Monday, March 4, 2013
A walk in Leiden
Leiden is such a nice city to wander in. In the last month we've been there 2 or 3 times. It is different to other Dutch cities in that the center is kind of scattered around the water, and along one main street, but the canals are not all over the place like they are in Amsterdam. It is a beautiful medieval city, its renowned university is the oldest of the country, founded in 1575, and Queens Juliana, Beatrix and soon-to-be-king Willem Alexander have all been former students. Funnily enough, the half-moons on the cornice of the façade of its City Hall, in the BreeStraat allude to the 'Sea Beggars' slogan: "Rather Turkish than Papist" (Liever Turks dan Paaps).
If you find yourself there, don't miss the Boerhave Museum or ice-cream and chocolates. I also recently discovered that the 2nd-hand bookshop De Slegte in Leiden* is huge (I mean 4 floors high), and full of surprises (there is even a section dedicated to books in other languages, and you can get novels from 2 or 3 EUR). Flying Tiger just recently opened a new shop in the Breestraat (on number 139) and I fell in love. It has all kinds of cute colorful and design things for the house (flower pots, washi tape, mugs, paper goods and everything in between) for some really good prices. While it is still a small city, it has its charm and lots of hidden treasures, like walls with poems in Catalan, Spanish, French and Italian scattered around. I dare you to find them!
*De Slegte in Leiden is at Breestraat 73.