A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
In order to commemorate my debut in The Leidener (salute to fellow bloggers!), I figure that there’s no better way to do it than writing about my walking trip last Sunday during which I started to fall in love with Leiden all over again, and not that that love ever ceases to exist.
So thanks to ISN Photography Club, we all gathered for an event called “Discover Leiden.” For someone who arrived in Leiden a month ago like me, this city walk felt more like a rediscovering of Leiden as many of my friends even commented that we’re experiencing a second Orientation Week. It rang true in a sense, because we basically re-visited most of the places that we went to during Orientation Week; but then it’s certainly different, because we are not Leiden newbies anymore. Time has passed since we first set foot in the Netherlands, each of us must have garnered for ourselves a fair share of what we know about Leiden and what we’ve already loved about it. Now that we are visiting those familiar places again, we see them in different eyes, this time quite often through the camera lens. Old charms relived, new charms explored, and one thing never changes: Leiden is always irresistibly beautiful when the sun shines bright and it’s a crime not to go outside and embrace the city with a refreshing mind and an open heart.
That said, you will never get bored of Leiden anyways. Our lovely guide from ISN kindly led us through a hunt of wall poems, which is one unique about Leiden and you may possibly never get to find them all! We managed to cover a couple of the more popular ones, and of course this particularly interesting (and looooong) poem describing the sounds of the train in Corsa.
And then we visited the places that I think most of us were there for: ‘hofjes’ – the hidden courtyards. Hofjes were part of the social system in the middle-ages, meant for poor and old people. The houses are built close together and there’s a central commonly shared courtyard. Leiden seems to have many of these. How nice is it to have such idyllic, cozy places there for you when you feel like taking a break from your busy, hectic life for a while.
The day was well spent, and I will leave you with a sign of spring that is hard to miss.
Til next time!