I've been offline for a while again... traveling again. My pharmacologist husband Ron is always going to some conference somewhere, and if he's going someplace interesting, I tag along when I can. This time he happened to have two back to back conferences in Europe - one in Edinburgh last week and now we're in Holland for the European Assn. of Veterinary Pharmacology & Toxicology conference. I hope you'll enjoy tagging along with me for my first trip to Holland!
Our Dutch journey started with a train ride from Amsterdam airport to Leiden and then buses to the conference center/hotel in Noordvijkerhout.
Leiden is a really charming town, riddled with canals and picturesque bridges . I don’t know why Venice gets all the good PR about their canals – Leiden (and I’m sure other Dutch towns) is just as pretty, but in a quieter way.
Cars are almost an oddity here on the mostly cobblestone streets - bikes are the main form of transport. We’ve never seen so many bikes in the same place at the same time! Big parking lots filled with hundreds of bikes, no cars. So many bikes parked on parts of the sidewalk there’s barely room for pedestrians. Bikes on trains, bikes on buses. The funniest sight was a woman riding her bike with one hand and pulling her wheeled suitcase along with the other! A lot of biking and texting too. We’ve noticed there are no overweight folks here – how could there be? Mopeds are popular too. Any cars are mostly small, no big gas guzzlers or monster trucks.
Some interesting trivia I didn't know -
- The pilgrims who fled England came to Leiden first and stayed here for some time. They set sail from Leiden on another boat before transferring to the Mayflower, en route to settle America.
- The first tulips grown in the western hemisphere were planted in Leiden. They originated in Turkey.. who knew !
Next - Noordvijk aan Zee and the bulb fields of Noordvijkerhout