We took a day trip out to Leiden in early December. It was a cold, gray-sky day, but Leiden charmed us with its picturesque canals, unique architecture and alleyways. We visited a couple of museums: SieboldHuis (a museum on the relationship between Japan and the Netherlands) and the National Museum of Antiquities. The former was very interesting as I had recently finished reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet about Deshima and the trade port. At the National Museum of Antiquities, there is a very extensive Egyptian collection, but I also loved looking through all of the findings from the Netherlands. Hundreds of years of artifacts have been uncovered in the Netherlands, including Viking and Roman items. I also liked the WW2 artifacts.
While we tried to stay inside as much as we could, strolling around town was great. I had done some research ahead of time and pointed out a few sights, such as the “Rhenish Rod,” which was the standard measurement for a long time across parts of the world until the meter came along.
After lunch at a cute restaurant with a whole Sinterklaas event going on, we walked to the old castle that sits on top of a man-made hill. It was so cold, but it had some nice views of the city. After that we got some gluhwijn to make us warm inside and then caught the next train back to Amsterdam. It was a nice afternoon!