Holidays

Chocolate eggs by Hema (Or: Stroopwafel flavor, anyone?)

It feels like a lifetime ago, but a few weeks ago (13 March) I was browsing in Hema. I could not resist snapping a few photos of their chocolate egg collection:

Some of the flavors included dark chocolate banana cream, white chocolate matcha lemon, milk chocolate cookies and cream (that one was almost empty), milk chocolate orange, milk chocolate coconut, milk chocolate peanut butter… I definitely learned that everyone’s favorite flavor is milk chocolate, not dark chocolate.

There was also a display near one of the entrances.

But the best (and most Dutch) flavor was…

You guessed it… Stroopwafel flavored chocolate eggs!

Categories: Everyday purchases, Holidays | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

A sea of red paper (Or: Chinese New Year)

Happy Chinese New Year! Yesterday The Hague and countless other cities across the world celebrated the holiday, signaling the start of the year of the rat.

Most amusing for me was the sea of red paper left behind from the parade:

Just one sea of red amongst many. You saw them about every 30 feet.

New Year celebrations – Chinese or otherwise – are always a good excuse to set off some fireworks.

And here’s a look at one of the mini parades, led by a group from Nijmegen:

And another photo:

Dragon!

I don’t know… the year of the rat? But they are the first zodiac animal, and are seen as a sign of wealth in the Chinese culture. So there is that! If this is your zodiac sign, be proud of your ratliness (note: I made that word up).

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Fireworks over The Hague (Or: Happy New Year!)

The Netherlands has survived its night of fireworks. We did see one drunk guy (still holding his bottle of alcohol) walk up to a police car waiting at a stop light and talk to police agent for a few minutes. Maybe he was simply wishing them a happy New Year, who knows. By the time we crossed the street the police car was on the move again.

There is also a YouTube video available from user VerdierMedia PuntNL where he/she uses a drone to capture the fireworks over The Hague last night. Check it out!

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Sugar and all things sweet (Or: New Year’s oliebollen)

Marco and I made oliebollen yesterday! (Or: I supervised while he did almost all of the work.)

Yum yum yum. With a touch of powdered sugar on top. A New Year’s Eve treat.

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Purple and gold (Or: Christmas tree in De Passage)

Here’s a look at this year’s Christmas tree in De Passage (The passage):

And a close up of the Christmas ornaments:

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Christmas at Bijenkorf, The Hague (Or: 2019 edition)

Last week a colleague and I had some extra time on our hands after work so we decided to check out the Christmas section at Bijenkorf in The Hague. Here are some of the photos I took:

The gingerbread houses look so yummy!
A look at the Christmas tree theme this year
A beautiful (if slightly busy/crowded) table setting
More Christmas items, and ornaments for sale in the background

I always check out the Christmas section at Bijenkorf – they make some wonderful items. They come in different sizes and styles, so there is something for (almost) everyone.

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Decorated Christmas cookies (Or: Bring on the holidays)

Check out the Christmas cookies that my colleague decorated on Friday. They were decorated during a themed ‘Ugly Christmas sweater’ event:

And they are just as tasty as they look! I had part of the one in the upper right – peanut butter and all spice, if I remember correctly.

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No bikes allowed (Or: Christmas shopping in The Hague city centre)

Okay, I’ll admit – I don’t have a bike in the Netherlands so I am a bit biased with this post. However I was thrilled to hear that the shopping street on the Grote Markt would be closed to bikes this weekend+Monday and next weekend+Monday (article in Dutch). On a normal day it is dangerous trying to cross the street to get to the shops, but during Christmas…? Forget about it.

I’ll be honest – tourists and those not from The Hague have no clue where they should walk, which just angers cyclists even more. And I don’t think most cyclists know that there’s no official bike path on that street and that they should be adjusting their biking based on the movements of the pedestrian, and not vice versa.

If you’re interested, you can watch a time lapse of them re-doing Grote Marktstraat back in 2015. I will admit the street is much more beautiful now than it was, but the old street made it much more obvious that you were crossing a bike path.

“Through traffic obstructed”

Oh, and it’s still extremely busy in the city centre even without the cyclists!

Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Christmas lights at the Bijenkorf (Or: 2019)

It’s become a tradition – take a picture of the Christmas lights at Bijenkorf (a high-end department store – the name means beehive).

Here is 2019:

This year you have the addition of a digital advertisement board — which caused a bit of controversy when they were installed because of the noise and light pollution they caused. Things seemed to have died down since then, though.

Bijenkorf’s window displays are always a hit with the shopping crowd – each different than the last.

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Horses and trumpets (Or: Practicing for Prinsjesdag)

Last Sunday Marco and I were enjoying coffee at the central library when we saw a commotion outside the window. The police were practicing with the royal horses in advance of Prinsjesdag (held last Tuesday), with the route going past the library.

The final day of practice is traditionally held the day before the event, with the horses being trained on the beaches of Scheveningen. The horses have to navigate loud crowds, fireworks, sudden movements, etc., as preparation for the ceremony.

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