Author Archives: Niki

About Niki

I run the blog http://www.lifeinthehague.com

Mornings (Or: Breakfast at Lebkov)

Lebkov in The Hague is one of my favorite places to drink a coffee (an americano!) while studying or reading a novel. The latest visit saw me enjoying an americano with a large croissant. Yum!

Breakfast at Lebkov, The Hague

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Cleanup in the city centre (Or: The end of the Volvo Ocean Race)

A photo from a few days ago. A large city truck stopped to grab one of the billboards advertising for the Volvo Ocean Race which ended in June:

Removing billboards for the Volvo Ocean Race in The Hague

This year the race ended in The Hague, so the city made it part of Scheveningen’s Feest aan Zee (Seaside Celebrations). This annual programme marks the 200th anniversary of Scheveningen’s founding.

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De jeugd van Tegenwoordig (Or: Parkpop here in The Hague)

Parkpop, a large free music festival, was held in The Hague a few weeks back. Roger, Marco and I went there to see the Dutch group De jeugd van Tegenwoordig or ‘The youth of today’. The first album was released in 2005.

Their newest album is called “luek” which is an intentional typo of the Dutch word “leuk”. Leuk translates to something like nice/fun/amusing. You can even see the typo, since the album cover in the image below is how MS Word would mark the typo (word highlighted in red, with a red squiggly line underneath saying it doesn’t recognize the word).

De jeugd van Tegenwoordig by Parkpop 2018.jpg

I’ll admit that this isn’t my type of music (the least of which because I can barely understand their Dutch when they are singing in person) but I do like the intro to Sterrenstof, which translates to Star dust.

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Shopping Night 2018 (Or: Doors open until midnight)

This past Friday was ShoppingNight in The Hague. That’s when all of the shops in the city centre stay open until midnight. About half offer either discounts or treats to get you into the store. I had previously posted about this event back in 2013.

This year Marco and I partook in a free ice cream cone (Marco) and a slush puppy (me) over at Media Markt. Outside of that we visited a few stores, notably C&A and Hudson Bay, to see what they had offer.

There was also entertainment:

Dancers at Shopping Night 2018 in The Hague

Three girls preparing just off site before heading out into the main city centre to perform

It’s strange to be shopping so late – but it’s also a lot of fun. If you don’t mind crowds, of course…

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Veteranendag (Or: Veteran’s day in the Netherlands)

Today was the 14th Veteran’s day in the Netherlands, held in The Hague. (official website in Dutch). It is comprised of a parade and events at the Malieveld, a large field just outside of The Hague’s Central Station. During the parade there was also a flyover performed by the Royal Dutch Air Force, featuring both modern and historic aircraft.

Veterans Day 2018 in The Hague - soldiers

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Feest aan zee (Or: Party in Scheveningen)

I am still impressed by the fact that I can spell Scheveningen without looking it up. Pronouncing it on the other hand…

This year is Feest aan zee (Seaside Celebrations in English). It was 200 years ago that the first bathhouse was constructed in what is now known as Scheveningen. Yesterday was the finish of the Volvo Ocean race which lasted 45,000 miles. It started in October of last year. Crazy!

Here’s a look at an advertisement for Feest aan zee near Malieveld (Marco and I were on our way to the Rrrollend food truck festival last weekend).

Coast sign by Malieveld, Den Haag, Feest aan zee.jpg

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After four years (Or: Pearl Jam back in the Netherlands)

This week shall officially be dubbed as ‘Pearl Jam week’ as they had three shows in the Netherlands. Tuesday and Wednesday at the Ziggo dome and Saturday at Pinkpop, a huge outdoors festival. The last time they visited was four years ago, which I was a bit shocked by.

Pearl Jam in the Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, June 12 2018

The first night four of us went: Marco, myself, Roger and my mother-in-law. We had fan club tickets, specifically standing tickets, which meant we could go in a half hour before everyone else. It does have the downside that you need to pick up your tickets the day of at the box office as you are required to show an ID, though.

We arrived around 2:30. Let’s just say the line for getting the tickets was over an hour and the line for merchandise was about an hour and a half… So we did some divide and conquer: Roger and Marco got the tickets, while my mother-in-law and I got the merchandise – posters. There are unique posters for each Pearl Jam concert (Marco and Roger got them all).

Tuesday’s poster | Wednesday’s poster | Saturday’s poster

Marco also picked up a new ‘Safe travels‘ keychain, to replace the one he got about ten years ago.

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Categories: Friends&Family, Marco&Niki | Tags: | 4 Comments

Beauty in the moment (Or: World Championship Sand Sculpting 2018)

If you are looking for something to do in The Hague this summer, check out the sand sculptures at the Lange Voorhout. The World Championship Sand Sculpting 2018 is going on at the moment, with judging happening tomorrow. After that, the sculptures can be seen until 19 August! It will also be lighted at night, making it easy to visit at any moment.

The competition is held every three years. This year the Netherlands is the host country, with Japan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic competing. The theme is ‘200 years of sea, sand and …’ which also highlights Scheveningen’s Feest aan zee celebration.

Here’s a peek at how the sculptures look so far. First a look at the sculpture from the Netherlands (as the host country, they cannot enter the judging):

World sand sculpting championship 2018 - Netherlands

200 years ago: The wife looks back at the past longingly, while the husband looks forward to the future and what Scheveningen can be

Other sculptures include:

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Buying an OV-chipkaart (Or: Your ticket to freedom)

The OV-chipkaart (OV=openbaar vervoer=public transportation, chipkaart=chip card) is used throughout the Netherlands as a means for paying for a public transportation journey, be it train, tram, bus…

The card is used to check in and check out by holding the card against a reader as the traveler enters and exits the vehicle. Useful, but it can cause delays at some of the more crowded stops. When I travelled to Dublin I was intrigued by having the check-in and check-out machines at each of the stops rather than inside of the vehicle – it saves some boarding time that way, although the costs are higher for having machines at every stop.

The OV-chipkaarts expire after 5 years. Ironically, all of this household’s OV chipkaarts (5 in total) expired within a few months of each other. But this gave me the opportunity to visit the HTM-service desk at The Hague Centraal, which I hadn’t yet had an excuse to do.  And of course I dragged Marco along to experience the fun.

HTM brochure for traveling with an OV chipkaart

Information booklet for traveling with an OV-chipkaart, with information in Dutch, English and German. Handy for the tourists!

It was around 16:30 on a workday, and already fairly busy inside the service area. The area is serviced both by HTM as well as by NS, the national train company. We didn’t have to wait too long to get helped. Each card costs €7.50, before adding any funds on it. Luckily the HTM worker mentioned that the option to use the card to travel by train (NS) needed to be added manually, otherwise we would have been in for a surprise!

In this case we asked for anonymous cards (the blue variety) which can be used by anyone. There’s a few minor differences between those and personalized cards (yellow variety) – the main difference being that personalized cards can be automatically re-filled when they hit a minimum amount, for instance. But generally anonymous cards work fine.

Marco and I also both got information booklets on traveling with an OV-chipkaart, as you can see above. Not strictly required, but always fun to read (for me!).

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Five Guys (Or: Just a few days to go!)

It’s official – Five Guys opens this Monday in The Hague!

Five Guys location in The Hague

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