Goodbye Leeuwarden

Leeuwarden Travel Blog

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The massed ranks of bicycles in the bicycle park at Leeuwarden train station
On Monday morning I was up in good time, as I needed to pack, and I also wanted to stoke up at the Hotel's breakfast buffet, as it was going to be a long day, with my flight not leaving Schipohl until ten in the evening. After checking out I carried my bags up to the train station, where there were some left-luggage lockers, and then set about doing some food shopping. Not much, since it would have to fit into my cabin baggage, but a friend had told me that I would love stroopwafels, and so of course I had to buy some before leaving: they would, I thought, sustain me at Schipohl. I found some in the Hema supermarket, and also bought a bag of appelkoeken - apple pastries - that looked, and actually turned out to be, super-jummie.

No sooner had I made my purchases than Wendy called to say that the Eden Oranje crew were just checking out, and that she was going to meet us all in front of the Hotel.
Brett, Matt and Wendy on Nieuwestad
Leeuwarden is a very compact town, so I was at the Hotel in five minutes, and found the others in full civilised mode, drinking coffee at the tables outside. I ordered a cappucino, which was served with a little dish of chocolate drops and a tiny glass of water (it is that kind of hotel), and we sat around pleasantly for half-an-hour or so until Wendy arrived. The plan that was concocted was that we would all go to lunch, after which Wendy would take us on a little tour of the more historical part of the town that we might not have seen yet. Then people would head off, mostly by car; I would hang around for a bit longer, as my train for Schipohl did not leave until 5.45, and Matt was not leaving until the next morning.

So we finished up lunching at a very agreeable terrace cafe in the Prinsentium, overlooking a fountain and a green pond with a stray football floating in it.
The one that got away: Ket and Alex at lunch
Then Wendy led us for a mile or so around streets that were, indeed, new to me, and very interesting: I decided that I really liked Leeuwarden very much indeed. All too soon we had to return to the Eden Oranje, but there was one last port of call: an ice-cream bar that, Wendy said, served the best ice-cream in Friesland, in The Netherlands, in the World, in the Universe. Some TBs sampled six different scoopfuls, but I don't like too much cold food and so contented myself with two scoopfuls of stroopwafel ice-cream; and I must say that it was absolutely delicious. I think everyone agreed that it was some of the finest ice-cream that they had ever had.

The ice-cream bar was only a hundred metres or so from the hotel, and so everyone said their goodbyes.
Wendy
That left Matt and me, and we thereupon followed Wendy to Nieuwestad to look at some shops - shops selling food, ethnic shops, shops that smelt nice as you walk in, shops with necklaces, shops with travel gear for Wendy's upcoming trip to Southern Africa. We even trooped through a branch of C & A, which used to be a familiar sight on Britain's High Streets until a few years ago. And we weren't allowed to miss out the VVV (tourist office), where I bought some Frisian tea, and Matt, to Wendy's horror, bought a Frisian passport.

After all this hard shopping it was time for some more food, which we found at a little cafe on Nieuwestad - Wendy wanted us to try krokets and frikandel, and as far as I was concerned they were very welcome, as it was probably the last hot food that I was going to have that day.
Wendy again
After Wendy and Matt had arranged to meet later for dinner, Matt headed back to the hotel while Wendy and I had a wander around until it was finally time to say goodbye. I felt sad, but also happy that the next day Wendy would be able to relax and be entirely free of what must have occupied most of her waking thoughts for the past few months, knowing what a success the whole meet-up had been. Dear Wendy, we all owe you so much!

So ... there was nothing left for me to do except retrieve my luggage from the locker and allow the ultra-efficient Netherlands railway to transport me to Schipohl. Having checked in, I attacked the stroopwafels and found them just as jummie as I had been led to believe. And when my flight was delayed, I simply viewed it as an opportunity to eat some more. Finally we took off for London Gatwick at about half-past ten.
londonstudent says:
Well, although we'd had lunch I was still pretty hungry, and if Wendy suggested that I might like to try this or that I was only too happy to comply :)
Sw ice-cream is the works, you just have to try it. Usually I don't go for fancy varieties, and think that good old vanilla is best, but this was so good. They also did Red Bull ice-cream :s
I'll have to correspond separately about Frisian tea :) It's a bit like Earl Grey, but I need to ask about some of the words on the packet :)
Posted on: Aug 20, 2008
-amy says:
You have croquets! I never want to eat them because they have meat in them :) Really though...stroopwafel ice cream?! I never even knew such a thing existed!! :O:O!!! I'm curious though - what is Frisian tea? I've never seen it or heard of it lol.

Posted on: Aug 20, 2008
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The massed ranks of bicycles in th…
The massed ranks of bicycles in t…
Brett, Matt and Wendy on Nieuwestad
Brett, Matt and Wendy on Nieuwestad
The one that got away: Ket and Ale…
The one that got away: Ket and Al…
Wendy
Wendy
Wendy again
Wendy again
The view from the terrace in the P…
The view from the terrace in the …
The fountain and floating football
The fountain and floating football
A water-nymph
A water-nymph
The Jewish Memorial
The Jewish Memorial
Lovely old street
Lovely old street
The civic symbol of Leeuwarden
The civic symbol of Leeuwarden
That misplaced u would drive me …
That misplaced "u" would drive me…
One doesnt want to labour the jok…
One doesn't want to labour the jo…
In the ice-cream bar
In the ice-cream bar
Our afternoon snack: I think the f…
Our afternoon snack: I think the …
The view along Nieuwestad from the…
The view along Nieuwestad from th…
Leeuwarden
photo by: metsbwd