Shopping

Cleaning day (Or: Hard to reach places)

Well, even those windows need to be washed.

An early morning photo from the inside of De Passage (Dutch Wikipedia article) while the windows were being cleaned.

This covered shopping area was first opened in 1885, making it the oldest shopping centre still in use in the Netherlands.

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A day out (Or: Hoog Catharijne mall in Utrecht)

A few weeks ago Marco and I went to Utrecht for half a day. It’s about a 45 minute train ride – when the trains ride properly anyway. There were some issues that day, so I think it took about an hour and a half to get there. Opps! It’s a city in the middle of the Netherlands with about 350,000 residents.

The main reason for this trip was to visit the Hoog Catharijne mall, which has probably been under renovation for years. At least it seemed that way. I don’t think it is completely done, but the parts that are done look really good. Check it out:

The area between the mall (pictured) and the station (behind us) is semi-covered by the artistic roof above, although Marco says it doesn’t help 100% when it rains on a windy day. Ha!
Inside the mall – looking down on one of the wings. The pretty big for Dutch standards (about 42,000 square meters) but American malls are generally larger.

And just outside the mall in one of the canals is a piece of art: a whale made of plastic. Of course, a statement on plastic in the oceans.

And a close-up look at the whale from the front:

In the background you can see the mall

It’s a nice day trip, especially when you a combine it with a tour of the older parts of the city (which we did a few years back).

Categories: Marco&Niki, Shopping, Utrecht | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Delft blauw in The Hague (Or: Mini statues)

The Delft blauw craze will never quite go away. Recently I was visiting Frederik Hendriklaan or the Fred, as the locals call it. I stepped inside Kaatje aan de Rein (Facebook page), a gift shop.

I had to think of my mother-in-law when I spotted these tiny creatures, made in the style of Delft blauw:

They are similar to the two playing cats she purchased at the Gemeentemuseum, a local museum here in The Hague. You can see a picture of the two cats here.

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

For the creative ones (Or: Lego display at Intertoys)

Last month I spotted a Lego display at Intertoys here in The Hague. As you might expect, Intertoys is a (chain) toy store.

There’s always an unexpected animal lying in wait to trip you…
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Christmas at Media Markt (Or: An inviting tree at the entrance)

A photo of the Christmas tree at the local Media Markt here in The Hague:

Media Markt is “the” electronics store of the Netherlands, a chain that started in Germany. According to Wikipedia, it’s the largest electronics retailer here in Europe, and the second largest worldwide after America’s Best Buy. The one thing to get used to is that most or all of the stores are franchises, so the price might differ between stores.

Media Markt is also known as the place to go during the BTW-vrij week, which usually happens around the end of January. BTW-vrij = Media Markt deducts the taxes from the price so you don’t have to pay it.

Merry (2nd day of) Christmas!

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A pile of wine bottles neatly left behind (Or: No deposit on them I assume)

Captured at Albert Heijn, the local grocery store:

Lots and lots of wine bottles… someone must have had a party! This is by the bottle return area (the bottom part pictured here is for returning a beer crate), so I assume wine bottles don’t have a deposit on them. I am not much of a wine drinker (besides the occasional prosecco) so I’m not sure.

Still, kudos to them for leaving them behind without making a mess. Although it does mean work for Albert Heijn to get rid of them.

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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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Shopping in style (Or: The Haagse Bluf)

The shopping area ‘Haagse Blue’ is a sort of courtyard in the center of The Hague, enclosed by four streets: Dagelijkse Groenmarkt, Venestraat, Vlamingstraat and the Nieuwstraat.

haagse-bluf-in-the-hague-google-maps

This shopping space opened in 2001. Here’s a look at the entrance from Venestraat (by the corner of De Tuinen / Holland & Barrett):

haagse-bluf-entrance-at-venestraat-the-hague

Blue signs mark the entrance, but if you don’t know about it, it can be easy to miss. The entrance by Dagelijks Groenmarkt (and the Grote Kerk) is easier to spot.

walkway-to-haagse-bluf-from-venestraat-the-hague

A somewhat faded sign for the shopping area

french-riviera-fountain-in-the-haagse-bluf-the-hague

Fountain from the French Riviera; behind it is the tea-and-coffee company Kaldi. I’ll always remember them fondly for the one day they had iced chai latte! It was so delicious.

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Candles and flowers (Or: A Valentine’s Day display at Xenos)

Here’s a look at part of the Valentine’s Day at Xenos (a discount store):

valentines-display-by-xenos-in-the-hagueIf you need candles or flowers, you’ll definitely in luck…!

I also took a picture of this cute snow globe. Inside you have the iconic Dutch clogs:

snow-globe-with-dutch-clogs

Not that we have much snow at the moment. After a week of cold, we have (relatively) warm temperatures, at least through the weekend. And of course, rain…

But we’re past January – it can only get warmer from here! In theory.

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Marks & Spencer (Or: Still open, still looking forward to holidays)

On Thursday evening Marco and I went to Marks & Spencer¬†for a coffee. In November of last year the company had reported that they would be closing the two Dutch stores, along with other international stores, in a cost-cutting measure. But The Hague store is still open… with no additional details about exactly when it would close.

cafe-at-marks-and-spencer-the-hague

A look at the cafe on the top level

chocolate-decorations-on-sale-for-easter-at-marks-and-spencer

Chocolates on sale for Easter – either the frozen castle or a R2D2. I think I’d go for the R2D2!

So… still open for now. Not that I am complaining! I really like their coffee.

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