Panorama of Leiden

Leidenaars at Play

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The Dutch have a special relationship with water. For Leidenaars, a favorite way to spend a relaxing afternoon is to cruise the city's canals.
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Having food and drink at hand is standard practice.
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A very scenic paddle.
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The waters of the canal can also serve as a stage. Here's a rock band making its way through the canals. It's actually a benefit concert/fundraiser of sorts, with volunteers "passing the hat" along the shoreline.
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On occasion, concert stages are floated. This is the opening band for the annual Rapenburg Concert. By evening, the canal will be full of boats and the sidewalks packed.
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Restoring and showing off old boats also happens from time to time.
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The canals provide calm water and long straightaways, perfect for a crew's weekend workout.
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The city canals connect with larger water outside the city; a good place for a bit of sailing.
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A college student getting a little fishing in. The canals hold a range of fish, including pike.
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Not far from Leiden is Lake Oostvoorne, where your humble narrator caught this one on a fly. Thanks to L.V.V. de Hackleplayers for a great day on the water!
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Back in town, a stack of surfboards sit waiting for the big waves to come.
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The North Sea is a 13 minute drive or 20 minute bus ride from Leiden. A day at the beach is very close by.
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The Beestenmarkt plays host to an old car show.
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Even American muscle cars have a home in Leiden!
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Leiden has many museums and historical monuments. This is the entrance to the Hortus Botanicus. Established in 1590, it's one of the oldest in the world.
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Part of the Hortus grounds is a very wild-feeling ramble.
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A group of college students enjoying the sunshine at the Hortus.
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Leiden has a variety of public spaces, which can be transformed into concert venues. This is the Garenmarkt (yarn market).
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To celebrate Leidse Onset, the "relief of Leiden" on October 3, much of Leiden's public space is turned over to various forms of revelry.
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The public life of the streets is always surprising. Here we see a group of freshman college students going through part of their initiation into one of the student houses of the University of Leiden.
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"Pole vaulting" canals on Oct 3. Spoiler alert: he's not going to make it.
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A cold winter night brings families out to skate in the Allmarkt.
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On October 3, and many other occasions, beer gardens are set up in the streets.
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Cheers! Ben and I at one of the many excellent restaurants which line the great public spaces of Leiden.