Angle of Haarlem


Alright, the weather has broken; or at least, it is cloudy but not raining.

Some initial impresssions:

  • Haarlem is home to close to 150,000 people, and it is much whiter than Amsterdam.
  • Huge green spaces and trails give it a much more spacious feeling than its neighbour to the east
  • There's a very good mix of the old and the new - stately 17th century buildings and homes are juxtaposed with modern offices and shops.
  • Its core is pedestrian- and bike-only.
  • The Grote Markt (Big Market) in the center of downtown is exactly the kind of European market you want to see - stalls offering the best in cheese, meats, bread, and sweets, all against the backdrop of towering church towers and cobblestone streets.
  • It wouldn't be Holland without canals winding their way throughout the city and the nearby communities.
Essentially, it is a more manageable, bite-sized version of bustling Amsterdam. It feels like the kind of place that offers a more relaxed lifestyle, where if you want an occasional injection of adrenaline you can hop a car, bus, or train and be tapping your veins in the big city in 30 minutes.

Fiat, for 'Fix It Again, Tony'

Golfers come here to work on their short game

Old and new



Faithful readers... I am now in Haarlem for a month, and by all appearances so far it is a great little city some 20kms west of Amsterdam.

This will soon become more apparent to you via photos and stories (with occasional forays into Amsterdam still). BUT - it has been cloudy and raining for 2+ weeks, and I need some sun for the pictures. Stay tuned...

In the meantime, enjoy a book suggestion:

The Wave by Susan Casey - non-fiction, all about the science and more about the people chasing big waves around the world. Fascinating, freaky, inspiring.