Thursday was King’s Day in the Netherlands, a holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. Or to just enjoy a nice day off…
But the real fun happens the night before, as The Hague organises a festival called The Life I Live. I have written a few blog posts about it, including last year’s rainy celebration and the 2013 celebration (back when it was Queen’s night; the last one as Queen Beatrix addicted the throne the next day).
One of the many stages, set up at the Kerkplein (by the Grote Kerk)
Like last year, there was also an area set up for street art. This year’s theme must have been Mondriaan-inspired as there was a lot of primary colors in block formation.
A look at another side, which had just been started:
The third side:
And the last side – Marco’s favorite – a Mondriaan-inspired Transformer!:
Luckily the rain held off this year. It was cold – colder then even Christmas! – but bearable.
Another fun place Marco and I found while visiting Den Bosch last week was Monkey Coffee. At the time we were actually looking for the local Bagels & Beans (which we also like and I’ve posted about more than once) but we were glad we found this one instead.
Bossche bol at left, Oreo doughnut above. I was also a fan of the pretty coffee glasses.
Like almost every cafe in Den Bosch, you can order a Bossche bol. These are large profiteroles, a bit bigger then a tennis ball. They are covered in chocolate (usually dark) and filled with whip cream. Best served with coffee.
Dissection of a Bossche bol
That was for Marco – I decided to go with a doughnut covered in Oreo bits. It was delicious and very light, just like a typical American doughnut would be. Speaking of that – Marco and I spoke with the owner (?) and he joked that he was glad Dunkin’ Donuts was finally arriving in the Netherlands. At long last, Monkey Coffee will have good competition for doughnuts!
Categories: Den Bosch
Continuing my Den Bosch post from last week, here are some more pictures. First of a dragon statue on the way from the main train station to the downtown area:
The money for this statue apparently came from a grieving father who donated money in 1881 for a memorial for his 17-year-old twin daughters.
The father did not specify a dragon as the memorial, though. One theory for why it was a dragon was that it was a reference to the king’s commissioner Jhr. Mr. P.J. Bosch van Drakestein who lived around that time (“Drake” is a type of dragon). The dragon is holding his family’s crest, so this seems most likely:
Another theory is that the city of Den Bosch is built around a swamp, and was considered a swamp fortress. The dragon is named the “swamp dragon” in honor of the city.
And here are a few more pictures of St. John’s Cathedral that Marco took:
And a close up:
Unfortunately we weren’t able to find the statue wearing jeans and holding a cell phone (which was added not that long ago, the last time the church was being restored).
For my birthday last week Marco and I visited Den Bosch. The official name of the city is ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Duke’s forest) but it is almost always shortened to Den Bosch (The forest). The first day we walked around the city using a walking guide from the local VVV office (tourism office).
One of the main attractions of the city is St. John’s church, which shows off the height of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands
Also some curious art can be seen:
De Halve Peer (The Half Pear)
The half-a-statue above came from a dispute – two parties were tasked with creating this memorial / remembrance piece, but only one invested the money. And here is the result – half a statue!
I also took a picture of this lovely farmers plaque on the side of a brick house:
More and more tables are being set up outside in anticipation of the warming weather:
The best part is not having to grab the heavy winter jacket anymore!
This was taken by the Greek restaurant “Irodion” which is right next to the Grote Markt tram stop and the statue of Haagse Harry, both of which I’ve blogged about recently.
Just a sign I came across while wandering around The Hague:
Let op! spelende kinderen = Caution! Children playing
It looks like the kids spent their entire time outside throwing a ball at that particular sign, considering how dented it is…
Underneath you have a sign for bus 72, a temporary bus stop. It goes on to say that bus 72 replaces tram 6 and tram 12 for certain areas of the city during ‘wintery conditions’. Luckily we are now in April, so I assume we won’t be having any more ‘wintery conditions’.
Take down the sign and bring on spring!
Last week while wandering around the city centre I saw an advertisement for a still-under-construction Jamie Oliver restaurant. It’s almost ready, having first been announced back in November of last year. The date of opening is set as “this spring”.
There are also two photos on Facebook of what the restaurant looks like from the inside. This would actually be his second restaurant in the Netherlands, and shockingly the first was not opened in Amsterdam but in Rotterdam. It can be found in the Markthal (Market hall) which I blogged about previously
The restaurant will be by MediaMarkt (which would be just right of the bikes if the photo zoomed out more). I definitely won’t be eating in this restaurant on day one, but I suspect that I will end up there sometime in 2017 just to see what the fuss is about.
On Thursday evening Marco and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and walk outside after dinner. One thing that caught my eye was a beautiful bank of flowers that the city had placed around the ‘De Plaats’ plaza:
This plaza is well known for the statue of Johan de Witt. He and his brother Cornelis were executed at the plaza in 1672. Wikipedia has a nice photograph of the unveiling of the statue by Queen Wilhelmina in 1918. Almost 100 years ago!
And one more close up:
Curious where De Plaats is in The Hague? It’s across the street from the Hofvijver, in the city center. It is also really close to the Dutch parliament.