No Harlem Globetrotters in this Haarlem

Trip Start Jun 26, 2011
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Trip End Oct 09, 2011


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Where I stayed
leiden houseboat

Flag of Netherlands  , North Holland,
Thursday, September 1, 2011

From Leiden, you can travel to Haarlem by water with Groene Hart cruises, and what a wonderful experience it was.
 
We thought that a 3 hour boat trip would be a bit daunting, but the opposite was the case, as most of the time you're travelling through the back garden of people’s houses and houseboats and there are plenty of pretty boats to admire along the canal.

Look at the road in the picture- a cycle lane each side, plus one single lane for cars both ways, which gives you a clear idea of the priority given to cycles here.

The boat was very luxurious and well worth the 41 euros each, and we were served a lovely brunch on the way to Haarlem, and were plied with nibbles all the way back.

Haarlem itself was delightful and we are surprised its prettiness is not given more prominence on the tourist trail.
The great church of St Bavo is spectacularly high and has the largest organ in Holland with 5000 pipes, notably played by age 10 Mozart in 1766. Handel also played here.
The organ takes up the whole end of the cathedral.
 

Something you don’t often see in a church is a full size aircraft, a replica  of the first plane designed and flown over Haarlem by local lad Fokker, an aircraft building name later to be made famous by the Germans.

A lovely town and well worth spending a few hours here.

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