So last time I talked about King’s Night, which is when you go to music festivals, drink overpriced beer, and dance like a maniac. Oh, and try to avoid being pickpocketed–apparently the police found a 13 year old and 20 year old with a bag full of 21 stolen telephones on King’s Day (article in Dutch over at omroepwest.nl). Sheesh.
In contrast, King’s Day itself is about selling cheap stuff. This is the one day a year it is legal for anyone to sell their old furniture, toys, books, you name it. Well, anything except food. Almost all cities ban that. I didn’t get any photos of these vrijmarkten (free markets) this year, but check out my post from way back in 2012 (!). Back when it was Queen’s Day, before she abdicated the throne and became Princess Beatrix. Marco took those photos for me since I was till living in America back then.
One thing I did get photos of was the flower sale at the Lange Voorhout. It was quite colorful, and not just because of the flowers:
These juichcapes (cheer capes) were sold by the grocery chain Jumbo last summer when there were a lot of high profile sporting events going on (Tour de France, Dutch Grand Prix, UEFA Euro Cup, etc.).
A few weeks ago while in The Passage (official website, in English) I noticed some new plant life sprucing up the area.
This follows the “dividers” that were installed to help keep people on the right side of the path during corona times. Before that the walkways had always been bare with nothing in the middle.
I like it; it helps keep the area lively and vibrant. Although it might make it harder to walk through the area during the busiest moments of the day (usually it is a game of doge when moving around the slower walking tourists).
While walking through De Passage last week I noticed a colorful sight by restaurant De Luca:
It was early in the morning so it wasn’t quite open yet. Which just meant I had a great opportunity to take a few photos.
And here is a close up:
Check out those prizes! €2.50 for 1 macaron, €25 for a box of 12. These are definitely seen as a luxury treat. If you are less picky you can go to the local Albert Heijn and get a box of 12 macarons for €5. Hmm. I am sure that is heresy to some folks, though.
The Netherlands relaxed some of their lockdown measures last night, with restaurants, cafés, movie theatres, museums, zoos and more allowed to be open again from 05:00 to 22:00. Stores are also now open until 22:00 (during the last lockdown they needed to close at 17:00).
As you can expect the latest relaxation of measures led to a huge demand for tickets to the latest Spiderman film (which only ran for three days here in The Netherlands before the lockdown started last month). Right after last night’s press conference (or perhaps while it was still going on) people flooded Pathé‘s website to order tickets. The virtual queue was over an hour long (!).
Above: a random photo of De Passage, a covered shopping area and also an important passage to get from point A to B. Usually it is crowded, so I always feel lucky to get a photo of it with no one else in the shot (this time I lucked out because it was fairly early in the morning and the stores hadn’t opened yet).
It must be December because the Christmas tree is back in De Passage! (aka The Passage, a covered shopping area in the city centre of The Hague).
The cool thing about De Passage is that is more of a triangle shaped hallway. As you can see above the tree is placed at the intersection of those three parts, so it is always visible when you enter.
Oh, and a few months back they did remove the greenery which was separating the walkway in De Passage (corona measures). Though I wouldn’t be surprised if it came back. Yesterday one of the local Albert Heijn supermarkets had a security guard posted outside the entrance checking that everyone was wearing a facemark and this evening a local Jumbo supermarket had a line of about 15 people waiting to get in, probably because they started putting a limit on the number of people who could be inside at the same time. I haven’t seen those measures since the first half of 2020.
You can also see blue Nespresso cups in this close up:
Based on the pattern on the blue cups, I suspect that the flavor is Tokyo vivalto lungo, which has “delicate floral and fruity notes”. I’m not a big fan of Nespresso, though. I’d rather have a regular sized cup of coffee than an espresso.
On my way to the grocery store this morning I took some photos of this year’s Christmas tree in the Passage:
A new detail this year is the plants down the middle, to help remind people to stay on the right side while walking. It will be interesting to see if the plants are still around next year at this time, or if they really were just temporary during the Covid-19 crisis…
And here is a close up look. I found it a bit weird to be walking past stores today. For the most part everything was closed, but it felt more like a Sunday rather than closed for five weeks. Most of the stores had their lights on and there were not many signs in the windows saying they would be closed for a longer period of time.
Strangely enough when I walked past Peek & Cloppenburg (a clothing store), they did seem to be open. However maybe I saw incorrectly. The lights were on, the doors were wide open, and there were a few people going through the sweaters… so who knows.
And now for some cute news: The panda cub born in the Netherlands earlier this year will be 100 days old on Friday. It is tradition that its name is revealed on the 100th day. The possible choices are: He Kang, He Shun, Fan Xing, Dan Qing, and Zing He. And for your one minute of cuteness, here is a video made by zoo:
If all goes well, vistors can view it sometime in October.
Above is a look at The Passage, which has improved its one way traffic markers in the last month or so. When I last blogged about them in mid-May there were only tiny arrows at the entrance, much smaller than those you see above. So there have definitely been some improvements in The Passage.
In other news – after many months of sunshine and mockingly good weather, it has finally begun to rain. Technically parts of The Netherlands are experiencing drought-like conditions (nltimes.nl), so I suppose it’s probably a good thing. Even though we’d need more than a few days to fix that.