I forgot to post a few photos that I took last month of the gorgeous tulips by the Spuiplein in The Hague (in the city centre). In the background you can also see the artwork that commemorates M.C. Escher on the wall of the city hall. I posted about that at the end of March.
On my way to Kelly’s Expat Shopping last weekend I spotted a lovely bunch of flowers planted along the sidewalk:
It is a good reminder that spring is coming, although it certainly hasn’t arrived yet. There have been a few days of full sunshine and blue skies, but it quickly turns cold and grey again. We were promised good weather this week but then the wind direction changed, coming from the east rather than the sea to the west. Brrr.
Speaking of spring… you have a few more days to pick up free seeds in preparation for National Seeding Day. This is possible due to an initiative from The Pollinators (article in Dutch). The goal is to have more flowers which are bee friendly.
Marco and I celebrated our wedding anniversary (19 September) a bit early this year by taking a trip to the north of The Netherlands to visit a city called Groningen. It was a pretty far journey by Dutch standards (2 hours and 40 minutes by train) although by American standards it could be considered a daily commute…?
One of the highlights of the visit was the Prinsentuin in the northern part of the city centre.
This garden was created in 1626 and includes a rose garden, herb garden and “berceaus” (a sort of tree tunnel where trees line both sides and are allowed to grow into each other, creating a tunnel).
Those tunnels are very handy when it begins to rain unexpectedly! If you were hiding in the tunnel you could (mostly) stay dry. This part of the garden gave me Secret Garden vibes (English Wikipedia).
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.).
On Alexanderstraat, a street in The Hague, you have the Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie. Oh, what a mouthful. Translated that is the Royal Dutch Society for the Promotion of Pharmacy, an organization for pharmacists.
But what I always notice is the lovely garden outside the front door:
Their name is so long you can’t even properly fit it into one photo:
Marco and I watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics on yesterday. I can definitely say that the time difference isn’t ideal. It started at 13:00, so good luck watching that properly and while trying to work. Most of the action happens after 02:00 and ends in the early afternoon. It definitely doesn’t feel like a true Olympics (also because there are a lot less fans attending). C’est la vie.
I took a few photos of the canal by the Dennewegbrug. “Denneweg” is the street name and “brug” is Dutch for bridge.
And in other news, there was a demonstration today at Malieveld, not far from The Hague’s Centraal station. The name is Blijf van onze kinderen af, or “Stay away from our kids”. The article is from regio15.nl in Dutch, with lots of photos. including a photo at the end of one very smart ice cream seller who knows he will do good business here.
The reason for the demonstration? The Netherlands recently decided that 12 – 17 year olds can be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine if they wanted. 16 and 17 year olds can independently choose for the vaccine, while younger kids need their parents’ permission. The first shot would be given now and the second shot would follow during the first month of school. Appointments for anyone born in 2004 could be made since yesterday, with 2005, 2006 and so forth following next week.
Here is another photo of flowers for you, randomly placed at the feet of a statue in The Hague. Who knows why? These are quite beautiful flowers, though.
I’m partially posting this article because I like the title: The gym before breakfast on a cafe terrace: What changes today from dutchnews.nl. Today is the first day of step 2 in the government’s plan to reopen society. Some gyms opened at 00:01 this morning, and cafés are now allowed to open from 06:00. So the title makes sense.
The Netherlands has a long way to go in comparison to other European countries. However we are getting there, helped in part by the vaccination program speeding up (we are closing in on 150,000 vaccines given each day).