Friday, November 26, 2010

Amsterdam: Spending Thanksgiving in Haarlem, Netherlands . . .

Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone! Today, I would typically get together with family, eat turkey and pie and watch football games (maybe go for a run in the morning), but here I am in Holland and spending this traditional American Holiday in a lovely small town called Haarlem. Thank you Marta for recommending this town. It was a quick 20 minute train ride from Amsterdam so it was not a very long trip which I liked.

Let me first say that I'm getting pretty good at using the trams here. I buy this trip card for a set number of hours and then when you go on and exit the tram you have to swipe it on that "Red" button area.  It took me a little while to get the layout but now I know where my stops are and what lines to catch.



I'm also getting better at reading the train schedules. I was able to get on the right train and back without asking for directions. I'm so proud of myself.

Haarlem is such a cool town. Marta was right, it is very small. As soon as you exit the train station you just have to walk up the street directly in front and in 10 minutes you're at Grote Market Square.




Here I was able to visit the amazing St Bravo Church which has this really large organ.  While there a person was playing one of the smaller organs live. At first I thought it was just a CD and then looked up and saw the organist. That was pretty cool.
 

Next I decided to visit the Frans Hals Museum to see some of his works along with other dutch artists.  I really loved some of the still life paintings here and can see why he is so famous.  In fact, Van Gogh, once said that Frans Hals had such mastery that he was the only artist he knew that could create 27 shades of "black" which is pretty amazing.  And walking to the museum gave me a chance to see the small alley ways of the town which was fun to explore. And since I was not on a group tour I didn't have to make any sprints or mad dashes back to the train station and I could actually take as much time as I needed and/or wanted to. I love being a Slow Traveler!


And so coming here to visit this lovely dutch town of Haarlem was a very wonderful way to spend my 2010 Thanksgiving Holiday.  Thank you Marta for the recommendation. I enjoyed my time here a lot.


4 comments:

  1. I'm glad you got a chance to explore Haarlem. It has a lot of diverse typical Holland sites but yet it is so compact - and close!

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  2. Haarlem looks so beautiful, and that organ is amazing!

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  3. Thanks so much Marta & Sandra....

    Marta, Haarlem was very cool and I'm thankful you suggested it. It was a very pleasant day trip.

    Sandra, isn't that organ something else. And it was cool hearing the music while exploring the church. It was so huge too.

    Thanks again girls.

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  4. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. I remember Rick Steves talking about Haarlaem. It looks like a beautiful little town.

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It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.