Observations of Haarlem, Holland

Wife Sarah and I spent 17 days based in Haarlem celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. We chose Haarlem because of its proximity to all the places we wanted to visit whilst we were there. Whilst there we noted a number of things:

  • The women in Holland are tall – one youngish lady I encountered in the train station in the ticket office towered over my six feet and she was wearing flatties!
  • Many of the men wore winklepicker shoes and nearly drainpipe trousers
  • No ties on the men = sports coats and open necked shirts were the order of the day
  • Many people smoke
  • Everywhere is neat and tidy – no garbage on the streets
  • We found four bakeries in Haarlem all serving baked today breads and rolls – no white bread. And, oh those croissants!!!
  • No panhandlers or street people
  • The coffee is STRONG!
  • Everywhere we went we felt safe
  • The smoked salmon was fantastic – lots of different fresh fish in the markets
  • Haarlem, like the other cities we visited, had an outdoor market
  • There were three chocolate shops in Haarlem – each made its own – each was delish
  • Dutch people love flowers – great flower shops with amazing arrangements
  • Don’t speak the lingo?  No prob – nearly every one spoke english
  • The public transport system is TOTALLY amazing – the buses and trains run EXACTLY on time

Here’s an eclectic collection of pics taken in Haarlem:

[Click on a pic to see full size.]

Would I go back? In a heart beat.