I’m a big fan of public transportation and love reading everything about HTM trams, so I just had to share the photo I made about the check-in/check-out machine in one of the local trams:
For years these machines display gibberish about 50% of the time. The machine should read IN/UIT- CHECKEN at this moment, which it… mostly… does. But about 15 seconds prior ‘CHECKEN’ was actually ‘SLURKEN’. I’m not sure why exactly, but one letter randomly changes here and there and random symbols appear on the sides.
Maybe it’s all just a big puzzle we are supposed to figure out.
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.
Oh, and it’s still extremely busy in the city centre even without the cyclists!
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.
The reference in the title is from the movie A ChristmasStory where the main character finally gets a decoder ring and can finally decode this week’s secret message – and it turns out to be as boring as “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine.” That’s a childhood shattered…
For the past few months The Hague and other Dutch cities have been inundated with lots and lots of advertisements for an oat drink called Oatly It is supposed to be a replacement for milk. I haven’t tried it yet.
But I did get a cool picture last month of a building-high advertisement for their product. One thing the company is known for is their catchy advertisements. For instance there’s a similarly large one elsewhere in The Netherlands with the line “Only the best oat drink ads get to hang out on this corner”. It feels like most of the advertisements are unique, as there are many different ones to spot throughout the city.
Another smart thing they did? Advertisement everywhere in the city for a few weeks and then go on discount at the local supermarkt to get everyone to try it. It’ll be interesting to see if the product sticks around.
A new grocery store is moving in to the city centre! A Jumbo City grocery store will be opening on the Grote Marktstraat on 4 December, which means competition for the local Albert Heijn. A little competition never hurt anyone, though…
For the non-Dutch speaking among us: it’s pronounced Yumbo, not Jumbo.
The store will be opening in what was previously the Marks & Spencer was (which I still miss for its food options – never cared about the clothing lines).
One cool thing: the inside of the flyer had a map of the store layout. You don’t see that too often, since stores prefer you wander around and see everything.
Hopefully it lasts. It’s not bad to have more grocery store options in the city centre. Although there is also a Jumbo by the Holland Spoor train station already, it is quite small and didn’t have the same inventory as other Jumbos do.
The bus station at Den Haag Centraal is now ready for use! There’s still a bit of construction going on, but passengers can use the new area.
Here is how it used to look:
Note that the bus lanes are perpendicular from where passengers enter the area to catch a bus (so that the non-HTM buses tend to be all the way at the end, a bit of a walk).
And here is how it looks now:
This photo is taken from the entrance to the bus area. Now the bus lanes are parellel to the passenger, with large boards and information about departure times over each lane so that you can quickly see which bus lane you need to go to. There’s also a lot more light in the area, which is a huge contrast to the shadow-filled spaces the previous bus station had.
It’s definitely a welcome change to the previous version. If you have time and you’re in The Hague, go check it out!
Last month Marco and I visited Eindhoven for a short weekend as a belated anniversary trip. One of the things we saw was an area full of graffiti called “Step in the Arena”.
That’s the name of graffiti festival that has taken place for the last 10 years in the Berenkuil, which translates to bear pit in English. It’s a roundabout for cars, along with a sunken level underneath for bikes and motorcycles. 2019 was the 10th edition.
Here are some of the photos from the 2019 festival’s graffiti: