Susan & Richard's European Adventure 2013 travel blog

Climbing the stairs of a windmill

Wooden shoes for the tourists

M.c. Escher art

Peace palace in the Hague



A Delft Hand

Crystal bone chandeliar in Queen Emma's home

We left Amsterdam and headed south visiting the cities of Haarlem, Wasserman, Leiden, Den Haag (the Hague) and Delft. Our first site, Haarlem, is known for its cathedral, the Grote Kerk Van St. Bavo, that holds one of the most magnificent organs in the world. The organ stands about 100 feet high and has over 5000 pipes. It was played by Handel and by Mozart when he was only ten years old.

In Wasserman we found what is probably the only hill in this very flat country to ride our bicycles up. The hill was actually ancient sand dunes that ended at the North Sea. Very cold, windy and choppy seas.

In the lovely village of Leiden we visited the windmill museum which was very interesting as we got to climb to the very top to see the inner workings. Delft is the home of the famous Delft hand painted pottery. Visited the factory showroom and our only purchase was a beer mug for Richard. Pretty expensive stuff! We also climbed 372 steps to the top of a steeple of an 800 year old church. The staircase was very narrow and just went round and round. If you climbed too fast you got dizzy.

In Den Haag, our first stop was the M.C. Escher Museum housed in the Lange Voorhout Palace that was once the residence of Queen Emma. The building was as interesting as the art work of Escher. We also visited the Peace Palace, Vredespaleis, where the UN International Court of Justice is held. Unfortunately, we could not take a tour but did visit the visitor center. The building was opened in 1912 and funded by Andrew Carnegie. Wouldn't it be nice if the Peace Palace could actually bring about peace.

Just about every town has an open air market one day a week. These are great places to people watch, buy fresh fruit, just baked bread, sample local cheeses, and eat local street foods. Our new favorite is a very thin waffle cookie with warm caramel in the middle.

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