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An unexpected surprise in the small town of Delft, Netherlands!! Did you ever hear the term Delftware of Delft Blue?

Delftware is a term now used for Dutch tin-glazed earthenware, a form of faience. Most of it is blue and white pottery and it is actually made in a factory in the small town of Delft. The earliest tin-glazed pottery in the Netherlands was made in Antwerp where the Italian potter Guido da Savino settled in 1500 and in 16th century Italian maiolica was the main influence decorative styles.

Within the factory, you can see how the pottery is made, the complete production process, including the work of the master artists. (See the first photo). Very unique pieces are shown in the factory, including highly unusual tulip holders, Gift's giving to Head's of State, tile walls and portraits and Commemoration Plates that have been issued to celebrate some of the most significant events in history.

(The plant in Delft, by the way is the last remaining Delft Blue factory from the 17th century in Defat that still hand makes Delft Blue according to centuries old tradition.)

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This is a classic windmill from Haarlem, Netherlands.

When my daughter and I visited Haarlem, Netherlands we took a tour of a windmill. It was fascinating. The miller that ran the windmill gave the tour. One of the many interesting things we learned is that windmill's have a language! Mill, as they call them at rest do not always have their sails in the same position. The mill was always the centre of the community and the miller was informed by his customers of local news. If there was a reason for celebration then the miller would signify this by stopping the sail just before it reached its highest position, this is called the "coming". The coming position could mean a birth, marriage or other type of event. If the vertical sail, has just passed its highest point, it was in a "going" position, which meant a death or other negative event. If the sails are in a pure vertical and horizontal position, this means the miller is resting for a short period. And if the sail in a "X" cross, so at a 45 degrees, the miller is resting for a longer period or that he is requesting outside services for the mill.

And remember.... the mill sails always turn counter-clockwise!

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Underground Cities.....

This first picture was taken at Goreme National Park in Cappadocia, Turkey. This region in

central Turkey is known for its mountains that have been used for centuries as dwellings. One of the largest underground cities in the world, Derinkuku, is located here. Photo 2 shows a section of the underground city. Photo 3 shows an underground church. It was used by early Christians, among other people, to hide from Roman, Arab and Mongolian armies moving through the region.

Air balloon are now used by tourists to get a beautiful view of the mountains and valleys that define the region.