Individual Days - Netherlands

Haarlem and Delft

September 8, 2023

We arrived several hours late at the Amsterdam airport due to the problems with the plane. However, we were relieved to have finally landed! We weren’t expecting the next adventure – Passport Control. The signs kept saying 5-10 min wait. I didn’t even take any pictures because it was room after room of lines snaking back and forth. Our driver was so patient to wait for us! I think 5-10 minutes was closer to an hour, but he quickly got us to the Hotel Lion d’Or in Haarlem.

View from our room - you can see the Grote Kerk tower we will climb tomorrow - I am not afraid of heights, I am not afraid of heights…
Haarlem Central - less than a block away from the hotel

We were able to move into our room and catch a train to Delft.

Delft, Netherlands

Delft is about 40 minutes away from Haarlem by train. We passed fields of flowers – we were going too fast to see what types of flowers, but they were so colorful.


The brick gothic eastern gate was built around 1400. This is the only city gate remaining in Delft.


We walked around the canal lined streets of Delft. It is a beautiful town. This is the home of Royal Delft Porcelain.

The reflections in the water remind me of a Monet painting

We were able to go inside Maria van Jessekerk, but were only able to see the Nieuwe Kerk (new church) and Oude Kerk (old church) from the outside.

We kept today’s schedule light and flexible since we knew we would be very tired.

Against the backdrop of the old buildings, the modern art sculptures really stand out. This is called Blue Heart. Bet you would have never guessed that one.

Dinner in Haarlem

We headed back to Haarlem and stumbled upon a wonderful restaurant, Locale, while looking for an ATM. The weather was nice, so the chef was cooking ribeyes out on the grill. They smelled so good; we grabbed a table outdoors and enjoyed an excellent meal!

This is the smallest of 3 bicycle parking lots around the train station. There are so many people riding bikes!

After dinner, we walked to the Haarlem Market Square (10 minutes from the hotel). As we walked along the streets, we found so many restaurants, cafes, and bars, all with outside seating. A great place to people-watch.

We ended up walking a total of 7.3 miles today.

The Hotel Lion d’Or is excellent! We will meet up with the rest of the tour group in a few days. But for now, we are loving the air conditioning and the super, super hot showers! So relaxing after a long flight and day of walking.

Open Monumentendagen tomorrow – Heritage Day celebration! We have a lot more planned for tomorrow.

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