We're staying in HARLEM??
Trip Start May 19, 2005
6Trip End May 25, 2005
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The trains are comfortable, and filled with commuters. There are 6 trains going southbound per hour. The scenery grabs you quickly. Extremly modern architecture - even apartment buildings in vivid purple, Canals, and canals, and water everywhere. People on the train were friendly.
It would have helped if we weren't so rushed prior to leaving the US, but we were, so we had to ask when we were on the train where to get off. And how to find the Haarlem visitors information center, since we didn't have a clue what we were going to do here for the day
From here, we've got directions to our hotel. It's a ten minute - give or take a few - walk thru the Saturday Markets, stores and now a delay... for the gelato store we just spotted. I'm really liking this town already.
Then past some cheese stores and wooden shoe displays. Over another canal, turn left and there's our hotel.
After checking in, we're out to see it all in one day. On the official tourist brochure list is the windmill. But first, we're walking past the beautiful dutch colonial style buildings on the Sparne Canal.Then past the Gravensteneberg Bridge. We stopped to watch the swans on the canal, and a little further up the canal found "IT." This was what I thought I was getting for my 16th birthday, but was sorely dissapointed that day. It's an old blue VW flowerpower popup van. I swear someone imported my van from the US.
Then up to the still workingWindmill De Adriaan. The tour takes you to the top of the windmill for a view of Haarlem.There's a lot of intersting history in this windmill. And our guide, like many people in Holland speak English.
A walk takes us to St Bavo's in Haarlem It's named after the same Saint Bavo, the patron saint of the cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The gothic, cross style church was built in the 1400's
Then a walk around the Grote Market, checking out the products. By now, we're experience food cravings. The only problem with Haarlem, is there are places to find food, but not any place to sit and eat it. Every chair in the courtyards are full. It's now getting dusk, and I am getting cranky.
We decide to head back to our hotel and eat there. Crossing the last little bridge before the hotel, we spot outdoor dining at a small restaurant. And it's open! Seats are available, and we're sitting down ordering. Food glorious food! And very good at that. It's an early night.