July 16.-We returned to Amsterdam yesterday from Haarlem in season for our noonday meal. After resting we walked over the bridge from the Victoria Hotel to the hand-some station and soon started for this city which is only about an hour’s ride from Amsterdam.
We are at what L. calls “a swell hotel”the Twee Steden. Our train yesterday passed swiftly from one city to the other. Cows were being milked in the meadows between three and four in the afternoon. So far the cows have been nearly all black and white and curiously marked]. I have seen many of them from the trains. There were unusual looking birds walking in the meadows, some with topknots, others with very long bills. There were many streams of water as we rode along, some narrow, some broad, some with a green scum, but the most of them were clear looking. Windmills were numerous but there were not as many as we imagined we should see in Holland. There were barns, dwelling houses, barracks tilled with hay and hay stacks all together. Much hay was in the field; some lying flat on the ground and some in cocks.
The queer looking headdresses or helmets that I saw in Amsterdam are here also. These are handed down as heir-looms from one generation to another and are greatly value]. Queen Wilhelmine has sometimes worn these strange head ornaments. These gold helmets originated, we are told, in the north of Holland.
The business streets are quite narrow with very narrow sidewalks. Many walk in the streets. On account of the horse racing that is near here this is a bank holiday. Hotels are filled. So far the weather has been delightful in Holland. L. not being in his usual health, we were unable to visit Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, which we much regret.