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What about Haarlem..

Moira Schneider

Phew, back in the swing of things, as I was off-line for a night ...

We decided to catch a train into Haarlem as Tony's great uncle managed a cafe/restaurant called the Brinkmann which faces into the Town square, Grotesque Markt.   We knew it still existed but weren't sure what it would look like.  Well we were pleasantly surprised as it was beautiful. The inside has been restored many times over the years as it has existed since 1881.... it has seats outside with tables arranged as if you are all seated for a concert .... again interesting as it overlooks the largest Cathedral in Holland. We had coffee & Dutch cinnamon toast. We then had a prompting to go into the Cathederal & were overwhelmed with the fact this had been there for so long hundreds of years & you actually walked on the graves of the forefathers (of faith) that were covered with magnificent black granite/slate. Again this Cathedral would have been where Tony's extended family would have worshipped ...

After that adventure we wandered around some more & the atmosphere of Haarlem wasn't that much different from Leiden. Life seems to go at a fairly gentle pace. Bikes are so 'the order of the day' everywhere which means very few cars are in the centre of the squares & side streets.  We headed back to Leiden on the train. 

When we got back to Leiden we decided to have lunch at a little Italian Cafe that spilled out onto a permanently moored barge. Quite fun as it was still moving as other boats passed by.  


 From the train window. 

From the train window. 


There is always a church steeple/spire making its presence above the villages ... 


 More lovely architecture along the Haarlem canels .. 

More lovely architecture along the Haarlem canels .. 


What a start to the walk .. these were real Peonies 



Walking towards the village square



The magnitude of the Cathederal overpowers the square .. 



'The Brinkmann' 



Inside the Brinkmann



Just grand ... 



This is just one end of the Cathederal  



The size of the pillars .... 



The ornate black gravestones especially for that era.  


Waiting for lunch to arrive on the barge !!