On our last full day in The Netherlands we traveled south by train to the college town of Leiden. Much like Amsterdam is had very pleasant row houses with canals running through out the city center.
The rail station was a easy walk to the University of Leiden and its Botanical gardens. The gardens incorporated several glasshouses, lookouts and walks along the bordering canal. J very much enjoyed the palm house and desert house with it huge 6×6 table of pinky sized Venus fly traps. It was quite a breezy day but we where able to enjoy a walk along the canal to the observatory with in the gardens.
View from the botanical garden observatory
Next we walked to Pieterskerk which no longer has a active parish but is used as an event space. This is the church that the American Mayflower pilgrims worshiped at. There was a nice marker explaining the pilgrims situation and journey.
There was a nice coffee/gift shop attached to the church and a very handy phone charging station. J had used all her battery up on the train ride in and so she popped in a 50 cent piece and locked up the little metal box on the wall with her phone and it charged away while they ate lunch at the cafe next door.
After lunch and picking up the fulling charged phone (so nifty!) we walked to the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden). K was in a bit of a grumpy mood so we did a quick spin around the 6th largest collection of Egyptian artifacts.
We then spent the rest of our time slowly making our way back to the train station while shopping, sampling bakery wears, taking pictures of the large wooden windmill and dodging rain showers. J found a lovely shop much like crate and barrel with luxurious soaps, kitchen wears, ornaments, and wooden children’s toys. Leiden as a medium size college town felt relaxed, fun and just the right size. J could see living there.
Once we returned to Amsterdam we went to the Indonesian restaurant just around the corner and had the full 21 plate dinner. It was fun to try a new cuisine and we each shared the bits we liked best. Another successful day in the Netherlands.