Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Saturday and Sunday, November 9th & 10th, 1991

I had mentioned during the Copenhagen entry of the October travel break that we had met some women from Kansas who were studying in Holland. I had exchanged contact info with Lisa from the group and had stayed in contact with her. So the weekend following the trip to the French Alps, we planned that I would come up and see her.

The plan was to take the 11pm overnight train Friday night to Amsterdam. Then we would have most of each Saturday and Sunday and I would catch the overnight train Sunday night arriving Monday morning. Well I missed the 11pm train, then I missed the 7am train the next morning. So I ended up taking the 10am train. In the train car with me were an Australian family, a Dutch couple, and a French woman. The woman got off in France, the couple in Holland, and I continued to Amsterdam with the family.

I had just over an hour layover in Amsterdam. So I grabbed some patat frites with mayo, which I really liked, and wandered around the city. It was dark by then and I was VERY paranoid about getting pickpocketed or accosted. So I kept my eyes open and my valuables in secure places that I could keep track of. Not an nice way to see the city. I didn’t see much and returned to the station to catch the train to Leeuwarden.

I arrived in Leeuwarden in the late evening without directions on how to get to her place. In the original plan she was going to meet me at the station. Luckily I did have her address and the city had billboards throughout the city with maps on them. So I found the street she should be on and made my way to her place. It was drizzling like it had the weekend before and I was slowly getting drenched. Eventually I found the place at around 10pm. They were all pretty impressed that I had managed to find their place without directions. A couple of the other women we had met in Copenhagen were there and I met a couple of their Dutch roommates. We were up until 4am talking.

Leaning Tower of Leeuwarden

The next morning with our limited time left, we woke up late and they gave me a tour of the city. They showed me the Oldehove leaning tower (seen above), the surrounding countryside (seen below), and the main square. We also had lunch on one of the boats lining the canals (seen far below). We also went and saw a local band before heading to the train station.

Dutch Pastures

My luck with trains continued. I made it as far as Rotterdam, but missed the connecting train to Paris. So I stayed at the local youth hostel. The next morning I tried to catch an early train, but there were none. So I returned to the hostel to have a proper breakfast, then caught the train to Paris. The train was packed so I was forced to sit in the aisles. Finally got home at 7pm missing the classes for the day.

Dutch Canalscape

Leeuwarden is a nice little town. Similar to the two from the previous weekend in that they are places to visit if you are in the area, but not a place to make your primary destination. I returned to Holland over the winter for a more formal sightseeing tour of Amsterdam and I returned to Leeuwarden in the spring to see Lisa again. We became friends and kept in contact for a couple years after returning to the states.


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