Last Friday (April 5th), I met up with a friend of mine and we went to Leiden. We both wanted to see the city. I am not sure if I’ve ever been there before, so it was about time to go there and explore the city. We met up and took the train to Leiden. We didn’t really do any research on the city and hoped that we could find the centre easily, which luckily, we did.
Basically, when you enter the central hall of Leiden station, you have to follow the mass of people also getting off the train. We quickly found the main street and the first thing we did, was having lunch at Bagels&Beans. I’d never been there before, so I was excited. I’d heard a lot of good things about the shop and to be honest, they did come true. I had a delicious bagel with salmon and had some white tea -which wasn’t even white, but looked just like green tea-.
Behold, my bagel -with everything. Sorry I don’t have a better description, but this was what this bagel was called- with salmon, salad and a cream cheese with honey and walnut. It was delicious!
After Bagels&Beans, we just strolled around the main street. Leiden’s got a lot of mainstream stores like H&M and The Lady Sting. We skipped most of those stores, since we’ve got plenty of them in Amsterdam. If the town you live in isn’t that big and doesn’t have a lot of shops and Leiden isn’t that far, I’d recommend it. Amsterdam can easily be too big for just one day and Leiden’s got most of the mainstream shops Amsterdam’s got too.
We did go into some book stores and I got two really nice notebooks with clear pages. I don’t have a picture of them, but they’re pretty standard notebooks. I seem to have a habit of collecting notebooks and on every occasion when I can buy a notebook, I will. I have a problem.
After we were done with the main street, we decided we wanted to visit De Burcht. It’s an old ..wall -not really a building- in the centre of Leiden. Just beware though, don’t just look for ‘Burcht’ on a map, because there’s a living area outside the centre that’s also called Burcht, but that isn’t where you want to go.
I’ve got a bunch of pictures from De Burcht and, luckily for me, the information signs also have the translated English text on them.
We’re almost there! Another hint to find De Burcht: just follow the street signs. They should point you in the right direction.
The stair’s got 65 steps. I’ve counted.
This is why you can’t just try and find De Burcht when you’re out on the streets: it’s not visible from the streets. It’s really well hidden and also not that high to be really obvious.
We walked around the whole thing and signs were jammed into the wall with information about what you were looking at.
As you can see, on the sign they’ve outlined the buildings the text is about. This way you can search for the buildings in the view you’re looking at. I’ve got more pictures like these, but I won’t spoil everything there is to see. If you want to know what’s on the other signs and what the view is from around De Burcht, you have to find out yourselves!
This picture though, I really have to share with you. Just look at it. Doesn’t really seem like there’s anything odd about is, does it.
And this is the close-up. I laughed so hard when my friend pointed this out to me.
I know it’s probably vandalism, but it’s also really very funny.
And this is the entrance to the inside of De Burcht as a whole.
This is what De Burcht looks like from down on the road. This shows a bit better what I meant when I said it’s well hidden: you can barely see it and I’m standing right next to it, only just a bit lower (65 steps, to be precise).
After this, we discovered the Leidse Loper. As you can read, this is a route that takes you to the nine prettiest places of Leiden. Sadly, we only discovered this when we were pretty tired already and we didn’t want to walk for two more hours. We do want to go back to Leiden someday, though, just to walk the Leidse Loper. We’ve seen two of the nine places today, but we want to see them all.
After this, we struggled to find our way out -got horribly lost in the centre of Leiden-, but eventually we found our way back. While we were making our way back to the train station, we stumbled upon a shop that sold bubble tea. I’d heard of it before, but I didn’t really know what it was and neither did my friend. We decided to try it anyway and this is what it looks like:
It’s just like milk with a nice twist to it, but it’s mixed with ..weird jelly pieces. The jelly pieces give the milk more taste -it tasted good, to be honest-, but the jelly was just so gross. We got straws to drink with, but the jelly pieces were small enough to go trough them, so we got them in our mouths. It’s just. It’s really gross. I did drink all of the milk, which was really nice but not that hard to make on your own, I guess. I threw the weird jelly pieces in the garbage and I won’t buy this again.
After this, we went to eat something and after that, we went home.
It was a fun day and I definitely want to visit more cities! This is my first city on goal number 83 (Visit twelve new cities and take a picture of something defining that city) and I am looking forward to the next nine cities. If you want to know what picture I chose as the defining picture for Leiden, you’ll have to click on goal 83 on my list.