Posts Tagged With: Beach

A sea of fire (Or: An age-old war gets out of hand)

Every year on New Year’s Eve, Scheveningen and Duindorp build huge bonfires, one trying to outdo the other. They are actually right by each other, with Scheveningen on the north side of the beach and Duindorp on the south side.

Bonfire for New Years 2015-2016. Credit: Guinness World Records

The above picture is from Scheveningen in 2015-2016, when it captured the Guinness World Record for largest bonfire at 8,695 cubic meters. And Duindorp had the record the year before that, to give you some idea of the competition (!).

Here is a link to a drone video of the preparation earlier last week. The cool thing is you can see the other bonfire rising up at the other end of the beach as well. The preparation was not without some hard feelings this year. For instance a truck with pallets for Duindorp accidentally drove to Scheveningen and unloaded the pallets there. The article also goes on to say that Duindorp reached its maximum height and was told to stop, while Scheveningen was at a similar height but was not told to stop building. For that reason, Duindorp started adding more pallets overnight, but stopped again when morning broke. And the article also mentions that some youth in Duindorp were threatening “builders” for the bonfire in Scheveningen who happened to also live in Duindorp.

So you can see that things were a bit riled up this year, which led to the bonfires being higher than they should have been (safety wise). But everything was approved and went ahead last night, and when the bonfire in Scheveningen was lit, it was spectacular.

And then the wind quickly changed direction, and two things were brought with it (video from nu.nl): a rain of fire descending on the beach and nearby houses, and tornados of fire. Actual tornados! One of the beach tents started burning and the fire department cleared out the boulevard as no one wanted to get out of the way for emergency vehicles. They had to use a bit of force (and police dogs) to get everyone to clear out.

Credit Regio15.nl, Ruben van Essen. Original article, with more photos and videos

Here you can see some of the damage to the surrounding area. Luckily there were no injuries. The fire department did an exceptional job keeping some of the more important buildings wet throughout the night (including the Old Church) to keep them safe.

In the aftermath, the organizer said that this might just be the last bonfire Scheveningen hosts (and almost definitely the last bonfire he would organize), but time will tell. The mayor did say that The Hague needed to look into whether this one would be the last one after the clean up was complete.

On a happier note, the Scheveningen beach was also the site of the New Year’s Dive this morning. I was smart and just watched it on TV – that’s enough for me!

Edited to add (2 January 2019): Omroep West has written a news article about why canceling the bonfire was not an option, due to intimidation and threats.

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Categories: Culture, Holidays, Scheveningen | Tags: , | 4 Comments

A day out in Scheveningen (Or: To the beach!)

This afternoon Marco and I visited Scheveningen and walked along the beach’s boulevard. It was definitely a cold day in February, with lots of wind, but at times the sun shone. They were busy preparing for the opening of the beach season which should happen within a few weeks:

preparing-for-the-opening-of-the-beach-season-2017-scheveningen

Laying down the path in the sand

scheveningen-beach-and-pier-feb-2017

A bit further down the path is already in place – with a gorgeous view of Scheveningen’s pier and the new Ferris wheel. To the left of the wheel is the bungy jumping area.

Marco and I first walked in the other direction, towards the haven. We took a lovely picture of Keizerstraat. Some call this the oldest shopping street in the Netherlands.

looking-at-keizerstraat-from-scheveningen-beach

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Surviving and working together (Or: A day out at Scheveningen)

These photos are actually from Marco, who had a work outing in Scheveningen this past week. The theme was “overleving en samenwerken”, or “Surviving and working together”, which can be complete opposites if you think about it… From what I heard, it was the typical team outing – rope tug of war, get this water from this place to that place using only three bamboo tubes, etc.

The first picture is a look at the art installation “Beelden aan zee” (Images by the sea) (Dutch website | English website). Along with the museum, Beelden aan zee is known for outdoor metal sculptures inspired by fairy tales, a few of which like the one in the photo are very, very tall and make for great photo opportunities. Especially at sunset…

Scheveningen Beelden aan Zee at sunset

And Scheveningen’s latest tour attraction is a ferris wheel partially constructed over the sea on the pier (English news article | Official website in Dutch).

New ferris wheel in Scheveningen

And a close up:

Closeup of new ferris wheel in Scheveningen

It is kind of interesting that I have never set foot on the pier. Well, to be fair it was closed for renovation for a long while. But it’s on the to-do list…

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Summer! (Or: Friday night in Scheveningen)

Friday night was the annual summer party at work. Like last year, it was held at a beach restaurant in Scheveningen (about 20 minutes by tram from the city center). Coincidentally summer arrived this week with the pastures consistently higher. Some days were around 33-34C (90F+). Perfect beach weather to sit in the sun for a few hours and work on your tan…

Summer drinks at the Scheveningen beach

Summer drinks at the Scheveningen beach

 

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Fountains (Or: A lovely day in Scheveningen)

Here’s a picture from a month or two ago when Marco, Roger and I went to Rodizio in Scheveningen – a city name which I still cannot spell for the life of me.

fountain in Scheveningen

I do remember that the huge building on the left is a casino, and is also shaped like a cruise ship (being that it is right next to the beach). Unfortunately the weather is a bit colder now, so the beach isn’t as nice as it was over the summer.

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The coming Spring (Or: Who needs a jacket?)

It was nice not to have to wear my jacket on the way home from work today. We’re in the midst of small heat wave of sorts, with tomorrow hitting the high 60s. This morning was also nice, although colder.

But the walk into work has been interesting this week. You see, they are filming scenes from HBO’s Mildred Pierce near where I work (multiple organizations use our campus). It’s not the first time they have filmed there for that show. I’ve never seen the series myself, but they seem to like the building — it’s large and fairly old but in a good kind of way.

When I was leaving work in the afternoon they were still filming, and had special lights trained on the front of the building. I thought about taking a picture for the blog but I figured that would be way too obvious as there was about twenty people milling around outside. My apologies!

In honor of the nice warm weather today and tomorrow I am posting a few more pictures from the Scheveningen beach:

Cold feet at Scheveningen

Catching some rays at Scheveningen

 

 

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Crazy things (Or: Pianos and frozen surfers)

The wind is howling outside.

It feels colder than I think it should be in March. However, I am looking forward to the odd 65ish degrees temperature later this week.

In honor of the brisk weather I decided to post a few more pictures of Scheveningen, from the December trip. The first was an interesting light covered “tree” that I took pictures of. It was only today that I realized there was a surfer in the picture:

Scheveningen tree of lights

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Apocalypses (Or: Coming soon to a laundromat near you)

One of the things I had to do this morning was the laundry. This tends to be a bit more difficult than it should be due to having to take the laundry into town — I don’t own a washer or dryer of my own. It’s about a 15 minute walk down a somewhat annoying hill.

I am sure that I have confused people that see me strolling past with a suitcase full of clothes rolling behind. They probably would expect me to be going to the train — and most people own cars around here. I’ll admit that I never was one for driving, and moving to the Netherlands had one big non-Marco pro in its favor: not needing to learn how to drive. Though I’ll admit that I am not looking forward to the combination of trams and strollers, later on in life.

Today was a sort of dreary day with rain forecast most of the morning. The walk down wasn’t too bad, though, as not many people were up and about at 8AM. Sane people are still asleep. Generally I use the time at the laundromat to play games on my iTouch, though I doubt I’ll ever reach the level of Unblock Me that Roger has reached.

While I was waiting for the dryer to finish its cycle, two women came into the store. Since I was staring at my iTouch, the first thing I saw was their feet. And the large blue umbrella that the one was carrying. I looked up, but she shifted her gaze to the gentleman next to me, who spoke Spanish (most people at this laundromat do). They started to converse in Spanish. At first I thought they were friends until I realized she was a solicitor.

I was listening while they were talking, though not looking up from my game. She had a pamphlet she wished to give him, and she was talking about the bible. He asked if it was free, and she said yes. She only asked that if he had any questions to get in touch with him. He agreed and took the pamphlet, though perhaps he just wanted her to go away. Turns out they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I decided not to look up, but I think they only had Spanish publications. I don’t look Spanish enough for them to bother. Fine by me!

Frankly, I was impressed that I could understand what the heck they were saying; seems my 7 years of Spanish was good for something after all. I saw a few of the pamphlets on the washers as I was folding my clothes, but I didn’t think about taking a picture of it until much later when it was too late. It was about the apocalypse and when it would happen.

So instead, here’s another picture of Scheveningen:

Scheveningen's beach

…where the warm beach sand meets the brick and concrete of the city.

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Scheveningen (Or: Walking amongst sand and seashells)

Scheveningen, one of the districts of the Hague, is a seaside beach resort. I first visited there in December 2010, wearing a heavy jacket and swearing a bit at the hefty sea breeze. I was shocked to see a few folks surfing – in full wet suits, of course.

The Scheveningen pier which juts out into the North Sea (Summer 2011)

The second time I visited was in early August 2011. The temperature was a bit warmer (maybe 70F or 21C) although the water was still ice cold. Hordes of seashells washed up with every wave, making walking along the beach a very cautious maneuver.

The Kurhaus, a restaurant and hotel near the beach. Note the child in mid-swing of a bucket.

After my fiancé and I headed back up the beach, we walked along the boulevard for somewhere to eat. We finally settled on Copacabana, where I had the Copacabana burger (chicken, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, some variation of mayo, etc). It was huge and hard to handle but oh so good. While we were waiting for our food, the sun set and the chilly sea wind took over once more.

Walking along the boulevard, including a pancake restaurant ('t pannekoekenhuisje)

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