Foto’s

A garden for the pharmacists (Or: Behind open gates)

On Alexanderstraat, a street in The Hague, you have the Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie. Oh, what a mouthful. Translated that is the Royal Dutch Society for the Promotion of Pharmacy, an organization for pharmacists.

But what I always notice is the lovely garden outside the front door:

Their name is so long you can’t even properly fit it into one photo:

Marco and I watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics on yesterday. I can definitely say that the time difference isn’t ideal. It started at 13:00, so good luck watching that properly and while trying to work. Most of the action happens after 02:00 and ends in the early afternoon. It definitely doesn’t feel like a true Olympics (also because there are a lot less fans attending). C’est la vie.

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Fully vaccinated (Or: Yay!)

I am now fully vaccinated. I received my second shot (Pfizer) this afternoon. The location was less busy than when I received my first vaccination on 21 June, but that week the Netherlands vaccinated just under 1.5 million people and this week there are around 1 million appointments. I think the main difference is that there are less people getting their first shot and more getting their second, but vaccine deliveries could also be playing a small part.

We still have at least 3-4 weeks to go at this rate, if you consider that the Netherlands opened vaccinations to the general population based on birth year. I’m 38, so there’s still at least 20 years behind me waiting for their second shot. If you also consider that vaccinations were only recently opened to 12-17 year olds, you could imagine this going on for another 2-3 months at a reduced rate.

Above is the sign by the vaccination location, the Broodfabriek in Rijswijk. Literally translated as “the bread factory”, which it used to be years ago. In recent years it is an event center and this year it is rented out to The Hague’s Public Health department for the vaccination program.

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Mosaic tile benches (Or: By the Peace Palace)

Here are some photos from benches by the Peace Palace:

Usually the area in front of the Peace Palace is teeming with tourists, but it has obviously been quiet in the last year.

In other news: Flash floods cause havoc across Europe – in pictures from theguardian.com. Most of the pictures are from Germany, where over 150 have died, although the southeast part of the Netherlands has also had flooded areas and evacuations. Most residents have been allowed to go back home, though.

Cow survives 100 kilometre swim downstream in river flood waters from dutchnews.nl. Thanks to her fame, the owner has promised she won’t be slaughtered (source from nos.nl in Dutch).

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World Peace Flame (Or: Monument by the Peace Palace in The Hague)

Here is a photo I took of the World Peace Flame and the World Peace Pathway (around the flame) by the Peace Palace in The Hague:

(if you look closely, you can just see the flame within the blue stone)

The flame was created by seven nations and brought together in Wales, before being returned to the original countries. In that way there is more than one world peace flame. Here is a list of monuments at the official website.

The pathway was created by every country and region of the world (each one donated stones to create the pathway.

The plaque reads: The World Peace Flame: In July 1999 seven flames from five continents were united to create the World Peace Flame. The World Peace Pathway: 196 nations joined together in cooperation and unity to create the World Peace Path. Opened 27 April 2004. Please add your prayer for peace as you walk around.

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On the rooftop (Or: View from Bleyenberg)

Recently I visited Bleyenberg, a restaurant/rooftop bar/meeting spaces/office type combination. Oh, and apparently they have small, private karaoke spaces as well. Very Japanese like.

Here is a look at the city centre of The Hague from Bleyenberg’s rooftop:

Off in the distance is the Grote Markt terrace. The wide street below is the Grote Markt itself, and just under the glass railing you can see the statue of Haagse Harry.

In other news:

For the next two weeks there is a pop-up store at Leiden Centraal train station, featuring products made from recycled materials from NS, the national train service. The linked article is in Dutch from omroepwest.nl. Think of things like shoes or bags made from seat material or a bird cage made from an information board.

A fan of HTM (The Hague’s public transportation company) has purchased an old HTM bus (also in Dutch from omroepwest.nl). He doesn’t live in The Hague, but he remembers taking the bus often to see his grandmother. The bus now sits in his backyard and he is working on renovating it. Apparently his wife was less than thrilled when he said he wanted to purchase it…

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Bikes and canals (Or: Canal by Denneweg)

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I took a few photos of the canal by the Dennewegbrug. “Denneweg” is the street name and “brug” is Dutch for bridge.

And in other news, there was a demonstration today at Malieveld, not far from The Hague’s Centraal station. The name is Blijf van onze kinderen af, or “Stay away from our kids”. The article is from regio15.nl in Dutch, with lots of photos. including a photo at the end of one very smart ice cream seller who knows he will do good business here.

The reason for the demonstration? The Netherlands recently decided that 12 – 17 year olds can be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine if they wanted. 16 and 17 year olds can independently choose for the vaccine, while younger kids need their parents’ permission. The first shot would be given now and the second shot would follow during the first month of school. Appointments for anyone born in 2004 could be made since yesterday, with 2005, 2006 and so forth following next week.

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New ice cream flavors by Sla (Or: Would you try it?)

Here is a photo Marco took for me on Saturday when we went out for a walk:

Sla is a “healthy food” type restaurant that you can find in the Netherlands. The sign reads:

“New by Sla! Vegan ice cream. Raspberry, mango passion fruit, avocado coconut and… head of lettuce! You just have to try it!”

Oddly enough I am actually intrigued by the lettuce ice cream… are you?

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Who has right of way? (Or: Grote Marktstraat in The Hague)

The Grote Marktstraat is a very busy shopping street in city centre of The Hague – I blog about it sometimes. It is actually somewhat contentious because the city added a lane down the middle back in 2014 when this area was re-paved. The “street” was intended for emergency vehicles or local business vehicles (re-stocking the shops), although the later is restricted to the early morning hours. The “street” is a bit lower than the rest of the area, so bikers have used it as a bike path as well. Which makes sense. On the plus side it also meant that you only had to worry about getting run over when you were crossing this “street” since bikers and vehicles would stick to this area only.

Here is a photo of the area when it was under construction back in 2014 (but after the “bike path” was finished):

Even though the lane wasn’t painted red (what usually signals that it is a bike path in the Netherlands) it was definitely used as a bike path as soon as it opened.

Flash forward to this week, when the city has decided that “yes, it is a bike path (…for now), but pedestrians still have right of way”. (Yeah right, I don’t want to risk my life seeing if that is true!)

As you can see above, the notice that pedestrians have right of way has been painted into the area where bikes ride, in at least 5 spots. It’s actually a bit of an obstacle course until the paint dries, really…

See also this article from denhaag.fm (in Dutch) which has the blue and red image in better detail.

In other news… does anyone have a clue who the cardboard cut out is? Apparently there are a few examples of them in the city centre. I thought at first it was a politician, but maybe not.

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Ice cream sculptures (Or: Sunshine by Holland Spoor)

On my way back from my hair dresser’s appointment yesterday I stopped to take a picture of an ice cream sculpture. The sculpture is from Mado, a Turkish restaurant right by the Holland Spoor train station. Apparently this restaurant gets horrible ratings on TripAdvisor, but it is still a photo opportunity…

It was great weather with blue skies yesterday. Here is another photo of this area I took last year (also with lovely blue skies).

Good news: we are speeding along with vaccinations. Yesterday anyone born in 1974 or 1975 could book an appointment for a vaccine (Pfizer/Moderna), today 1976 (Janssen).

And in other news: King’s golden coach goes on display at Amsterdam Museum, June 18-February 27, article from dutchnews.nl. Apparently the golden coach will be on display in the central courtyard, housed inside a glass box. Could be interesting.

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PvdA office in The Hague (Or: Old school advertisements)

Here is a photo of the political party PvdA’s office (Partij van de Arbeid, Labour Party… English Wikipedia page). There are lots of old school advertisements to be seen:

Here are some of the slogans:

Zeker zijn van een vaste baan = Assured of a full-time job

Kies voor kwaliteiten, kies een PvdA-vrouw = Choose for qualities, choose a PvdA woman

In geouwehoer kun je niet wonen = you can’t live in chatter (? perhaps something like you can’t live by your words alone… it’s a famous phrase from a well-known PvdA leader, Jan Schaefer)

News of the day #1: Concerts, festivals can start from June 5 as Netherlands moves ahead with lockdown easing from nltimees.nl

News of the day #2: Dutch cabinet wants to relax most lockdown restrictions by June 30, also from nltimes.nl. In other words, they want to move step 5 (21 July) to step 4 (June 30) and relax both sets of restrictions on June 30, if the numbers allow.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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