Late Saturday morning we took a bus to Haarlem. It stops near our house and drops you in the middle of the city’s centre about 25 minutes later. The bus ride was spent gazing out of the window whilst listening to music, as the best bus rides are. Our first mission was coffee, the second one shoes, and the third a gift, seeing as the purpose of our visit to Haarlem was a birthday party later that day.
On a mission
Yet we started of with completing mission one in the old V&D (a former Dutch chain of warehouses that recently went bankrupt) where a pop-up warehouse had just opened its doors. In it was a coffee corner slash lunch place where we had a nice cup of coffee while enjoying the view and discussing the ways in which people who live in Haarlem differ from people who live in Amsterdam, and vice versa.
Different cities, different vibes
Even though the two cities are located in close proximity, and while parts of the old city centre look much alike, the two places have a totally different vibe. Amsterdam is a capital city, where most big chains have a store, huge companies reside and tourist frequent. Haarlem is smaller, yet has its own share of tourists, but only those who wander outside of Amsterdam. The travellers if you will, not so much the tourists. And Haarlem is, a true Dutch city. Amsterdam doesn’t really represent the entire country, Haarlem comes closer to doing so.
The perfect coat
Anyway, after coffee and some wandering around town and browsing a concept store or two (when did that became a thing and why?) we enjoyed a Surinam style sandwich: hot chicken. By that time I had given up all hope of completing mission number two: the shoes, which seem to be a mission impossible (ha! I knew I could work that in somewhere in this post) and it was time to buy that gift as the party hour drew closer. And just after doing so, I stumbled upon the perfect coat. Perfect fit, perfect colour, perfect price tag. I doubted buying it for a bit, but luckily Joost was able to make me see I was acting foolishly. When one finds the perfect coat, one buys it.
Weekend wandering comes to an end
After another bus ride, a birthday party and a trip to the grocery store we were done with wandering for the day. Home is a nice place to wander to. And watching movies complement a Saturday like nothing else.