|Subject: Delft and Amsterdam (was Re: Cosmos Italy - Amsterdam)|
Well I wished I'd had Frances' Haarlem notes for when I was there before my Rick Steves tour in June 2001.
When visiting the Netherlands I had a similar starting list as Frances - Gouda, Leiden, Delft. I ended up choosing Delft and stayed there for 2 nights at the Hotel de Koophandel - I got a package through Delft tourism VVV which included a self-walking tour with map and some local entry passes. Unfortunately the VVV closed January 2003 due to lack of funding.
A good web site for Delft hotels is: http://www.delfthotels.nl/eng/index.html
It is a wonderful town to stroll and my stay coincided with a few of their street markets which were great fun - an old record market, a food market, and an antiques market. The walking tour was a great way to stroll up and down canals, shops, houses, squares, ... - and the atmosphere is wonderful with few vehicles and cobbled streets. I also caught the local bus to the Royal Delft factory/shop and went on the tour of how they make their beautiful wares. If you decide on Delft please let me know and I may be able to scan the walking tour in an email it to you.
In Amsterdam you will find many things to keep you occupied - once again there are wonderful little street stalls and markets, lots of different house facades, styles of bridges, you can take a canal cruise, check out the big busy main square, catch a tram for a different view. I found the visit to Anne Frank's house sobering, the Rijksmuseum was amazing, and the Van Gough museum captured me in the same way as the Musee Marmottan (Monet) did in Paris. Megan Brisbane, Australia