Strikes, particularly those affecting transport networks, are relatively common in Belgium. On Friday, however, they went a step further, with the first general strike for twelve years. I’m told that everything was closed.

But I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t get there. I was in the Netherlands, and had intended to travel back to Belgium on Friday. However, with no international trains running to or from Belgium due to the strike, I was pretty much out of luck.

On the other hand, it gave me a nice day off! The friend in Delft with whom I’d intended to stay just one night kindly offered to put me up for another day, and gave me a small tour of Delft on Friday. It was a fine day, and Delft is a beautiful city with a relaxed atmosphere.

I was able to take a few decent photos, especially from the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk—the excellent view made up for the effort of climbing three hundred and seventy steps up a narrow spiral staircase to reach it.

Incidentally, I’d have a slightly higher opinion of the Belgian syndicalists if they chose to strike on days other than Monday and Friday. Almost all strikes are held on one of those days, and it’s hard to escape the notion that the timing is partly chosen in order to give them a long weekend into the bargain.