Leiden celebrates the 'Pilgrim Fathers'

 

It's 400 years since the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, sailing from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower—but Leiden, the Dutch city where they lived for several years and from which they left for Plymouth, wants its name up in lights, too.

The city, which has a museum (above) dedicated to the American Pilgrims' residence in the Dutch city that didn't mind their differences with England's established church, has a full schedule of events for the year, some of them modified by the pandemic period. 

The museum exhibits are widely-varies; some deal with the genealogy of the Pilgrims, one addresses the effects of their journey on Native Americans and others cover a variety of other topics, including the influence on the Pilgrims' plans of Dutch botanist Rembert Dodoens, who had established an early scientific garden in Leiden, and whose books they carried to America.

One event closely links two different histories: in July, a fleet of historic and modern boats will retrace the first step of the voyage to America by sailing to Rotterdam's Delfshaven, where it will be met by a working replica of Halve Maen, or Half Moon, the ship that took Henry Hudson to New York Harbor in 1609. A fuller list of the events is available.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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