The town of Drachten in north east Holland came as a bit of a surprise to me because there are loads of shops, some of them the same ones you can see on British high streets. It’s a very busy place but driving there you are surrounded by countryside and I didn’t think there would be enough of a population to sustain the shops, but obviously there is.
Above is a photo of a sort of pedestrianised town square, but in Holland bikes are everywhere and it seems that if there are rules regarding where they should be ridden, nobody cares much. Everywhere you go you have to keep your eyes peeled for cyclists, often with two or even three children perched on all sides. The large orange and white umbrella canopy thing has a sort of tree of bells under it and they ring out the hours and quarter hours.
There’s a dead end canal leading right into the town.
Most of the shops were open but some of the smaller ones were closed, it was half-day closing. I think it must be around 45 years since shops in any UK towns had half-day closing.
Some streets still had orange bunting up in celebration of a royal birthday.
I love the individualism of Dutch houses, you rarely see two the same and they’re often decorated with tiles like this one, or the top section of the windows are filled with stained glass like the one below.
Drachten is a lovely town with great shops and if it hadn’t been so hot I would have tried on some dresses in the shops there, I was on the lookout for a dress to wear to G’s wedding. But the heat and the fact that I had two blokes in the shape of a husband and a brother trailing around with me made me think again!