36th birthday in The Netherlands

_MAL3066, originally uploaded by Michael A. Lowry.

To celebrate my 36th birthday, spent a long weekend with my friend Kathrin in The Netherlands. I woke up at 4:45 in the morning on Friday in order to catch my flight. I slept on the very short flight to Schiphol Airport and caught a train to Leiden, where she lives. We took a walk around Leiden and had brunch at the Bagels & Beans cafe on Maarsmansteeg. Then we caught the train into Amsterdam for some sightseeing. After a nice walk around the center of the city, we ate a late lunch at Wagamama and then looked at the many masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum. We also looked at several photo exhibitions at FOAM, the Photography Museum of Amsterdam. Before returning to Leiden, we had a couple of beers at trendy Asian restaurant and then one more round at a tiny corner pub beside the canal.

On Saturday we saw some museums in Leiden, including the National Museum of Antiquities. The Egyptian artifacts there were simply amazing, and I posted some photos of a few of them. There was also an exhibit of aerial photos from Iran that was very interesting. In the evening we took a train to The Hague and ate dinner at Pastis, a charming French restaurant downtown. Then we took in a film, the latest in the Bond franchise.

On Sunday we went to the beach, where we were treated to sunshine for the first time in the weekend. It was there that Kathrin took the excellent photo of me above. After a long and eventful weekend, I flew back to Zürich late last night. I have uploaded photos from the weekend in a new set entitled The Netherlands, November 2008.

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