Sunday, April 19, 2015

Anna Antal, Haarlem to Leiden

Joined the Anna Antal on Saturday afternoon.  Nice group of people.  Mix of Americans and Canadians, all adults, generally fit without being over the top, bike and travel enthusiasts.  Met two couples from Anchorage who both knew our old friend Brian Davies.  Short ride around Haarlem in the evening.

Sunday was a great day for cycling.  Warm by spring-in-the-Netherlands standards (mid-afternoon high around 50 degrees), little wind, zero precipitation.  And as of the moment... Monday morning... today is looking just as good.

Rode through the region of flower bulb farming.  Tulips just starting to bloom, but the other earlier flowers -- I always forget their exact names, so I group a bunch of them under the generic name of 'you know, that other flower...'.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that maybe some of them were Crocus, Hyacinth and Daffodils.

Spent a couple hours at the Keukenhof, an annual garden event focused primarily on tulips.  It was pretty interesting, but in a nutshell:  lots of flowers, and lots of people -- most of them taking selfies by the gigabyte.  So I took a couple photos of flowers, and of people taking selfies with the flowers.

Then we rode on --

To Leiden.  Beautiful old university town.  Medical schools here since the late middle ages, today a center of stem cell research.  First town in Netherlands to rebel against Spain when the joint issues of "we pay way too much taxes to that guy in Spain" and "we don't much like his religion either" joined forces and sparked emergence of modern Netherlands.

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