Today we decided to head out for a short day trip to Leiden, a 30 minute train ride from Amersdam.
First a little info from WIKI about Leiden:
Leiden is a city in the Dutch province of South Holland. It’s known for its centuries-old architecture and for Leiden University, the country’s oldest, dating from 1575. The university houses the Hortus botanicus Leiden Botanical Garden, founded in 1590, where the tulip was introduced to Western Europe. The Museum de Lakenhal displays works by the Dutch Masters including Rembrandt, who was born in Leiden.
We got to Leiden around noon and decided to grab a quick lunch outdoors next to a canal. After lunch we set out to explore the town. So let’s start with some photos:
The first windmill we saw in Holland. The town had 2 of them.
Leiden has many canals just like Amsterdam.
We quickly found out that today was orientation day for the new students at Leiden University and the students and their activities were everywhere:
This was a “fort” built out of beer cases and the students were heavily sampling the product 🙂 Good old college days 🙂
There were several blocks lined with booths and tents representing all of the student clubs & organizations. Sad to say I didn’t see the Pokemon Club 🙁
Leiden is also famous for their gardened courtyards. We bought a map that showed 25 of them and we decided to checkout a few of them. I guess you could say we paid money for a map so we could look into other people’s backyards 🙂 Here are some pics of the courtyards we found:
This courtyard was part of a coop of 9 residents… all women. We spoke to one of the residents for about 20 minutes and she said it has been that way for decades… women only need apply. ALSO, the building in the middle of the photo is a small chapel with the oldest stain-glass windows in the country. Below are a couple of shots from inside the chapel.
Cue the bee 🙂 Sometimes you just get lucky!
After visiting a few courtyards, we decided to checkout a few of the churches in town…
After the church visits we climbed up to the old fort in the city. Here are few shots from the top:
This is one of the churches we visited.
Here are few parting shots as we left beautiful and charming Leiden:
It was a fun and relaxing day. We really enjoyed the day trip to Leiden.