The Hague

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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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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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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Almost there (Or: Five guys coming to The Hague)

Did you know Five Guys is coming to The Hague? And not five guys, but Five Guys Burgers and Fries. This American chain will be coming to the city centre at Spui 10, just a few doors down from the KFC and near the Centrum tram/bus stop. It is not open yet, but it looks to open any-day-now.

They sell burger, fries, milkshakes, and… wait, beer? That’s quite Dutch and not something you would see in the American locations.

What do you need to know about Five Guys?

  • they have a free-style coke machine for endless drink options
  • the burgers have set prices, regardless of the amount of toppings
  • they offer free peanuts-in-the-shell to eat while you wait for your order

I was excited to see this photo from Marco:

Five Guys construction site in The Hague 2

And this photo is from earlier in the week – more signage is now visible behind the construction walls. They are very close to being done, so hopefully an opening date is announced soon!

With all of the above being said, I can fully see why Amsterdam refused to give Five Guys a license to open there (article in Dutch). Amsterdam is trying to reduce the amount of fast food options, not expand them. It’s possible that Five Guys can adapt their concept to better qualify (more seating, no counter service, more time to eat) but even that isn’t a guarantee.

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SUN! and music (Or: Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague)

The Netherlands is enjoying a rare dose of sun this weekend! And like all good Dutchies, this means going outside to a café or restaurant and baking under the sun for a few hours.

Flowers at the Hof House in The Hague

Flowers at the Hof House https://www.hofhouse.nl

This afternoon Marco, Roger and I went to the Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague. Bevrijdingsdag, or Liberation Day, is celebrated on May 5 each year. The day commemorates the end of Nazi occupation during World War II. The day before, May 4, commemorates the Remembrance of the Dead.

Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague, 2018

One of the music stages at the festival

Bevrijdingsfestival music in The Hague, 2018

Another music stage, in the background. The woman in yellow is receiving a ‘Dutch kiss’ (the custom where you kiss each other on the cheek three times to say hello or goodbye).

Vrijheid display at the Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague, 2018

Vrijheid = Freedom

And do you see what the letters are made of, above? Juliper beer crates! (Juliper is one of the sponsors of the event.)

Now if you excuse me, I will go back to basking in the sun…

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King’s Night and Day (Or: Carnivals, festivals, and more)

The Netherlands celebrated the five year reign of Willem-Alexander Thursday night and Friday, with King’s Night and King’s Day. I can’t believe it has been that long. I still remember seeing the live, breaking news of Princess Beatrix abdicating the throne (video with English subtitles). I had barely been in the Netherlands a month, and was watching the news without having a clue what she was saying. There are no subtitles on live TV unfortunately…

First, we’ll start with the carnival at the Malieveld which is held every year around this day:

Carnival ride at Maliveld, The Hague, for King's Day

I could probably handle this ride.

Carnival ride at Maliveld, The Hague, for King's Day 2

Nope. Won’t be going on this one. It was pretty cool to watch though.

And then you had The Life I Live festival in The Hague, held every year on King’s night. A dozen or so music stages are set up throughout the city centre.

Stage at the King's Night party in The Hague

A smaller stage

Stage at the King's Night party in The Hague 2

Here is a much larger set up, at Het Plein (literally ‘the plaza’)

Buitenhof fountain during King's Night in The Hague

The fountain at Het Buitenhof, with the Ferris wheel from the previously mentioned carnival at the Maliveld in the background

Tram on King's Day, The Hague

And finally, a historic tram passing by during King’s Day on Friday

I still need to buy something orange for King’s Day. I’ve managed to not do that in the 5+ years I have been here. Related, amusing blog post about orange clothes and King’s Day: The King Size King’s Day T-Shirt blog post over at the Invading Holland blog.

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