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Amsterdam, Day 9, Haarlem and Droog

We went to out Waterlooplein Metro stop this morning, near the “Stopera”, combination state house and opera. Jim had read about this line in the sidewalk outlining the perimeter of an orphanage for Jewish children, which was emptied by the Nazis, all the children sent to camps.  Another sobering reminder.  When we were in Paris in 2007, there were many plaques showing where people had been killed during the war.  While sad and disturbing, it is good to see these kinds of commemorations and reminders.

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Enlarge any picture by clicking.

We ended up taking the tram to Central Station to go to Haarlem, only two train stops away.  The tram system is just fantastic.  Except for this morning we kept taking the subway to the station, but the trams are fast, because they don’t have to deal with traffic, and you get to ride through the city, which is beautiful wherever you go.

In the Haarlem train station, part of my gyros-around-the-world series:

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The train station is gorgeous, once you get off the gyros level.

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imageimageimage image image imageHaarlem is a nice, quiet Medieval city for the most part, but the shopping was somewhat cheesy.  There were a few interesting things we passed.

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We stopped in a cheese shop for cow’s cheese for me, goat cheese for Jim, and fennel sausage to share, which we ate in Haarlem’s main square.

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Then we headed out for the Frans Hals Museum.

Notice the the bucket on the front of the bike. The bike becomes a wheelbarrow/bike. Great way to transport children and anything else.

The Frans Hals Museum has six or seven gorgeous still lives, none of which are featured in post cards.  What is it that is more fascinating about a person in a ridiculous ruffled collar than a glass, a tankard, a lemon, and a piece of bread.  Really?  A ruffled collar?  I don’t get it. OK, I appreciate Frans Hals, but it is frustrating that it’s so hard to find a lot of still life’s together and impossible to find good reproductions.  There aren’t even books in print on Coorte or Heda.

We did buy this funny vase, which will have to do since I can’t afford the Delft flower towers we saw in the museum.  It is Delft, but we opted for the non-painted one.  Jim bought some flowers when we got home to show it off.

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Back in Amsterdam, we went to find another thing Jim had read about, an exhibit about water levels in Amsterdam imageimageimageimagehoused in an office building right next to our subway stop.  Note the subway in the display of the water levels in the city.

After that we went to a housewares/design store called Droog, very high-end, some of it very imaginative.  We also stopped at a really great antiques store just down the street.imageimageimage

We hadn’t try to eat in Haarlem since nothing we passed seemed all that interesting, so we went back to Utrechtsestraat in Amsterdam, where we had seen a restaurant that served mussels, Sluizer.  Delicious.
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