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We took a train to Haarlem after the market. I hadn't done research on the town so I was pretty much just tagging along with the 4 others.

We got off the train and walked out to the street to get our bearings. The first thing I noticed was the stairwell to another section of the station. The stairs had rails built into them to assist cyclists in pushing their bicycles:

We wandered away from the station in search of the center of town. Like Amsterdam, we passed over many canals and through the shadows of picturesque house fronts.

Canal in Haarlem

We arrived in a splendid town square, made even better by summer sun.

We had some dinner and then went in search of the windmill someone heard about. We found it! It was late, so we couldn't take the tour.

Molen De Adriaan

Off in the distance we saw the top of a domed building.

Mysterious domed building in Haarlem

We decided to go closer to figure it out.

"Is that barbed wire?" ZM asked as we neared the outer wall.

"Does 'penitentiare' sort of sound like 'penitentiary?'" I asked.

Koepelgevangenis in Haarlem

Indeed it was barbed wire and a penitentiary. The beautiful monument was a former prison, Koepelgevangenis, that closed in 2016. According to Wikipedia, the building was designed in the panopticon style to make it difficult for inmates to know when they were being watched.

Having sated our curiosity we returned to the rail station to catch the hourly train. The reader boards seemed to indicate that our train had been canceled. A kindly station employee explained that all the trains were canceled and that we should wait at the bus island for the next transit. We did so, along with a few hundred commuters. The crowds were pleasant, though, and we had only a short wait until a bus appeared. We all claimed seats and delighted in the device charging stations available in every row. We passed the hour and thirty minutes pleasantly as we saw varied city views and chatted with an Irish expat named Martin.


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