In a word, WOW!
As usual, on our Saturday out, I was totally wowed by Leiden & had that holiday feeling again!
Leiden is very cultural & historical. Apparently the pilgrims stopped off here for a bit on the way to the New World. It has a lovely open feel around the main waterways, lots of room to walk. Plenty of museums & such, pretty alleyways & shopping arcades. Loads of character. We only went for an afternoon, and chose to go to the Botanical Gardens of the University, Hortus Botanicus. Established around 1590! It’s one of the oldest in the world. It was only £7.50 to get in, an absolute bargain. Even this late in the year there was plenty to see.
There are two large greenhouses, the ferny one pictured and a truly tropical huge one with the “Crown Jewels Of Asia” in . The beehive top right was actually in use.
We saw lots of things we’ve never seen before, including mature plants of ginger, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg etc, bananas growing.
it’s next to an old Uni building which was originally a nunnery.
This hanging stuff left gave an amazing atmosphere! I imagine people visiting here hundreds of years ago would have been incredulous at the different tropical plants. This above right was very large leaves in this strange form I’ve not seen before.
Bananas growing, also these leaves that look as if they’ve been painted on.
There were some butterflies & such in this room. The lily pads & the butterflies were huge.
There were beautifully detailed Japanese & Chinese herb gardens, a small kitchen garden with surprising amount of crops for late October. It was a bit chilly so we went for a coffee in their cafe and it was very good value for money in there too. We definitely need to come again in spring. All the above pics are Lee’s, as he takes way better than me, I left him to it.
After that we walked around the pretty streets a bit. You definitely can’t see it all in one day. They have the national ethnology museum there, which I am interested in. I can certainly understand why our cousins chose to make their home there. It’s lovely!
Another amazing day out!