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The Low (and very wet) Countries: Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands

The Low (and very wet) Countries: Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands

Old Sep 9th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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Last Day Gouda and Leiden

Woke to blue sky. It was mostly cloudy most of the morning though, and even rained for a tiny bit, but the sun came out by noon and was a beautiful afternoon. I went to Gouda first – not as ‘pretty’ as the other towns but the town hall and main square are really impressive. It also has an interesting canal (river) around the center of the city with much larger boats than on the canals in the other towns. There’s even a lock, that was kind of interesting to watch opening to allow a boat through. And the windmill was pretty scenic. But the town is small so it was easy to walk all around the center in an hour or two

Since I had to change trains in Leiden on the way back anyway I decided to stop again, especially since it was sunny. I was thinking of going to Pilgrim Museum but it was closed, despite being the hours it was supposed to be open. The guidebooks made it sound like a ‘real’ museum but by looking at it from the outside I gather it’s not much. I guess it’s really only of interest to Americans. But it was really pleasant to just walk around beautiful Leiden in the sun.

It was still sunny when I got back to Haarlem so I finally got some photos of Haarlem in the bright sunshine and blue sky.

The sunshine this last day and (some) the day before really made a difference. So many more people out and about. Still, lots of people were wearing leather jackets and boots – not sure I’d want to live somewhere where that’s the standard outfit for July. Some people even wearing Ugg type boots and down jackets. And lots of raincoats. People in the train stations, De Haag, Leiden, etc. – on their way to work, all dressed like New Yorkers dress in March.

But overall, if you can get past the weather (or if you are more lucky than I have been in all three of my trips) Belgium and the Netherlands are beautiful little countries, with so much more than the three places (A'dam, Brussel, Brugge) most tourists seem to go.
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Old Sep 9th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Still, lots of people were wearing leather jackets and boots – not sure I’d want to live somewhere where that’s the standard outfit for July. Some people even wearing Ugg type boots and down jackets. And lots of raincoats. People in the train stations, De Haag, Leiden, etc. – on their way to work, all dressed like New Yorkers dress in March.>>

sadly, isabel, that IS how a lot of us have had to dress this summer. [though i agree that the Ugg boots are going a bit far, especially as they are pretty impractical for the wet].

but it is not the standard outfit for July - just for THIS july.
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Old Sep 11th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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Splendid report, as always, isabel--thanks!

I hope to make a similar trip at this time next year and am more or less resigned to plenty of rain. Here in the NYC area, we've had thundershowers every other day all summer long, so I'm getting used to it. Anyway, your fine report and gorgeous pictures prove that a smile can be a very effective umbrella!
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Old Sep 19th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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great report and thanks for posting the pictures. we are planning on going sometime april or may next year. i hope it will not be as rainy. i do better in very hot weather vs rainy :/
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Old Sep 19th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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flyme2themoon, rain is pretty typical for Belgium and the Netherlands. Try to go in the summer. Temperatures are a little unpredictable but the weather is generally better than in April. And do bring a rain jacket and footwear that can stand up to the weather.

Lavandula
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