Haarlem, The Netherlands
We made it! We landed at Schiphol Airport on time and experienced no problems on our flight over. (One note: we’re sure glad we upgraded to the extended-leg-room-class!) We arrived early in the morning and managed to work the transportation game on the train to our hotel in Haarlem. Since we were too early to check in, the manager at the Amrath Frans Hals Hotel let us stash our bags while we went out exploring the area. Just a note on Schiphol Airport. Although it feels small, it can be a little confusing the first time you try to work their system of finding a public transportation option into the city of Amsterdam or, as in our case, a train to Haarlem. Even though we studied how to do it by watching several YouTube videos on the subject, we still found it a little confusing–it might have been the shortfall of sleep. You just want to make sure you don’t inadvertently break some law like not validating your ticket at one of the freestanding ticket readers…but, don’t worry, there are plenty of helpful locals to see that you find your way.
Haarlem is a gorgeous city with a small town feel. You will find plenty of markets, restaurants, bikes, a healthy night life of good fun and more bikes. This is definitely a city with some very healthy locals of all ages. Heed the warnings in all the travel books, though, look both ways–several times–before crossing the streets and the dedicated bike lanes.
Today we visited our first museum, the Frans Hals Museum which is only a few minutes walking from our hotel. Frans Hals is a contemporay artist to Rembrandt and Van Gogh and is known his techniques in painting that primarily a painter would appreciate.
The city of Haarlem is very quaint and relaxing. I would highly recommend it as a starting off point to get readjusted from a long flight into new unfamiliar territory and culture. Here’s few images of this picturesque city:
After wearing ourselves out in a state of jet lag, being thrown off of our eating schedules we catch up with sustainence at a couple of nice places close to our hotel, we call it an early night to rest up and start the day off with a fresh beginning of site seeing and experiencing Netherlands culture. Having some Netherlands heritage in us, the city and surrounding farms and landscape some how seem very familiar and similar to our home in the Midwest, USA.
So, this is a short post, but I will add more to it as my energy for thinking are renewed.
Here are a few additional images of our day in Haarlem. Click on an image to scroll through the images. Enjoy!