Posts Tagged With: COVID-19

Uninvited guests (Or: Chased by security guards)

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.

Poor Buitenhof. It was already the site of a climate activist protest earlier this week.

As noted yesterday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte held a press conference this evening. Most of it was expected, but here are the highlights:

  • testing will be available at Schiphol airport for passengers coming from high risk areas
  • customers must leave their name and contact details if they eat out at a restaurant, café or terrace
  • customers are now required to have a seat (and stay in the seat) at restaurants, cafés or terraces. This was already said earlier, but now it is required.
  • if there is an outbreak at certain areas (restaurants, hotels, cafés, bars, theme parks, museums, etc.) they will be required to close for up to 14 days
  • local governments now have more power to decide that establishments need to close by midnight or that fans are not allowed at football games if they don’t follow the rules
Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Walk to the right, keep your distance, … (Or: Grote Markt)

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).

Good weather is coming: 30C (85F) to 35C (95F).

Crazy! But who knows if it will stay like that.

Today’s random story, with one very adorable cat: Cat that went missing on Scottish holiday found 12 years later (

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Mosaic above the door (Or: Local Catholic church)

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!

In unfortunate news: Coronavirus weekly figures worst than expected; up 95% versus last week. While the problem areas are Amsterdam and Rotterdam, if they list a third problem area it is usually The Hague. There’s a press conference scheduled for Thursday but the media doesn’t expect any countrywide changes.

Oh, and the small island in the Hofvijver (by the Buitenhof) was taken over by four Extinction Rebellion activists yesterday. See also’s article: Actievoerders Extinction Rebellion bezetten eilandje Hofvijver. Even if you don’t speak Dutch it is fun to look through the photos.

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Keeping an eye out (Or: Alleyway in The Hague)

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, 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 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)!

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Gray clouds above, flowers below (Or: Buitenhof scenes)

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.

The government announced that there will no national requirement to wear one, although regions will have more power to take action locally (article from The government also looked into whether or not the quarantine policy for holiday travellers should be strengthened if they were returning from an area with a high number of coronavirus cases.

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. ☀️

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Stone work (Or: A socially distanced Turfmarkt)

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.

Did you hear about the red Ferrari that was salvaged from the bottom of the IJ? (article from The IJ, pronounced “Eye”, is a major body of water in Amsterdam (Wikipedia). It’s right outside Amsterdam Centraal Station, so it’s hard to miss… if you take the right exit, that is.

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Terrace of green (Or: Grand Café at the Haagse Bluf)

Today’s photo is from the terrace at the Grand Café at the Haagse Bluf, where some colleagues and I had some socially distanced drinks recently.

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!

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Miniature display (Or: Games workshop in The Hague)

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 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.
  • Amsterdam to get first post-pandemic drive-in movie theater from This is almost enough reason for me to want a car (but not really, never, no thanks). But it’s a cool idea in general and I hope it sticks around.
Categories: Everyday purchases | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Willem II on horseback (Or: A statue reborn?)

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

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!

Categories: Culture, The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dinner time! (Or: Beef strips and broccoli)

One thing you may or may not know about me is I don’t cook that often – or at least, not that often out of my comfort zone. I’m more the chef’s assistent in the kitchen and that is fine with me.

In a moment of rushing around with work this morning I suggested an idea to Marco – beefs strips and broccoli. But then as it turns out, he had to work late, which meant it fell to me to start the dinner. And I did awesomely! (But thankfully he came home in the second half and gave some advice and help.)

So let’s see, in the bowl you have: beef strips, broccoli, rice, red peppers (yum!), fresh garlic, fresh ginger and 4 tablespoons of soy sauce. It was nice and spicy thanks to the peppers, especially at the end. The broccoli and rice still had a bit of crunch to it, giving it a nice texture. I’m quite proud of it.

In other news:

  • All mink farms will be culled proactively if coronavirus infections continue from I’m not sure if others countries are having trouble with mink, but here in the Netherlands we have a lot of cases of humans infecting mink. Every time that happens the entire farm is culled. (Originally the ruling was that mink farms would only be allowed until 2025 due to ethical reasons, but this new development might cause the government to buy them out sooner.)
  • Coronavirus daily infections rise, while concerns raised about accuracy of ‘dashboard’ from Something to keep a close eye in the coming weeks – the latest relaxation of corona measures was on 1 July and there is a noticeable increase in cases since then. Now that the Dutch health ministry (RIVM) only reports cases on a weekly basis, one must look at the corona dashboard to see what the daily figures are. But there is also concern that the dashboard is not as correct as it could be.
Categories: Food | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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