I arrived pretty early, and it was a fortunate thing that the hotel already had a room ready for me. So after dropping off my bags in my room, I quickly rearranged things and headed out. This morning, I wanted to go to Dordrecht, a city that until now I only knew because it's the home of some academic publishers, and I always encountered this name whenever I was writing a bibliography for an article I was working on.
So I took the train from Leiden, and after a relatively short ride (I suppose almost every train ride in the Netherlands is short), I found myself at the train station. The old town was a short walk away.
The train station was actually in a modern-looking part of town, but as I slowly walked into the Old Town, the typical Dutch architecture and building styles started to appear. I found my way to Visbrug, an old bridge straddling the canal that overlooks the town hall.
There's a refreshing feeling about Dordrecht: I mean, it's Friday, yet the crowds are not there. I suppose every tourist just goes to Amsterdam. I felt like I was the only one walking around the streets, exploring the town while its inhabitants are busy doing their own thing, either reading the newspaper while sipping a cup of coffee, or riding their bicycle on the way home after spending some time in the market. I found myself in cute and pretty neighbourhoods, such as this row of houses with boats parked in front of them.
Dordrecht actually has a very busy intersection, but at the river. Multiple important rivers meet here, and they all go places. So all those boats that have to go further inland to Europe has a high chance of passing through Dordrecht. While I was there I saw several large vessels pass by.
As I wrapped up my visit, I checked out the massive 14th-century Grote Kerk. I didn't climb up to the tower, so I just explored the ground floor interior. After this, it was lunch time, so I found a nice cafe to refuel. And then I headed to Delft for the afternoon.