, calmly waiting out the storm.  Vino, anyone?  Well, lunchtime was just around the corner….

Catching a concert of upcoming world-renown musicians

Now, who’s the smartest one of the bunch?  Wait.  Don’t answer that.

Come shop till you drop or at least until your Euros run out, in Holland’s third largest city, Den Haag.  If it’s raining cats and dogs, no need to seek refuge under a tree, just scurry on in to Haagse Passage and treat yourself to a vino or two or three (hic!!) and pen postcards home.  After all, half the fun of travel is the unexpected, the unplanned and the unpredictable.....

Next post - In two weeks, Wed, April 15th!!  Stay tuned for the escapdes of cuckoo ol' Auntie Nora and sidekick Oz in the Netherlands.  What adventures await? Can’t wait!!