My first weekend in Holland was so busy that it is hard to grasp that it was only two weeks ago! I was still very jet lagged from the 9 hour plane ride and 7 hour time difference, but I hit the ground running. I posted earlier about my first full day out & about in The Hague so now I will share about my first time in Haarlem.
After being in The Hague for a few days, I rode to Belgium on Saturday for a meeting and got in super late, woke up early on Sunday and had a full day. I am 100% sure that I was sleep walking the entire time. That weekend is a blur. All I remember is the giant plate of chicken shawarma in Belgium at midnight and getting sick on the way home. Yay... Enough about the trails and tribulations, more about the good stuff!
I stayed with a new friend Sunday night and explored Haarlem on Monday. Guys, it is beautiful! I suspect that the perfectly warm and sunny weather had something to do with the level of wonderful, but it was just... ah! We strolled down streets and went into some shops. At the top of my priority list was touring the Corrie Ten Boom home. Unfortunately, they are closed on Mondays so that did not happen this trip. I guess I will just have to go back again ;)
We ended up touring St. Bavo Church in the main square in Haarlem. The square houses the open air market in the central part of the city, Grote Markt, which has been operating for centuries in the same spot. I have never been in one place for a century, so the time aspect is constantly impressive to me. If you go to Haarlem, I highly recommend exploring St. Bavo Church. Classical and Baroque pianists Mozart and Handel played there and, as someone who grew up learning about those guys in piano lessons, my insides were like "OMG LAKSJDFLAJOIFJLKSAKJFSDLFJ WHAAAAAAAA" the whole time. They walked here. They stood here. They walked through this hallway omg dying. The architecture was simply magnificent. I would love to play just a note on the organ there to hear the sound it puts forth. I cannot wait to go back and see more of the city!
Oh & I practically had to take a handful of Lactaid just walking into the cheese shops. So. Much. Cheese.