I think it is apt that ‘Xenos’ means strange in Greek. This store in The Hague manages to capture strange very well, although most of the purchases are of the more mundane variety. For example, here is licorice flavored popcorn:
And, slightly less strange, Danish cookies with the tin branded with an emoji theme. The cookies themselves look normal, though.
And in good news: Germany picks up costs for Dutch Covid-19 patients treated in German ICUs (nltimes.nl). The bill was about 20 million euros. As the German minister of health said back in April: “Europe stands together, even in times of crises”. I’m not sure that has always been true this year, but it is a nice sentiment. They are also paying the bills for Covid-19 patients from Belgium, France, Italy and Spain who were treated in Germany.
This evening I took a photo of hooligans trespassing on the grounds of Buitenhof. I assume they took a swim to get there since they were wearing swim trunks. Ew. You couldn’t pay me to get in that water.
The photo isn’t of the best quality – this was at 10x zoom considering how far away they were. Can you spot the security guard to the right of the two gentleman, in the shadow of the tree? You can just see the white of his dress shirt. There were also 10 to 15 police agents in the area within a few minutes, including one mounted police officer trotting past. But I didn’t stick around to see how it ended.
Today’s photo is of the directional signs placed on the Grote Markt, one of The Hague’s busy shopping streets.
The city is trying their best but I don’t think the signs are always that clear. Part of the problem is that the Grote Markt isn’t split evenly – one of the sides is about as twice as wide as the other. Does that mean the wider side has traffic in two directions but the narrow sign is only in one direction? There are also stickers in the ground that seem imply that the wider side is all one direction, just like the narrow side, but good luck with people following that (I’m also guilty of being on the “wrong” side sometimes).
During one of my walks I noticed a Catholic church; the deep red door drew my eye first before I noticed the mosaic above it. (And no Dutch photo is complete without a random sighting of a bike as well.)
According to Google Maps this is the Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua. Here’s a close up of the mosaic pattern (a priest wearing brown robes and holding a staff):
In other news, imagine my surprise yesterday when a coworker sent along a meeting invite for next week Monday. The meeting is actually a social invite to mark 150 days of lockdown. I was so shocked that I googled it – yes, next Monday will be 150 days since we were last in the office. Crazy!
Today’s photo comes from Oog in ‘t Zeilstraat which literally translates to “Eye in the sail street”. A lot of Dutch phrases find their origin in the sea. Eye in the sail refers to the sailor up in the crow’s nest – their job is to “keep an eye out” for any trouble.
According to indebuurt.nl, though, the street is named after a house in 1654 which had the name Oog in ‘t Zeilstraat. Perhaps the house was named after the phrase? And of course it is partially hidden, but you do see a least one bicycle in the photo.
After the press conference yesterday, Amsterdam and Rotterdam decided to require face masks in parts of the city (article at nltimes.nl) from 5 August. Local intervention does seem more useful than country-wide intervention – Amsterdam and Rotterdam reported 76 and 68 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, while there were almost no cases reported in other parts of the country.
On to the weekend (and great temperatures tomorrow)!
Earlier this week Marco took this photo of the Buitenhof for me. What do you think?
Of course you probably notice the flowers first, but the clouds above do deserve a glance as well. A touch of gray.
There was a press conference earlier this evening. The main topic was whether or not there be a country-wide requirement to wear a face mask at all times when outside. At the moment you are only required to wear a face mask when using public transportation.
And another article, this one from Omroep West: Terrassen mogen uur langer open tijdens warme Haagse nachten. It’s an article about how terraces can stay open longer during the summer if the temperature is over 25C/77F Thursday through Sunday. The city government will look at the upcoming weekend’s temperature every Thursday and announce if terraces can be open longer that weekend. ☀️
Today’s photo is of the newly installed social distancing measures in the Turfmarkt area. It extends from The Hague Centraal Station, down the Turfmarkt, to the beginning of the Spuiplein.
Keep in mind this photo was taken on Sunday morning when it is relatively quiet. Normally this place is bustling with visitors walking from the train station to the city centre and back. However since the corona crisis most of the ministry workers in the nearby buildings are working from home, so that has helped a bit with limiting the foot traffic.
What are your thoughts on the stone work in general? I personally like the diagonal lines. So much of The Hague is covered in brick – it is weird going to vacation in the United States and coming back to this. But I like it.
It’s not the best photo in the world, but I didn’t want to get anyone in the photo. The restaurant/terrace is actually above the Haagse Bluf shopping area, so you’re looking down into it. It’s a pretty nice terrace and larger than you would expect considering its location in the city centre. Everywhere you look you see green – bushes, plants, wall vines, you name it.
Check out this article I read this morning from The Guardian: ‘We were the luckiest people in the world’: our month on the last lockdown cruise. Spoiler: no one gets corona on this cruise ship and the supplies don’t run out, so it’s more about how people spend their time on the ship, especially when some ports on their agenda do not allow them to dock. It is about how the last remaining group of passengers begin to band together to find news ways to pass the time.
For the most part it is a relaxing atmosphere, somewhat free of the pandemic raging around them. Example: a few days before they finally docked, they were reminded they should get their hair cut or their nails done on the ship, because who knows when they would be able to do so once they were back on dry land. Of course, the pandemic is still there, a slight tinge to everything going on around them on the ship. But it’s also outside of their world, for a time.
Anyway, I enjoyed the read. Have a good Saturday, everyone!
Today’s photo is of the window display by Games Workshop, over on Schoolstraat.
And since it is a bit hard to see, here’s a close up of some of the miniatures:
Suddenly I have the urge to watch the Lord of the Rings movies again…
In other news:
Calls grow for facemasks in all Dutch public space to stop coronavirus spreading from dutchnews.nl. The mayor of Rotterdam is asking for more research to be done into whether or not the Netherlands should require facemarks at a national level, and how the laws could be put into place if needed. That way if the situation doesn’t get better it would be an easier transition, in theory. I don’t want to wear a face mask everywhere outside (who does, really?), but I can see the benefits. Therefore, if it was a requirement I would do so. One of the criticisms against it is that people will think they no longer need to socially distance if they are wearing face masks.
Today’s photo is of the Willem II statue by the Buitenhof:
There’s some interesting tidbits with this statue.
Before 1924 a different statue of Willem II was in this spot (link to Dutch Wikipedia). For unknown reasons The Hague government wanted to instead install a replica of a statue found in Luxemborg: still Willem II, but on horseback. The original statue at the Buitenhof was sold to Tilburg for 1000 gulden (the equivalent of about 7,500 to 8,000 euros today). This replacement is recorded at the base of the statue in the photo above.
In the early 1990’s The Hague government wanted to install a “freedom carillon” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II. The bells would have either been placed quite close to the statue or in the statue’s very spot. Part of the problem was that the bells would have been 25 meters (82 feet) high, which might have been too jarring in that area. Momumentenzorg Den Haag has some scans of news articles from the 1990’s covering the situation, if you speak Dutch. But in the end the plans for the “freedom carillon” were thrown out (article from cobouw.nl).
As expected, the weekly coronavirus numbers from the RIVM were a bit high: about twice as many cases as last week (987 compared to 534), 19 hospitalizations and 7 deaths. But not all of those were numbers from the past 7 days, at least.
Outside of that, it’s mainly keeping on top of work during the day and relaxing at night. But the work days do go by quick, at least!