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Through My Lens: Grote Kerk of Haarlem

It’s Palm Sunday, and I’m moving on from Amsterdam to Haarlem. This is the Grote Kerk, or Great Church. Dedicated to Saint Bavo of Gent, it is also known as St.-Bavokerk and has been Haarlem’s main church since the fifteenth century. It is enormous and dominates Haarlem’s skyline.

I like this photo because it shows all the goings on in the square outside the church. (This is actually the quiet side of the church — the Grote Markt, or Great Square, is on the other side and is much larger.) All the goings on include two of Holland’s national pastimes: cycling and afternoon coffee, which is always served with a tiny koekje (cookie) or chocolate. My friend and I parked ourselves at the very café you see in this photo in order to fuel up before we cycled the 20 kilometres back to Amsterdam.

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Through My Lens: Venetian Waiter

Another piazza, another waiter. This time we’re in Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) in Venice. It’s a terrific spot for people-watching.

La Dolce Vita

My sister is getting married this month, and she and her soon-to-be husband are planning a honeymoon to Italy later this summer. I figure that’s as good a reason as any to focus this month’s posts on Italy. (As if I need an excuse to write about Italy.)

For my first post: a photo of what I consider to be the essence of la dolce vita (the sweet life): a piazza, a glass of vino, and an Italian waiter to serve you. I took this in Piazza della Rotonda on our last day in Rome, October 2007.