Holidays

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!

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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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Happy Easter! (Or: Bunny butts?)

Happy Easter! Here is a card that Marco and I received:

The card was designed by Marco’s father and his wife.

Both Marco and I were amused by the bunny butt…

Categories: Friends&Family, Holidays | Tags: | 1 Comment

Sweet store displays (Or: Valentine’s Day by Hema)

❤ Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

Valentine’s Day display at Hema in The Hague

Marco and I exchanged Valentine’s Day gifts this morning. He got me a small bottle of cava (a Spanish sparking wine), a bag of Haribo gummy bears and a chocolate rose. ❤

I got him Winter-in-lov, a chocolate and rooibos tea, with additional spices like cinnamon, ginger and licorice. If you like tea with chocolate notes, I can highly recommend it.

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A bit of color in the city centre (Or: Chinese New Year 2019)

This past Saturday was the celebrations for Chinese New Year in The Hague. I took some photos of the “statues” that represent the holiday. Upon closer inspection, I noticed these are mostly the same statues used back in 2013 for the first Chinese New Year I attended (scroll down to the second-to-last photo).

I’ve taken some better, close-up photos of some of them this year. For example, my favorite:

with the Oude Kerk (Old Church) in the background, and a bird flying past too!

For some of them it was actually a bit hard to tell which of the 12 animals they represent, but because a few stripes on the top of this guy’s head (above), I think he might represent the year of the tiger.

Year of the ox
Click here to see the rest of the photos for Chinese New Year 2019…
Categories: Holidays, The Hague | Tags: | 4 Comments

Chinese New Year in The Hague (Or: Tip for this Saturday)

Happy Chinese New Year! 2019 is the year of the pig. And not the gluttonous kind…

The Hague will again feature Chinese New Year celebrations this Saturday to mark the occasion – see the scheduled program. The holiday is celebrated nationally in city hall while the local celebrations are held in Chinatown, including Rabbijn Maarsenplein and Bijenkorf’s parking lot.

I’ve always been a big fan of the local celebrations held at Rabbijn Maarsenplein (with its Chinese New Year market) and the area behind Bijenkorf (which always has lovely sculptures). But the dance routines in city hall are not to be missed, either!

Picture from the 2013 Chinese New Year celebrations, in the parking lot behind Bijenkorf

Come check it out. You won’t regret it!

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

A Christmas treat (Or: Ice cream cakes for the win!)

I was going through my photos of the holidays and noticed another good one to post. On the first day of Christmas we went to Marco’s dad and his wife for a lovely rijsttafel spread (Indonesian meal, translates to “rice table”).

For dessert, she made a delicious ice cream cake for us:

As soon as I saw it my eyes lit up at how fanciful it looked. And the ice cream inside was positively delicious. As the holidays are already a few weeks gone, my memory plays tricks on me but I believe it was cinnamon ice cream.

The talented baker did apologize for one detail, which would hardly be noticed. She created red and green leaves (with fondant, I believe?) to go all along the sides of the cake, but ran into trouble when the ice cream melted and dripped down the sides a bit. Personally, I love the little gaps on the side allowing you to look into the cake and at the leaves.

I’ll admit, I wish I had a slice of this ice cream cake in front of me to eat again.

Categories: Food, Friends&Family, Holidays | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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