27 October 2018

A Sojourn in Southern Holland: Leiden

The last place I have explored during my short long weekend stay was the city I was staying in: Leiden. I opted to stay in Leiden because it was strategically located relative to the list of places I wanted to visit. Before visiting this place, the only reason I have heard of Leiden was because there's an ancient university located here, which had a rather good reputation given my field back then.

Anyway, on my final day in town, I checked out, stored my luggage in my hotel's luggage room, and headed out. Leiden is a nice city with of course canals crisscrossing its Old Town.

There is of course a very prominent windmill right at the edge of the Old Town. I walked by this windmill every night, when I was heading from my hotel which was near the train station, to the Old Town, when I was looking for food for dinner. The windmill is actually a museum, though I didn't feel like checking out the interior at that time.

Yes, there are canals. But unlike Amsterdam, things are slower here, slightly. Things are more quaint, and there are no crowds. There's more students, and locals, of course. I love how I could simply plop down a chair on a cafe, sip coffee while reading my book, and life would pass by slowly in front of me. There was this cafe with a place to dock boats, so if you're on a boat and want some lunch, you could easily park your vessel and park your butts on a table, and after lunch, you could just hop back into your boat and drive away.

There's this hill at the centre of town, with a round ancient structure, and providing splendid views of the city.

I checked out one major museum in town, the Museum Boerhaave. It's a science history museum, which features a lot about the scientific and technological advances that happened during the Dutch Golden Age. I especially liked the anatomical theatre, which is a reconstruction of the area where dissections typically are held. I definitely learned a lot during my visit.

After visiting the museum, and exploring the city on foot, I had a long lunch in one of the cafes in town. After that, I headed back to my hotel, picked up my luggage, and headed to the airport. It was time to go back home, and begin the next adventure.


  1. These windmills are awesome. So it's not a cliché, they *do* have windmills!

    1. Zhu,

      Yes, the Dutch indeed have windmills, and for some of them, they still work!