One very windy day (Or: Last week’s wind storm)

On Thursday Europe was hit with a “wind storm”, which sounds a lot wussier than it actually was. Not much rain, but it still managed to bring the country to a halt for the day. The good (or bad) news was that the peak of the storm was around 11am, which meant that most people were able to get into work. But getting home was another matter entirely…

By about 10 or 10:30am The Hague tram system was shut down. Not surprising, since about 15 minutes before the shutdown someone tweeted a photo of a tram shelter’s roof after it flew off in the wind. Two glass panels actually – the second one is behind the right tram shelter. (Here’s a look at a tram stop roof in better times.) The buses shut down about 15 minutes after the trams.

The Washington Post has an article with a collection of photos and videos from the storm (including the person flying across the plaza in Den Bosch, which every Dutch person has seen at least once now, and the guy too stubborn to let go of his bike in The Hague).

The only picture I have of the day is someone standing in the glass at a tram stop that night:

Broken glass at tram stop, The Hague

 

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Categories: The Hague, Transportation | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Zuurkool (Or: A typical winter meal)

About once a year Marco and I ask his mom to bring over zuurkool, which is similar to the German sauerkraut. We can add this to the list of things I would have hated as a kid!

First, start with smoked sausage from Hema:

Smoked sausage from Hema\

Cook that in water for 15-20 minutes.

Then add the zuurkool, which literally translates to ‘sour cabbage’. In this case the zuurkool is combined with potatoes and smashed until there is nothing left to smash. Sounds delicious, right?

Dutch zuurkool (or sauerkraut)

Then add gravy. Bonus points if you can show off your Dutch heritage by successfully building a dam so that the gravy doesn’t leak out.

it’s hard to describe the taste… sour. Slightly off. But exactly what I want, once a year on a cold winter’s day.

Categories: Culture, Food | 4 Comments

Bijenkorf in The Hague (Or: Holiday decorations, 2017)

I was looking through my photos from last month and realized that I hadn’t posted my photos of Bijenkorf yet!

Christmas lights Bijenkorf, The Hague, 2017

Holiday lights (the same every year, but always pretty!)

Bijenkorf does different window decorations every year. A lot of businesses in The Hague take part in holiday window displays (see the TINK competition).

Christmas window display, Bijenkorf, The Hague (2)

And this one:

Christmas window display, Bijenkorf, The Hague (1)

This year the Christmas tree was rather simple, at least compared to previous years:

Christmas tree, Bijenkorf, The Hague 2017

It was of course as tall as ever – the base started at the top of the ground floor, with the peak reaching to floor 5. As evidenced by the escalators at the left…

Christmas ornaments, Bijenkorf, The Hague, 2017

Check out the Coke and Diet Coke can ornaments in the upper right. I especially like the slightly ‘frosty’ look. Cute!

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Fireworks! (Or: The Hague exploded last night)

I found a cool link on Youtube of last night’s fireworks, taken from above the city with a 4K drone. It lasts about 5 minutes and is not to be missed!

Here’s a look at our ‘Christmas table’ on the second day of Christmas:

Christmas table 2017.jpg

Yes, we were streaming a fake fireplace through Hulu!

In the glass was a raspberry spoom (sorbet ice cream). Yum! The two bottles were purchased at The Hague’s Royal Christmas fair.

But seriously – go back and check out that video. It does a good job of showing how crazy the Netherlands can get at New Year’s Eve.

Categories: Food, Holidays | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Christmas decorations (Or: Hop & Stork)

Recent photos that I took of Hop & Stork in De Passage, a covered shopping area in the heart of The Hague. The creations they can make with chocolate are just insane…

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017 3

Dressed up and on your way to a fancy Christmas soirée…

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017 2

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017 4

Tasty!

Categories: Dordrecht, Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas shopping on the Fred (Or: Life-sized Disney decorations)

A few days back I was doing some Christmas shopping at “The Fred” which is short for Frederick Hendriklaan, a street in the Statenkwartier neighborhood. There are a lot of international organizations and businesses in this part of The Hague.

Much to my delight, I saw some cute Christmas decorations:

Mickey Mouse at the De Fred, The Hague, Christmas 2017

There was also Pluto:

Pluto at the De Fred, The Hague, Christmas 2017

And Olaf:

Olaf at the De Fred, The Hague, Christmas 2017

I never knew how popular Frozen was until I went to Disneyland Paris last month…

Apparently there was also Minnie Mouse and Goofy, but I missed those (news article in Dutch).

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: | Leave a comment

5 years in the Netherlands (Or: Wow!)

Today marks five years to the day since I arrived in the Netherlands. It is amazing how time files… Yesterday was otherwise a very typical December day:

  1. We visited the Christmas Fair at the Lange Voorhout
  2. We went grocery shopping at the local Albert Heijn (this one being of the “XL” variety over on Elandstraat)
  3. We baked cookies (see below)
  4. We started working on Christmas cards… we are really behind on the international cards this year!

To mark the occasion of “five years in the Netherlands” I made lemon cookies. You can find the recipe in Dutch over at OhMyFoodness. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make. The cookies turn out very lemony and chewy – just the way I like it!

A plate full of lemon cookies

Five years! I couldn’t bake five years ago if my life depended on it…

Categories: Holidays, Marco&Niki | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Crunch crunch crunch (Or: Snow!!!)

Snow!

Snow!

Snow!

In the last two days we’ve received more snow than I’ve probably seen in the almost 5 years I’ve been here (and wow, next Monday is officially 5 years!) Yesterday wasn’t too bad – most people did not have to work. Indeed, Marco and I went outside yesterday and took some pictures.

HTM bus 22 and December snow fall, The Hague city hall.jpg

snowfall yesterday. bus 22, with the oliebollen stand behind

But today would prove to be slightly more chaotic. Schiphol is currently trying to decide if they put out bedding for stranded travellers; about one third of the flights are cancelled and buses and trains aren’t running there. No trains to or from Amsterdam or Utrecht (in the heart of the Netherlands) at the moment. For a while the HTM buses here in The Hague stopped riding, but some lines are riding again.

I knew I had to go into work – my work computer was there! – but Marco was kind enough to walk me to my tram stop. It started snowing again in the late morning, so I stuck around until just after 1pm, and then went home to finish off my work there.

Continue reading

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Anyone for a creme brûlée latee? (Or: Urban cafe)

Urban Cafe

is a cafe across from the central library, near the city hall. Marco and I went there a few months back. At that time I snapped this photo:

Urban Cafe in The Hague

As usual: I have a black coffee and Marco has a cappuccino 

It was quite tasty, with an interesting concept (it is part of a furniture store). There is also upstairs seating.

But what I want to try the next time we go there? That would be the creme brûlée latte. It sounds delicious…

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MingleMush (Or: A food hall in The Hague)

MingleMush is an indoor food hall that opened behind The Hague’s Central Station in June of this year. Marco and I have been going for the last few months. It’s a very interesting concept – there are about 15 food stands in this indoor food hall, with centralized seating around them. Ideal when you go with a group of friends — each person can order from a different food stand.

Some of the choices include paninis (my favorite!), Thai, Lebanese, Mexican, Italian (pizza and gelato), burgers&fries and more. They also have a few drink stands for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

MingleMush has a website, but I do not find it that informative. The main thing to know is that you can’t use cash, you can only pin. Which is fine, cash is so last century…

During our visit to MingleMush yesterday, I took a picture of the Christmas tree that was recently added:

Christmas tree at MingleMush

Yes, the lights twinkle. And check out the wall in the background.

Don Brulee and Pierogies stands at MingleMush, The Hague

Two of the food stalls – Don Brûlée and Pierogies.

Chess cow art piece at MingleMush, The Hague

Awesome cow at the panini stand!

I definitely love this place and hope it succeeds. It’s not perfect but the main complaint is that there are times when half of the stands can be closed. For instance, when Marco and I visited on Saturday around 1pm, half of the stands were closed. That is fine, but why don’t they put up a sign saying they are either closed for the day or the time when they do expect to open? Just give us a bit more information.

Arcane at MingleMush, The Hague

Upstairs they have a small arcade (free bathrooms as well)

Also, depending on when you go it can be very crowded and loud, but I think that is just a sign I am getting old!

Food stands at MingleMush, The Hague

A view of some of the stands from above. The brightly lit windows on the other side are where the trams 2, 3, 4 and 6 pass by on the way to and from Central Station.

Definitely give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Categories: Food, The Hague | Tags: | 1 Comment

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