A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Spring comes to Holland overnight. One day you’ll be passing by Lange Voorhout and it will look the same as always. The next day you’ll be walking to class and you are greeted by all these flowers all around you. Purple, white and yellow! They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I will give you a glimpse since there aren’t words to describe how pretty it all looks anyway!
When you have survived the colds and horrible winds of winter in Holland you have a different kind of appreciation for spring. The change is so sudden. One day you will go out and all the cafes will have put up their chairs outside. (All of which will be filled with happy Dutchies and internationals of course.) All the streets, terraces, Pleins, Grote Markts, canal side benches will be filled with shiny happy people! The coats come off, the scarves thrown to a corner and forgotten about.
On the way to and from my class at Lange Voorhout I saw –almost- everyone taking photos of these lovely flowers, taking a moment to appreciate the beauties of spring. After class I couldn’t just leave and go back to my room, so I stayed. I sat on a bench and watched the people take photos of the flowers, of their friends and family with the flowers and the way they take a moment every now and then to close their eyes, throw their head up to the sky to feel the warmth of the sun on their face and take a deep, happy, peaceful breath.
I walked for a little bit but I felt like I couldn’t go back home just yet so I went into this gallery at Lange Voorhout, a gallery that looks quite small from the outside but is super huge inside and even has a nice terrace with a café that sees the sun. Last time I was here I had spent hours going from one art piece to the other, lingering a bit more in front of some then the others but taking my time with each piece. Expect to see all kinds of art inside. There are no limitations. Below are a few photos of what I have seen.
The whole time I was trying to decide whether I should have some coffee and maybe even dessert at the café afterwards. Since this is the month where I have all my deadlines (essays, presentations, assignments… All you can imagine!) I figured I could spare some time for joy before locking myself in to study. That was such a good decision! Below are photos of the inside. Doesn’t it all look so cool?
And the outside.
A spot where you can enjoy the weather without the hustle bustle of city life. Life is still, I have no cares in the world and I am happy.
So my advice for you? Leave those essays, presentations and assignments behind for a day. One day only. Take some time to recharge before you dive in to all that work. If you are applying to university and studying for those last exams of your high school life, take a break, you made it this far and you deserved this moment for yourself. So get outside people and be happy!
PS. I have to confess something. I actually wrote this piece a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was trolled by the Dutch weather the next day when I was planning on posting this article as I woke up to a grey sky and lots of rain filled clouds… And now this post is relevant again! Sun in the sky, flowers on the ground and smiles on peoples faces!
PS.2 The name of the gallery is Pulchri and you will be greeted by this guy at the entrance: