Wednesday, 8 June 2016

2016 Trip to Europe - Day 3 in Haarlem, The Netherlands

Day 3 - Haarlem
Sint Bravo Kirk, Haarlem

We had an easy, restful day today. Haarlem is a delightful walking town. There was a small outdoor market in the town square. We bought some pieces of rather unusual fabric to have made into cushions later. Easy to pack. Museums are closed here on Monday, so we spent our time simply enjoying the many aspects of this lovely town. The canals, the large, beautiful windmill, the shops. We revisited the Kirk to see it more completely than we could during last night’s concert. It is impressive.  I’m always struck by how much the ceilings of these very old churches look like upside down boat hull construction.

Abutting the church in the most curious way are a whole row of shops. They look like they were built at the same time as the church. They house a shop that sells shawls, a barber, complete with red and white striped pole, and who seems to live over his shop, a goldsmiths, one that sells small animal toys for children, and one that sells gelato. Wonderful gelato in many, many flavors.

Grand Cafe Brinkmann
We found a delightful place for lunch, the Grand CafĂ© Brinkmann. It dates from the late eighteen hundreds. All dark wooden beams and high ceilings. Good food in an interesting setting on the town square. It was full at lunch time. We’ll return to it while we’re here. I’m of the opinion that when you find really good food in a really nice setting, you make the restaurant your own. I suspect we’ve accidentally stumbled into the best this town has to offer.

Today we walked to the train station and back (10 blocks each way). Those of you who know me will realize this was an achievement – and far farther than my knee doctor recommends. Have to get into shape for all those miles through museums. 

Tomorrow we’ll do a day trip by train to Delft, home of the famous blue and white tiles and china.


Where Lemons Bloom by Blair McDowell
Blair McDowell's latest Suspense tale takes the reader to Italy's  beautiful Amalfi Coast.

"Adamo and Eve are two people who have both been through their own versions of hell. They are both certain that they are not ready to enter into a relationship, but love finds them anyway. Then it takes them on the non-stop thrill ride of their lives."

When Eve Anderson meets Adamo de Leone on a ship bound for Europe, she has no idea of the dark secret that will endanger both their lives. She accompanies him to his home on Italy’s Amalfi Coast to open an inn left to him by his grandfather. But then she learns he spent 5 years in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit. Could the man she loves be responsible for embezzling eighty million dollars from the investment firm he once owned?

Adamo wants to hold Eve at arm’s length until he can clear his proud family name. But when there is an attempt on his life and Eve is terrorized by a gun-bearing thug, he realizes how much he wants her, and he must accept whatever help he can get to uncover the well-hidden trail of a six-year-old crime.

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Blair McDowell