After spending most of the day in Haarlem, I’m now convinced that it is a much better place than Amsterdam in almost every way, unless you count massive quantities of stoned British soccer hooligans as an important part of your Rick Steves’ featureset.
I took the train from Amsterdam to Haarlem after spending a while trying to figure out the Dutch train schedule, which required the discovery of a WW2 enigma machine. It was only about 15 km away, so it was a short ride. The town of Haarlem itself was extremely nice, completely unlike the Harlem in New York.
I spent most of the day walking around with my camera and my iPod. I must have walked about 15 km around the city getting completely lost in little alleyways. I took a ton of pictures and have only had a short amount of time to process a few of them for now. These things take a while, since my workflow on these things is Sisyphusian at best.
The first picture below is of Grote Kerk. At the end of the church is a famous pipe organ that Mozart once played on as a child. The pipe organ is 100 feet high with over 5,000 pipes. I recommend the Large version on black.