On Thursday evening Marco and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather and walk outside after dinner. One thing that caught my eye was a beautiful bank of flowers that the city had placed around the ‘De Plaats’ plaza:
This plaza is well known for the statue of Johan de Witt. He and his brother Cornelis were executed at the plaza in 1672. Wikipedia has a nice photograph of the unveiling of the statue by Queen Wilhelmina in 1918. Almost 100 years ago!
And one more close up:
Curious where De Plaats is in The Hague? It’s across the street from the Hofvijver, in the city center. It is also really close to the Dutch parliament.
A touch of color enters the world…
Even though it is only January, sometimes it can feel like spring. Especially in Amsterdam! Yesterday was National Tulip Day, the third Saturday in January. It’s the official begin to the tulip selling season, and to celebrate this the tulip growers bring 200,000 tulips in crates to the Dam Square in Amsterdam. Once everything is set up around 1pm, anyone can enter and get pluck a bouquet of tulips for free. Expect to stand in line for a few hours, though! After about 3 to 4 hours, all tulips have been plucked.
First, a link in English, with a stunning time-lapse video from 2015, including the setup. And a link in Dutch, with photos of 2017 Nationale Tulpendag, including photos from above which show the overall design. I find it a nice touch that the design for 2015 is different than 2017.
Speaking of tulips, I took some photos of flowers on sale at an Albert Heijn in The Hague:
A bushel of flowers
Marco and I went out to eat tonight with his father and wife. Tonight’s restaurant was Athene Palace, a Greek restaurant. I had lamb in pepper sauce. Lekker!
Outside provided a lovely view of the city hall and main library in the nighttime…
Last week I celebrated another birthday. Here’s a look at some (but unfortunately not all) of the highlights…
First, a bouquet of paper flowers made by my father-in-law and his wife. Still wrapped:
A close up of the butterfly. Do you see what the roses are made of? Wrapped chocolate and the best paper you could make flowers out of — 5 euro notes!
I decided it might be fun to show off some of my more random photos that didn’t end up getting their own blog post.
By the tram stop – an advertisement for Disney’s Descendants
What caught my eye was the use of the shadow on the ground to “extend” the advertisement onto the ground.
Make & Bake cookie jars at Hema
Anyone want to bake some cookies? The jar includes all of the ingredients you need, apparently.
Flowers next to Buitenhof
Of course that photo was from a month or two ago – all it has done in the last few weeks is rain, rain, rain.
Kurhaus (a hotel) in Scheveningen, on the night of the Fireworks Festival
Until next time!
Just after Marco and I visited Kilmainham Gaol (the prison mentioned in the last post) we hopped on bus 40 around the corner to go north of the city to Glasnevin cemetery and the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. From Kilmainham it was about a 40-45 minute ride (from the city center it would probably be closer to 25 minutes). They are right next to each other and connected so that you don’t have to walk all the way around along the main road to get to the other.
Statues near the center of the cemetery, The tower in the background is called O’Connell tower and it stands over the tomb of Daniel O’Connell.
It doesn’t show as well in the photos I have selected, but some parts of the cemetery are very, very crowded, with no space between grave markers. This part was a bit older and much less crowded.
Last week my mother-in-law and I made a stop at Albert Heijn. She had a coupon from the Allerhande (the Albert Heijn recipe book) for a discount on Senseo coffee. The coupon itself was good from mid-March until today but she hadn’t had much luck finding an Albert Heijn with the item in stock.
When she asked at the customer service desk for this particular Albert Heijn (Grote Markt 55A) whether they had the item in stock, the worker looked in the back for the item and whether or not it might be re-stocked soon. When she couldn’t find it, she offered a few different options. My mother-in-law was quite pleased with this service and remarked about how the service at this Albert Heijn was better than at her own. At this remark we both received flower bouquets, a quite unexpected move.
Here’s a picture of mine, though I’m sorry for the blurriness. I tried to sharpen it a bit, but it didn’t quite work out:
Lately the temperature has been climbing up – bit by bit, with lapses back into cold rainy days from time to time, but it is definitely springtime. It’s still generally in the high 50s or low 60s, but it is an improvement. Usually!
Along with most of our days off (holidays) falling in April-June, this marks the time when outdoor events begin. For example, yesterday was the Dag van de Haagse Geschiedenis (in Dutch, Day of History of The Hague). Next weekend is the Life I Live festival (Dutch | English). This festival is found throughout the center of The Hague, on nine different stages, from 7pm to 1:30am. It falls on King’s Day eve, the night before the King’s birthday.
How do I feel about spring finally being here? Well, here’s a cappuccino smiley to show you:
Of course the forehead makes it look slightly evil… just don’t feed it after midnight.
If Monday’s journey includes a stop to Utrecht Central, you might just be presented with a bundle of tulips by an NS worker (NS being the main train company in the Netherlands). The official reason for this is to promote “random acts of kindness”
Of course, the more cynical train riders would say that the timing is a bit suspicious as NS had a lot of sensor issues earlier in the week at Utrecht Central. This train station is more or less in the middle of the country and the main transfer point for trains. The delay due to the sensors completely halted traffic for a few hours, but the effects were felt far into evening rush hour. Delays were easily 90 minutes to 2 hours.
In continuing with the random acts of kindness theme, the NS recommend that if you receive a bundle of tulips that you pass it on to someone else to brighten their day. The article says that this isn’t the first time that they passed out tulips to train passengers, so perhaps it is just a a nice gesture after all…
Today I went with my mother-in-law to the hospital for her scheduled eye operation. It went well, but feel free to leave her well wishes here or on Facebook. 😉 Betenschap!
It was in total about 90 minutes (as there were a few folks before her) and a bit of time in the cafeteria afterwards. I took the time to read a bit. I had charged up the phone and tablet but ended up not needing them at all. Go paper books!
On the way out I took a moment to take a picture of the indoor garden. It is near the entrance, a level below you, but visible as you cross over the bridge.
Pretty! It was just missing the small waterfall…
Categories: The Hague