Although there are quite a few cinemas for a relatively small town, one stands out as it offers good quality, alternative films - "Kijkhuis"
In The Netherlands all films are in original language (except for some matinees with dubbed animated movies) , so you will be able to watch them Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, etc.
This is the place where you will definetly not find the latest blockbusters, but usually high-quality films.
For more information:
It is located on a sidestreed off the main shopping street (Hsarlemmerstraat), coming from the station end it is about the third or forth street on the left-hand side.
Address: Vrouwkerkersteeg 10, Phone: 071 5661585
Although I have never used it myself (I live very close to it), this is a centrally-located Internet Cafe, that provides not only Internet access, but also computers for gamings and the possibility to burn your photos on a CD.
I don't know the exact rates, but a friend who used it mentioned they were reasonable and since it is centrally located anyway, you can just come by and take a look.
It is called "Game On" and is located on Kort Rapenburg, which is the street perpendicular to the two main shopping streets, Haarlemmerstraat and Breestraat, right at the beginning (coming from the station). Phone number is 071 5663608.
If you catch the Train from Amsterdam like I did, as you depart the main part of Leiden Station there is an Information desk located in the centre. To the right of this are counters where you can buy a 'RETURN BUS & ADMISSION TO KEUKENHOF GARDENS" ticket. Its a good idea to do this, as when I arrived at the Gardens, there was a very long queue, but I just walked straight in. I went to the Gardens the last week of the season, so imagine how long the queue would have been in full season.
If you are not sure which counter, ask at the info desk, they will point you in the right direction.
Leiden shares its name with Lyon in France and London in UK.
It is derived from Lugdunum. Leiden has the added Lugdunum Batavorum.
For a little more historical information see:
The most important day in the history of Leiden happened in 1574. It is still celebrated every year on the 3rd of October. A local holiday.
At that time the 80 year war raged over our country. In 1574 Leiden was besieged by the spanish. The first time it was a 6 month closure of the city, during the winter of 1573-1574. In march the spanish army went away to battle with the Lodewijk van Nassau. But the freedom didn't last long. In may they were back with 5000 soldiers. City government didn't prepare for the new siege. And the conditions were worse. There was not enough food inside the citywalls. Not only hunger stoke the city but also diseases like the plague.
The spanish tried to force the city to surrender. But the brave people of Leiden wouldn't give up. The story tells us, that the major even offered his own body as food for the people.
The salvation has to come from the Prince of Orange. He ordered the dikes to be destroyed, so the spanish had to flee for the water. During the night of 2 and 3 october 1574 a part of the citywall collapses. The spanish fear an outbreak and from the other side the water, they flee in hurry leaving their just prepared food. The food containing onions, carrots and meat (now known as hutspot, a dutch dish) was eaten by the people of Leiden. When the liberators came later that day they brought herring and white bread.
The city was rewarded for their courage with a university.
Today the feast of Leids Ontzet is still celebrated on the 3rd of October, ever since 1574 traditional food is herring, white bread and hutspot. Early in the morning (around 7 am) the city gives every citizen herring and white bread. Large festivals are in the city that day.
Everywhere in the city you will encounter keys. A nickname for Leiden is Sleutelstad (keycity).
Since 1293 the cityseal had St Peter on it. St Peter often has a key in his hand. This comes from the biblical text (Matthew 16: 19) in which Jesus gives Peter the keys to the heavens.
St Peter was patron saint of the city. And the main church was dedicated to him.
The official seal of Leiden now bears two keys.
Favorite thing: Maybe this should be listed in off the beaten path...because we may not have discovered ,or learned the true nature of a Hofje without Mique pointing them out ...They're referred to as Almshouses in English...quiet little courtyards once inhabited by Nuns who cared for the poor and sick...If you know to look for the signs and doors ajar, you can visit these Hofje (found throughout the Netherlands)...From the outside they appear as a regular street ...but once inside ,well you see the picture...One is expected to be respectful of the residents space, but the serenity of the Hofjes generally invites such behavior.
Did you know that Rembrandt was born in Leiden? Maybe you did. Did you know he turned 400 this year (2006)? Of course you did! On my last morning in Leiden, I walked around and found this new monument to him, across from the plaque that commemorates his birth. I also found the Rembrandt Expo. There wasn't a lot to look at but I did buy some gifts there!
Fondest memory: Here's a website where you can read more about it:
If you want the most out of your visit to Leiden, go to the VVV (Tourist Information office) first. You can get advice on accomodation and restaurants but there are also a great many interesting little guides and walks that you can buy here for just a few euro.
Fondest memory: Various booklets
Alsmhouses walk € 0,50
Rembrandt walk € 2,00
House fronts and gables walk € 2,50
Langs de Leidse Loper (general walk, guide in full colour) € 4,95
VVV Tourist Office Address:
2312 AV LEIDEN
Monday 11.00-17.30 hrs
Tue-Fri 9.30-17.30 hrs
Saturday 10.00-16.30 hrs
Closed on Sunday
Tel 0900.22.22.333 (€ 0,45 pm)
Below this you can find the most important information about the Rotterdam Mainport. The info is taken from the offical site www.portofrotterdam.com
Rotterdam is one of the world's most important junctions when it comes to cargo traffic. Every year, over 300 million tonnes of goods are handled here. Located on the North Sea - the busiest sea route in the world - this Dutch port serves a European hinterland of about 380 million consumers. The huge cargo flows result in advantages of scale for both carriers and shippers.
The port of Rotterdam covers an area of 40 kilometers, from the center of the city to the North Sea. The port and industrial area covers 10,500 hectares (26.000 acres). Around 30,000 sea-going vessels and 130,000 inland vessels arrive in the port every year. Rotterdam is the home port and port of call for around 500 shipping lines, running regular services to 1,000 ports. Rotterdam is Europe's most important port for oil & chemicals, containers, iron ore, coal, food and metals.
Via the Eurogeul (Euro-channel) in the North Sea, ships with a draft of up to 75 foot can enter the port fully loaden. This means that they can carry between 300 and 350 thousand tons of crude oil, iron ore or coal in one go. The largest container ships, of 7,000 TEU or more, can also enter Rotterdam completely unrestricted . Because there are no locks in the port, it only takes ships 1 to 2 hours from the pilot station before the port entrance to their berths along the quay by the terminals in the western port area.
Goods bound for the hinterland can leave the port by river, rail, road, pipeline or sea. For large quantities of bulk goods, transport via the Rhine, which flows into the sea at Rotterdam, is ideal. But inland shipping is also a good alternative for containers. With the use of shuttle trains, rail's modest stake in container transport is growing. Many chemicals are also carried by rail. Bulk chemicals leave Rotterdam by pipeline, as does part of the crude oil traded into the port by sea. Chemical products and semi-manufactured products, containers and food and food-related products, for instance, are transported by road.
Characteristic of a mainport like Rotterdam is that all kinds of different goods flows come together. These various types of goods, such as oil, ores and coal, or fruit and dry bulk, roll-on/roll-off and containers are usually handled by specialized companies. These companies are established in specific parts of the port, so that Rotterdam is characterized by a collection of specialized ports.
Crude oil, oil products and liquid chemicals account for almost half of the total throughput in Rotterdam. Important receivers and consignors of this liquid bulk are the five refineries and the chemical industry in the port area.
The relatively cheap supply of crude oil in VLCCs (very large crude carriers) forms the basis of Rotterdam's petrochemical industry. Most crude oil is discharged on the Maasvlakte (at the MOT) and is then transported onwards via pipeline, sometimes following storage.
Over 20 multinationals have branches in the industrial area. Most chemical semi-manufactured products find their way to the hinterland by pipeline. A total of one-third of all liquid bulk leaves the port by pipeline.
For the handling of crude oil, oil products and chemicals, Rotterdam has a number of specialized tank terminals; not only can ships and lorries load and discharge there, but stocks of chemicals are also stored for the owner and supplied on demand. They have a joint capacity in excess of more than 30 million m3.
The German steel industry transports almost all of its iron ore via Rotterdam. This is relatively cheap due to the large-scale trade into the port by means of huge bulk ships and the large-scale trade out over the Rhine via six-strong tug-pushed lighters. The German steel companies have their own EECV terminal in Rotterdam Europoort, where the majority of the ore arriving in Rotterdam is transshipped. The rest goes through the EMO terminal on the Maasvlakte.
Coal is only shipped in via the EMO terminal, from where ± 50% is distributed to Dutch power; the other half is mainly destined for England and Germany. In addition to ores and coal, Rotterdam also handles considerable amounts of agribulk: grain and crude animal feed but also other dry bulk such as phosphates for the fertilizer industry. These are the specialities of European Bulk Services, with terminals in the Botlek area and in Europoort.
In Rotterdam, some 30 million tons of food are transshipped, 60% of which is destined for consumption in the European hinterland. In addition to agricultural raw materials, beverages, meat, fish, preserves, grain products, fruit, vegetables and fruit juices are also handled in Rotterdam. Handling of the last three products is concentrated in Rotterdam Fruitport in the Vierhavens-/Merwehaven area on the north bank.
Rotterdam is the largest container port in Europe. An increasing proportion of container throughput takes place on the Maasvlakte, where stevedoring company ECT operates three terminals. ECT is shareholder in a fourth terminal. These are part of several 'dedicated' terminals, in which ECT, the municipality and the government are investing a total in advance of 2 billion guilders.
Its situation close to the sea and its accessibility for very large container ships makes the Maasvlakte an ideal location for the sea-sea distribution of containers and the establishment of centers for large-scale distribution. Many container services therefore include Rotterdam as one of the few European ports of call and serve the others with feeder ships.
Apart from the Maasvlakte, containers are also transshipped in the Waalhaven/Eemhaven area, where short-sea activities are concentrated.
Center for transport, trade and industry
The intensive concentration of goods flows has given mainport Rotterdam a clear role as a center. All major shipping companies are represented here, either directly or via an agent. The British/Dutch P&O Nedlloyd has its head office in Rotterdam. Other shipping companies, such as, for example, Maersk/Sea-Land, have centers from where they organize all their inland transport to the northwest European hinterland. For this purpose, Rotterdam offers a great concentration of hauliers, inland shipping companies and rail carriers. But European trade has also concentrated itself in Rotterdam; the presence of the only European auction for imported citrus fruits and the numerous 'Trade & Distribution Centers' of Asian countries are good examples.
But the most noticeable concentration of activity in Rotterdam is that of industry, in particular the field of chemicals and petro-chemicals . For these industries, the goods flows to Rotterdam are a must. A number of multinationals, such as Lyondell and 'newcomer' Lyondell have their most important or only European industrial complex here, where products are manufactured for the whole of Europe or even the whole world.
Fondest memory: Beautiful sceneries at night, when the oilindustries are lighten up.....
Leiden is a great city just to walk around in and look at everything. Walk by the canals or sit down at a cafe and have a drink and enjoy yourself.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Leiden is definitely the opportunity to get to know my uncle. I left Holland at the age of 8 and I didn't see this uncle until 12 years later at a family reunion and over there we didn't get the chance to talk. But this was an opportunity for me to spend some time with him and I found out that he was really great and I'm so glad that I had this chance.
Leiden has enogh attractions to easily fill a full day.
Make the Visitor Centre your first stop and get the latest on Leiden events and more.
The Visitor Centre is located at Stationsweg 41 (Opposite the Centraal Station); tel: +31-71-5166000.
When you leave the Centraal Station and walk to the old city across the first bridge over the Rijnsburgersingel, there's a kind of big camera at the Kiekpad along the canal.
That piece of art memorates Israël David Kiek, a famous photographer from Leiden.
He introduced the word "Kiekje" for a photographic picture and at times that word still is used by Dutchmen taking pictures.
David Kiek's workshop was across the canal and you can see it through the camera.
Favorite thing: Afscheid Zonder Thuiskomst or Goodbye Without Homecoming is a monument for the soldiers from Leiden that were sent to the East Indish (Indonesia) after World War II, but never returned to their home town.
Leiden is the city where the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born on July 15, 1606.
At bit off the beaten path is the location of a statue to his honour at the Wiite Singel canal close to the Noordeinde.
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