It was my second time making the long flight to Europe and it was such a relief arriving in Schiphol Airport. We made it through customs, got some money from the ATM and went in search of breakfast. The Seattle mermaid (Starbucks) had to do, and the first transaction went well. Thankfully, the bus to Haarlem was easy to find. On the ride over, I was surprised not to see more green spaces, but there was color sprinkled throughout the urban landscape.
While trying to find some lunch, we stumbled upon a parade of military vehicles from WWII. We even saw a group visiting from Chicago.
We were lucky enough to tour this museum. It was a good introductory museum for my dad, as this tour is heavy on art. I was excited about that, but wasn't sure how my dad was going to feel about it.
After a power nap, we went down and met Stephanie, our tour guide, and our tour group. We learned about some logistics and asked questions about the ins and outs of the tour. After our meeting, we enjoyed a Rice Table supper (Rijsttafel), which included many side dishes with various rice. The meal was a way for the Dutch to show the abundance of their colonies with an array of textures, flavors, colors and spices. After supper we met a local guide who took us for a tour around Haarlem.
Despite the cool temperature, we saw many places after supper. Haarlem has been voted the best place to live in the Netherlands. And we could see why. It has its medieval center with the cobblestone streets, old Cathedral, lots of museums and just a pleasant laid-back atmosphere. We saw the Corrie ten Boom house and museum, a safe haven for Jews during Nazi occupation. There was even a little Red Light district we walked past. Thankfully, no one was on display, but I found the red lanterns intriguing. We stopped outside a coffeeshop and learned a bit about the Dutch perspective.
She was the first of many local guides on the tour. It was nice to have a local's perspective.
We learned the Dutch word for bicycles was Fiets. And to get out the way if you hear it.
The museum is dedicated to art, natural history and science.
The town even has its own little red light district.
I brought my travel tripod and wanted to do some night photography. These photos are 20 to 30 second long exposures.