Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life on the River Spaarne

The market square was a flurry of activity as always this morning.  Locals and tourists enjoying another day of fabulous weather at the outdoor cafes.  The Dutch definitely take advantage of the beautiful days as they can be few and far between...fortunately so far it has been the perfect temps and conditions for my visit!

On my walk into town on Monday, I passed Tromp cheese store and vowed to return.  After yesterday's experience with their cheese croissants, I made my way back today.  I do love the smell of a cheese shop almost as much as the taste of the cheese itself! 

This afternoon was spent strolling and cruising along the river. Last summer as we were departing Haarlem from our dinner stop, we noticed the windmill on our train ride back to Amsterdam so today I headed over for an up close look. 
The current Molen De Adriaan (molen is Dutch for windmill) was built in 2002 and is a replica of the original as it burnt in 1932 (originally built in 1779). 

Close to the Molen De Adriaan is the Haarlem prison.  The dome shape allows for 3 floors of circular cells with the warden on top looking down.  Twice a year, government buildings are open to the public...including the prison.

Queueing up for the bridge to open.  Ever the efficient people, rather than having one person stationed at each bridge, the operator rides up and down an assigned portion of the canal and opens the bridges.

With time for lunch before my canal cruise, I stopped in a cafe along the water for a tomaat and kaas tosti (grilled cheese with tomato). 

Haarlem Canal Cruises offers a nice hour and half cruise around the perimeter in smaller boats which is the perfect way to see Haarlem from the water.  Everyone on the water was so friendly and all the men would comment that our captain (very nice eye candy himself) was a ladies man as the boat was full of women.

City Theatre (aka Haarlem Box of Chocolate)
Legend has it this building was sold for three loaves of rye bread...hence the placard of three loaves of rye.

Apparently McDonald's is popular with the local ducks...this one took it back to his nest.

           Basiliek of St Bavo

                                Bishop's House

Roller Bridge

Floating Flower Market

During the tour, our guide told about a place that is famous in Haarlem for their gelato so of course I had to make my way over after the tour.  Judging from the queue to Garrone, it was the happening spot.  As they say "when in Rome (or Haarlem in this case), so I stopped in for a was quite good.

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