Friday, May 7, 2010

Off to Leiden by foot, tram, train...

K and I walked down street to bakery off Hoffdorpplein, crossed street to take the #15 bus to Amsterdam Zuid station, then the train to Leiden Centraal. Dead easy trip. Took maybe an hour door-to-door.

Cold, blustery day with sprinkles of rain. Not bad, but kind of day that chills you down over time.

Visited De Lakenhal museum in Leiden. Was originally the guild hall for cloth trade, which was huge in Netherlands in 1600s -- and Leiden was the second biggest town in Netherlands. Eclectic collection! Lot's of dark and gloomy paintings in the old Dutch Master style, really pretty depressed stuff, sort of thing that makes you understand why painters here lose an ear from time to time.

Excellent room with old armor though, including one steel vest with a great big dent like right over the heart! Dude had been shot with a cross-bow, or huge musket ball, or somesuch. Because of the lighting we couldn't tell whether it was just a really, really deep dent, or whether there was an actual hole that went through at the bottom of the dent. The guy who wore that armor originally either had a really lucky day, or a really crappy one. I felt strongly that the museum should have had some kind of information on a label -- so what happened to the guy??????? Did he live another 50 happy years, or were his buddies divvying up his stuff later that night?

Disappointing on the Fries front. Katie (what a traveler) landed yesterday and said pretty much verbatim "Hey, great to see you, let's go to Leiden tomorrow, and I want to get some frites for lunch when we get there." Well, Leiden is a nice town but strangely light on options for fries -- didn't really see any. What gives? So we had curry at a little Thai take-away joint.

Start bike/boat trip tomorrow. Weather forecast is improving over next few days -- zero rain forecast (yeah, right), with gradually warming temperatures.

Hurt my ankle a bit, too much walking on Wednesday. Need to get back on bike, give it a rest.

In window of toy store: world's smallest bike? They start 'em young here.

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