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52 Hawkesbury Dr
Willetton, WA, 6155
Australia

Journal

Our Last Day in Leiden

Moira Schneider

We had been wondering whether to go to some other places but in the end decided to spend another day exploring Leiden. It is such a delightful & happy place. You constantly see as I mentioned before a gentle intimacy between families, between couples & just the fun of the youth. You are able to cycle any time of the day or night without having to wear helmets.  Many Mums & Dads cycle with their little ones, either with little seats on the front of the bike or a seat at the back & a carry cart attached at the front. This serves for 2 littlelies to sit on the seat along with enough room for the shopping.

We set off into town together & found a lovely spot for coffee (again simple decorating & lots of Cacti - a constant reminder of Opa & his Cacti !!) before we separated as Tony was going to the Museum of Antiquities & I wanted to explore some of the laneways that have old shops .... I was very rewarded in my exploring. Tony & I  agreed to a time & place to meet for lunch.

I don't know the last time I have walked so much as on this trip so far, but it certainly means you get to see a lot more & discover out of the way places that being on a guided tour doesn't always allow you to see.  Old things are still loved & valued here & often incorporated into decorating amidst the modern redecorating.  

I found a number of long narrow shops full to the brim of old things. Also lots of bookshops - again jammed packed with shelves housing books from the floor to the ceiling.  Amidst these shops were the sweetest little boutique shops where often the owners were using them as their studio as well.  Art shops would double as class painting studios.  One vintage shop used the things she had for sale as small viginettes of decorating ... 

We met for lunch at our favourite Italian Bistro (when I was googling for something else before leaving home I had seen this Bistro but didn't think we would actually get to it) that is part of the City Hall.  We then went off together to explore the city citadel which gave views across the city. More importantly that today was Music Festival day especially with Pianos. So Pianos were dotted around the city for pianists to play including young people to be able to give them an audience ....it was very toe tapping music. The evening lends itself more to Adults.  After this we walked behind the Citadel & between the Cathederal whereupon it was all art/studio laneways. 

Tony discovered an old book/print shop so I left him a for short time & indulged in a shop that was an old house & went from one street through to the next.  It was a wonder the owner knew what he had as it appeared he bought up anything from very old estates some things going back to the 1700's.   I know, no room in the suitcases. I would really need to come in a specific trip ...

We wandered home together knowing we needed to pack & sort things for Sunday for the train trip to the UK.  It was a tinge of sadness as we realised our time here on the houseboat in Leiden was finishing.  We had had the best time with so much of the culture resonating inside both of us & yearning for more. ... 

 

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Goes down well - a morning coffee .. 

 

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Cacti decorating everywhere ... 

 

The owners cats take pride of place next to the shop model in a creative viginette !!!  

The owners cats take pride of place next to the shop model in a creative viginette !!!  

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The beginning of the quaint shop full of old wares & antiques.

 

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More of the vintage shop.  

 

Gorgeous old paintings that are padded underneath to give the curved finish along with a satin seal.  

Gorgeous old paintings that are padded underneath to give the curved finish along with a satin seal.  

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Again gorgeous old furniture that sits alongside modern pieces in the apartments we saw.  

 

Just love the fashion & design here as it stirs something within me - the sign - 'BE BOLD' -  not regular..even the window displays draw your attention.  

Just love the fashion & design here as it stirs something within me - the sign - 'BE BOLD' -  not regular..even the window displays draw your attention.  

The sayings speak volumes. Like one of the menu's started off with ' Expect the unexpected'   ... how delightful. 

The sayings speak volumes. Like one of the menu's started off with ' Expect the unexpected'   ... how delightful. 

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At the Citadel .. 

 

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At the bottom of the Citadel - this is one sort of baby/parcel carrier attaché to the front of the bike. 

 

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Much happening on the streets during the festival & saw some carrying instruments on their backs on their bikes ...

Inside the antique shop that went from one side of the street to the other ..  

Inside the antique shop that went from one side of the street to the other ..

 

Deeper into the shop ... 

Deeper into the shop ... 

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This is the middle part of the shop - an open garden cocooned between the two shops ...

 

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Coming back out !!!