Haarlem & Amsterdam – Saturday

We started the morning poking around the Saturday-morning market stalls in Haarlem.  The flowers were beautiful:

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This mom was shopping for produce with her two young children warmly ensconced in her cargo bike:

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One of several cheese stalls:

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At the main market, a coffee vendor went from stall to stall offering coffee to the vendors:

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We took the train into Amsterdam again today, and explored the area from Dam Square, into the Jordaan to the Anne Frank house (didn’t have reservations, so didn’t go in).

Now this is a train station:

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The stairs have a slot along the side to make it easy to roll bikes up and down the stairs:

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Here’s yet another beautiful building, built in 1662:

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Buildings were taxed based on the width of the frontage, which is why the buildings are thin but deep.  (We’ve seen 1- and 2-window wide buildings as well.)

This is the Magna Plaza, built in 1899 (practically new!), which was previously the main post office and now is a shopping mall:

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Here’s one of the beautiful canals in the Joordan area:

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In the middle of a very crowded, up-scale shopping area just off Dam Square, you’ll find the De Papegaai (“The Parrot”) Hidden Church.  This church (which previously had an exterior that looked like another merchant’s house, with a parrot over the door) was used by Catholics after Protestant extremists took control of Amsterdam in 1578 and outlawed the Catholic church.  Inside is a beautiful, narrow church with a very tall (3 stories high) ceiling.

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This is my favorite view of the leaning houses along canals.  When they were originally built on wooden pilings, the ocean was close enough that the groundwater was salty and preserved the wood.   As more and more land was reclaimed from the ocean, the groundwater eventually became fresh, and the wooden pilings began to rot.  (The buildings now generally have concrete foundations.)

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Back in Haarlem this evening, we wandered around after dinner and came across this restaurant.  I suspect that the trademark attorneys at Pixar might have something to say about this:

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The annual Flower Parade (from Noodwijk) will end in Haarlem sometime later tonight very near our hotel.  The parade apparently includes about 20 flower-covered floats, 30 specialty vehicles, as well as marching bands and performers.  Sleepy little Haarlem is really bustling this evening.

Here’s what the street looked like this morning:

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Here’s what it looked like this evening:

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Up next — a 4:30am taxi pick-up tomorrow morning for the airport.

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