Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Netherlands, day 7

The cat thing continued. Petra texted me that they want money from her in the shelter and that it's horrendous, how they dare and that she has her ID at parents' so she cannot pick the cat anyway. I guessed that it'll be sort of fun for Tähti, she's an adventurer of a sort and the Siamese are not hard to break and I sort of took it easy. After all, everybody makes mistakes.
The plan for the day was that Martin will go to the symposium to present his project and the rest of us will hang around Leiden, do some shopping and find some entertainment and when Martin is back, then those who want will go to the Botanical Garden. Martin is a botanist, did I say that?
Well, I was just walking around the town there and back,all itchy and mildly bored. I discoverdd the grocery and left it for later and decided to find a bookstore, they are good places to idle around. I was stupid, I suspected that Leiden might be more fun so I didn't take a book or knitting or something with me. However, I discovered a Fair Trade store where I got some chocolates (one just cannot resist organic fair trade chocolate named Divine) and a huge necklace made of carneol and turquoise glass. There was theink capsule attached to it and both the shop assistants couldn't take it off the piece.... after five minutes of struggling with it they started chatting in Dutch with me... well, I nodded and smiled, yeah, it's a damn freaky gadget, this thing, but then I had to admit that I don't know a single word in that language. Then I plundered the grocery for some food for the journey back and went to meet the guys... well, I had like an hour left so I sat on the lawn in the piece of park there, ate something, checked my agenda and added some erratic notes and applied a few more layers of the sunscreen, I didn't want to take risks.
When we assembled, three of us aimed for the Hortus botanicus. Nice place indeed.... they had all the tropical trees in containers outside including the Wollemi pine (I saw one at some plant exhibition with the stylish bars around it so that no-one would steal it. Here in Leiden it was just standing under a palm and we could cuddle it....). It isn't actually a pine, to me it resembles rather some sort of Araucaria... actually good guess, the Wikipedia says so as well.... and while googling for some useful link, I discovered that one can buy it here for just over 300 euros. Could be worse. The strange orchid is dendrobium finisterrae and I just liked it. It still has no article on the Wikipedia so... go for it.
At something like four we were to meet at Albert Heijn, the grocery. I went along with the guys and then, there it was. The yarn store. First I saw in this country and it was beautiful. I was hanging around Leiden for three hours and I missed that street, which was full of artsy boutiques.... so I sent the guys ahead, I had done my food shopping, after all, and went in to drool. I didn't need anything and all the yarns were of the rather expensive sorts. I was just sniffing around, touching the yarns - here it's only one online store that sells Gedifra yarns, for example, and most of them are by special order only. I'm not much of a Gedifra freak, some of their things are way too novelty for me, but it's just nice to see. And see the colour arrangement.
Finally I fished out three Gedifra Carioca balls from the sale basket, still, they were 3.50 each which is a little bit expensive for me, especially when it's a funky yarn I don't need at all, but I felt that I need a souvenir. I already got something like three kilos of yarn from Sandy but anyway. I asked the lady whether I can take a pic and voila: Ribbels, Pieterskerk-Choorsteeg 18, Leiden. Their website doesn't work, though. Hope it's temporary.
Then we just headed home. It was raining all over Germany so we drove and drove and at a certain point we decided that we could make it to Prague sort of after midnight and stay overnight at my place. We got there around three, though so the guys decided to go straight home.