October 11, 2008

Autumn in Leiden

Just look how beautiful Leiden is on a glorious, sunny October day

Het Plantsoen

Huge tree in het Plantsoen

Wild mushrooms

October 3, 2008

Leiden ontzet

3 October is a special day for the city of Leiden. Each year marks the anniversary of how the people of Leiden ran the Spaniards, who occupied Leiden, out of town. To mark this occasion the entire city celebrates with music, markets and kermis. And a lot of people (not yours truly) eat 'hutspot' (a mash with potatoes, carrots and onions). The morning of 3 October every citizen of Leiden can have herring and white bread at city hall, as that was the food that was brought to Leiden to feed the starving citizen.

It is a very local anniversary, but it does mean that all shops and offices in Leiden are closed and everybody who works in Leiden gets the day off. Personally I hate occasions like this. It reminds me of carnaval, another local feast that is celebrated mostly in the South of the Netherlands.
It seems that days like this are just an excuse to get hammered and make a lot of noise/ nuisance. Luckily for me the weather is too crap, so a good excuse to stay inside!