The V&D department store is known for its panoramic view from the cafe on the top floor. We decided to check it put and discovered a market style cafe with farm fresh salads, fruits, and appealing fruit juices in glass containers with fresh fruit inside.
Our first museum of the day was the Frans Hals Museum. We learned there are not a lot of historic records about his early life, but it is believed that he was born the 16th century in Antwerp. Fran's Hals painted three types of portraits: groups, individual dignitaries, and less fortunates. We saw restoration in progress of one large painting. A woman was meticulously removing varnish with two inch by two inch squares. They believe that earlier attempts to restore the paintings caused damage to the colors. Lunch was in the outdoor garden. I couldn't read the Dutch menu so took a chance and ordered Hippy veggie toasty. It was a toasted sandwich with grilled zucchini and eggplant layered on top of humus. It was delicious.
Our second museum of the day was Teylers Museum. It is a museum of Mr. Teylers personal collection which included gemstones, fossils, cave bear skeletons, scientific instruments, paintings, shells, and coins all labeled by hand in perfect calligraphy. A special exhibit featured the history of music players from phonographs to CD players. At the end, they pointed out that even though people no longer need their music recorded and played on an actual music player, music is everywhere in the Internet world.
Our map showed a windmill museum just down the road along the canal. We got there just as public tours were closing, but a kind woman agreed to give us a private tour. We learned about the technology behind windmills as well as their purpose in the Netherlands today. Dave asked our guide if she has heard of Rick Steves, Much to our surprise she said, " Yes. A Rick Steves' tour will be here in 15 minutes." Rick's tours often start here in Haarlem and we both agreed that if you are planning a European tour, Haarlem is a great place to begin your journey.