Haarlem

For our first day trip out of Amsterdam, we took the train just 20 minutes out of town to Haarlem. Best known for the ancient Saint Bavo church (1520), it did not disappoint.

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The church was absolutely fantastic inside and out. Check out the stained glass – and the organ (which Mozart once played).

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The town itself was great for shopping as well. According to wikitravel, it’s THE place the Dutch go to shop. I sent Dave off to look at music shops and I found a couple nice sweaters and some not-santas (3 kings?), one in blackface….

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As we were waiting for the train to arrive, I had to save this candy bar from being lonely. I believe it’s much happier now. 🙂

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We had walked by the Anne Frank House several times and had seen extremely long lines, but our host gave us a tip: try late afternoon. So when we left Centraal Station (6pm) and were walking back, I suggested we see if we could get in. Lo and behold – no line! There were so few people inside, some of the rooms we had to ourselves. It was an absolutely stunning testament to a father’s love (did you know he kept the “Secret Annex” the same? Down to the photos Anne posted on the walls.). The museum attached was tasteful and yet chilling. I’m glad we got to see it both in general and nearly alone.

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