torsdag, november 29, 2007
Weekend in Europe, Part 4: Holland
It's hard to believe that I haven't posted a 'Weekend in Europe' themed post in almost two years. It's time to remedy that now that I've finally connected camera to computer and seen the photographic evidence that I was, in fact, in Holland just a few short days ago. Specifically in South Holland. Dutch tour guide/gracious hostess Annemarie provided a perfect balance between relaxing and sightseeing, and more importantly, put up with me continuously for two whole days. For which she deserves public acclaim, and possibly a medal of valor.
Friday evening through to Sunday mid-morning were spent in The Hague, where Annemarie currently lives and works. I wasn't sure what to expect from The Hague, and am pleased to report that I was impressed. It has all that I would want from a city: good restaurants (such as this one, inside a big church...no, actually inside The Big Church), cool museums, irregular rooflines.
As seems to be my habit these days, I don't have many photos of what we actually did, but if you have a day to spend here, I'd recommend doing exactly the same as us. Hightlights were the Panorama Mesdag, an 1881 painted view of Scheveningen, a beach area of the city. In counterpoint, that evening was spent consuming pancakes in a restaurant on the Scheveningen pier (with view to the raging North Sea in all it's wintery majesty, imposing even in the dark). The Escher Museum as well, a must see for any fans, as pretty much his whole portfolio is here, along with a floor of do it yourself exploration of Escheresque optical illusions and visual games. Oh, and of course, don't forget to check out Harry Potter's office (the round tower in the middle of the above photo).
We decided to spend some of Sunday in nearby Delft, reknowned for its canal-lined streets, and its old and new churches. We were not disappointed by the overall level of cuteness. We headed straight from the railway station to the Old Church. Which was impressive on the outside, but was for some reason closed to tourists.
Undaunted, we made our way over to the New Church. Which was closed to tourists (closed on Sunday apparently, which seems somehow unexpected). After admiring Market Square (in the photo below), and determining that most shops were closed, we sadly headed back to the station. All in all, we lasted about an hour. I for one would like to go back sometime, not on a Sunday.
Which brought us to Leiden. Leiden is a beautiful city, of that I have no doubt...but we were here mainly for the shops being open on a Sunday. And it was some pretty good shopping, though I do feel I've neglected the town itself, its museums (the Natural History Museum seemed like it would be particularly interesting), botanical gardens. But I suppose I can come back when I am next in Delft.
And that ends this virtual tour. All inclusive...except for the stroopwafels. And the windmills. And the mashed potatoes. And the krokets. And...actually, I'd suggest just going there and experiencing it all yourself. It'll be worth it, I promise.