We started with a short tour downtown, including paddling around most of canal that circles the city. I immediately noticed three differences from Delft: extensive greenspace around the entire perimeter of the city, an abundance of outdoor patios and boat seating areas, and lots more house boats. Then again, the weather was fantastic, so sunbathers were out in full force.
Some interesting facts about Leiden: Thanks, Wikipedia!
- Elsevier publishing was started there in 1580, and the city has a reputation as being the city of books.
- Weaving (textiles) was a major economic factor for much of Leiden's history
- In 1807 a ship with gunpowder exploded in the middle of Leiden, injuring or killing over 2000 people. The area destroyed was turned into Van der Werff park
- The Dutch Constitution was written in Leiden
- At one point Leiden was "The Coldest Place on Earth" because of a lab that improved cryogenics (the Leiden Scale is used to measure extremely low temperatures.
We then headed east out of the city and north towards De Kaag - a series of lakes that are popular for sailing and other water sports. It was a bit windy on the open lake (Het Joppe), but nothing too difficult. We stopped for a snack at Grote Leerust park near Fort Marina and basked in the sun. In general, a nice relaxing day enjoying the sun in Leiden! I'll be back for a city trip :)
Photos - click a photo to open slideshow
Duration: 4 hours
Distance: 15.4 km (9.5 miles)
Weather: Sunny and warm! A bit breezy.