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Bill and I were in Leiden, Holland from 8/27 until 9/10 of 2008. We took a cab to the apartment, which is compact, but in an attractive area of Leiden near the University. We walked to the bakery, supermarket and Kieck (rhymes with peek) in the Pot, a really neat "take-out" which we used often! The Greek salad and beef stew were delicious, as were all their selections. We took a long walk to the huge outdoor market, walked home, had a glass of wine, supper and bed.

Thursday the 28th

The 10 of us on the Untour met Janet at the train station, where we ate at the Pancake House nearby. After lunch Janet took us on a walking tourof Leiden, seeing several interesting sites on the way back to the apartment. Janet is very nice and informative.

Friday the 29th

We took a train to den Hague and for two hours visited the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, one of the world's best small art museums. Then we took the tram to Scheveningen, the beach. It was once a small fishing village, and now loaded with restaurants. We had a lovely seafood lunch there and walked to the end of the pier. We caught a tram back to the CS and were home by 4:45.

Saturday the 30th

We walked to the Sat. market and bought buns and cheeses. We had never seen Cheddar/Blue before! It was very good. We also bought grapes, nectarines, and strawberries. The latter were the best we have ever eaten! We also bought a rotisserie chicken at the market and vegetables at "Kieck in the Pot."

That afternoon we walked to the Pilgrim Museum (not worth the cost.) It was basically 1 room with a man who barely moved his lips when he spoke. Perhaps if we had been interested in geneology, it would have been fine. I don't know.

From there we walked to Rappenburg, where we listened to a concert on the canal before visiting the Botannical Garden. The street was lined with people and bicycles, and there were many boats on the canals. Everyone was enjoying the lovely day!

Sunday August 31

Today we caught the train to Amsterdam and then to Enkhuizen and had a ferry ride to Zuiderzee Open Air Museum.We learned a lesson today. Take a picnic lunch and a bottle of water. We had to wait for a table. Also, we do not recommend going on Sunday, nor would we go again until school is in session. There was a huge crowd of families with children. The open-air village was interesting, portraying Holland in the 17th C.

Monday Sept. 1

After lunch we walked to town to look at the shops and restaurants. We found a deli where we bought cheese broodjes (rolls) and sausage roll and Berliners (not really, but good) for a picnic lunch.

Tuesday Sept. 2
Every day so far has been sunny and warm! Light rain today in the a.m., becoming stronger in the p.m.

Marika took us our group on a walking tour of Amsterdam today. We can't say enough about Marike and her 1 1/2 hour tour. Do not miss it! She is an Art History major and graduate of University of Leiden She is attractive, speaks English well, and told us many aspects of the lives and abodes of the residents. After lunch we took a bus to the Riksmuseum, where Marika took us on a grand tour. Her explanations were unusually perceptive.

Wednesday Sept. 3
Cloudy, but no rain

Today we went back to Amsterdam to the Van Gogh Museum, which opened at 10. We were at the museum about 1 1/2 hours. The Van Goghs are marvelous! We then walked to Kleine Zaal for a lunch concert. The concert hall is large. We sat on the 3rd row where we could see the hands of the pianist. The hall was full and the concert, piano and violin, lasted 1/2 hour or more and was wonderful. We returned to the Van Gogh and had a very nice lunch.

Thursday Sept. 4
Cloudy, cool, windy

We took the 7:34 bus and the 7:52 train to Utrect, then Edy, and then 2 buses to Kroller-Muller Museum, where approximately 80 Van Goghs are exhibited. It was a a very nice exhibit with a 25 minute film, but we felt it was not worth the time consumed. Had lunch there, but it was too cool and windy to walk through the Sculpture Garden.

Friday Sept. 5
Cloudy, warm enough, showers

We enjoyed bakery goods almost every morning! Today we went to Harlem. Walked to the Bava Church with beautiful stained glass windows. Then toured the Corie Ten Boom House, where a family housed Jews escaping from the Nazis. It was an incredible example of their genius! What a story! Afterward we had lunch at the Franz Hals Museum. The museum was only so-so after the ones we've seen.

Saturday Sept. 6
Sunny, breezy, some warmer

Relaxed today. Did a load of wash. Went to the Volken Museum. Had lunch at home after going to the market. Went for a walk on the canal in the afternoon.

Sunday Sept. 7
Cloudy, windy, rain

We had intended to go to Delft, but the weather changed our minds. Took Tram 9 in Amsterdam to the Rembrandthuis. Got off at the Waterlooplein stop. Cross the street and turn right till you pass the church and left after the church. Go for a block or so and watch for signs. It is on the left side near the corner. It was very interesting. The audios were free and helpful. The house itself was on 4 floors. We highly recommend a visit there.

Monday Sept. 8
Cloudy, then sunny

Decided to go to Amsterdam. We thought it would be useless, but left about 9 and stopped at the VVV in Amsterdam to ask about tickets to the Anne Frank House. They told us we could get them for 4:30. We declined and went on our own and got right in at 10:30! Later, there was a long line. The house was very impressive and the story very moving.

Tuesday Sept. 9

Bill went to the bakery. No Danish. Only 1 day have they had any. The apple turnovers are very good. Went to Delft and the VVV there. We made arrangements for a 2 hour canal-walking tour in English. We wanted to make sure it was in English and asked later if it was bi-lingual or English only. English, she said. Wrong!

The canal trip was about 75% Dutch and the walking tour about 90% Dutch. The guide knew very little English. We didn't get much out of the tour.

As you may have noticed, we did not eat out at a restaurant at night. We ate out at lunch only when we were sightseeing somewhere. We picked up food from the supermarket and "Kieck." We had very nice meals at home.

Someone said that Hollanders are the tallest people in the world. We concur!! There must be 1000's of bicycles in Leiden! We liked our accommodations and were delighted with Leiden. It was lovely and so different from anywhere we have been. It was a memorable Untour and one we thoroughly enjoyed.

Wednesday Sept. 10
And on to Paris, my favorite city, for a few days before returning home.

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