The Netherlands is enjoying a rare dose of sun this weekend! And like all good Dutchies, this means going outside to a café or restaurant and baking under the sun for a few hours.
This afternoon Marco, Roger and I went to the Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague. Bevrijdingsdag, or Liberation Day, is celebrated on May 5 each year. The day commemorates the end of Nazi occupation during World War II. The day before, May 4, commemorates the Remembrance of the Dead.
One of the music stages at the festival
Another music stage, in the background. The woman in yellow is receiving a ‘Dutch kiss’ (the custom where you kiss each other on the cheek three times to say hello or goodbye).
Vrijheid = Freedom
And do you see what the letters are made of, above? Juliper beer crates! (Juliper is one of the sponsors of the event.)
Now if you excuse me, I will go back to basking in the sun…
Hobbemaplein in May – an area of The Hague known for its market (one of the largest open air markets in Europe, so they say!).
And a close up of the flowers:
Spring is probably here already, but some days it feels so cold. At least there are beautiful flowers to enjoy!
This is by the Buitenhof in The Hague.
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: