Posts Tagged With: Spring

Terraces on the way to Den Haag HS (Or: Blue skies)

The grey skies briefly disappeared this afternoon. It gave me a great opportunity to take a picture of the terraces near the Holland Spoor (HS) train station.

In other news:

  • Amsterdam plants mini-gardens around bins in drive to cut littering from theguardian.com – in the Netherlands you generally have either trash pick up once a week or your street has underground trash containers like those pictured in the article. The main drawback to underground containers is the likelihood that people will simply leave their trash next to the container if it is already full.
  • Verzorgingshuis ‘Het Uiterjoon’ wint het vaatje Hollandse Nieuwe from omroepwest.nl – the first herring catch of the year is always a big deal in the Netherlands, especially in Scheveningen with Vlaggertjesdag (Flag Day). Originally it marked the day fishing ships left Scheveningen to catch herring, but these days it marks when that season’s herring can legally be sold. Normally the first barrel of about 45 herring is sold at auction with the proceeds going to charity and then the following day the sale of herring is allowed nationwide. To give you an example of the prices, in 2012 the first barrel was auctioned for €95,000. However, due to the corona crisis the first two barrels were instead given away – one barrel went to a German hospital for their assistance with coordinating ICU patients (article in Dutch from duitslandinstituut.nl). The other barrel went to a Dutch nursing home, which you can read about in the original article above.
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The clock strikes 12 (Or: Bustling terraces in The Hague)

Today’s the day! As of 12:00 in The Netherlands, cafés and restaurants could again open their doors for both inside service and service on the terrace, with the former requiring reservations. I’ll admit my curiosity got the better of me so I set out to get some photos for the blog.

I suspected that the city centre would be rather busy so I took an alternative route to get around in the beginning. However in the end I found it was easy enough to move around safely due to the ban on cyclists this weekend on the Grote Markt street.

First up we have the Grote Markt plaza, which I was most curious about:

I’ll admit I really like what this area has done. They’ve kept it rather inviting and it is easy to see where there is a free table. The separate entrance and exit is clearly labeled and they even have colored flags placed down the aisle of the exit area, although it’s a bit hard to see in this photo.

Next we have a look at the terrace by ‘t Goude Hooft, a fancy restaurant/hotel combo:

And finally here is a look at the plein by the Buitenhof. Surprisingly there was still a lot of space left here, although the area pictured is a self-serve bar that has very limited food options. I’m always a fan of this place since you need to pay right away. That means you are never stuck at the end trying to flag down the waiter to get the bill. But I digress…

Two other interesting things I saw but did not take a photo of: six tourists on segways around the Binnenhof area. It was weird to see segways at all, let alone in these times, but they were speaking Dutch so they weren’t foreigners. The other interesting thing was a tiny, one person van with a loud speaker strapped to the top, from which they were broadcasting music quite loudly while driving around. Most likely to get everyone in the festive mood. The side of the van said “Hou je Haags”, an expression I blogged about a while back.

Did you realize we are now in June? Crazy. Bring on a (safe) summer! ☀️

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Two different towers (And: A waiting seagull?)

A few weeks ago I took this photo of the Ridderzaal in the Binnenhof:

I believe this was the day Marco and I went for a walk and stopped briefly to bask in the sun. The clouds definitely caught my eye. But I didn’t notice until today that the Ridderzaal’s left tower looks slightly different than the right tower. Hmm. But maybe it was always that way? At least it looks to be that way since before World War I – check out this postcard on the Wikipedia article page. Also cool: back then the tram rode right along the building, on the left side of my photo above.

The Ridderzaal was built in the 13th century. It’s crazy to get random reminders about how old European countries are compared to the US. And what photo wouldn’t be complete with a few folks eating and a seagull patiently waiting hoping for some handouts (left side by the bench)?

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A different view of The Hague Centraal (Or: A day of sun)

On Thursday Marco and I went for a long walk. It was a great day to do so – a day off and temperatures around 26C / 79F. It was a bit weird to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt, but I loved it.

On the way back we found ourselves at the “back” of the bus platform at The Hague Centraal train station. I honestly didn’t even know there was a path back there. You learn something new every day!

The bus platform was remodeled last year so that the bus lanes were more easily accessible. Previously if you wanted the last bus you needed to cross every bus lane to get to it. Now if you want the last bus you only need to walk to the end of the pedestrian area and then cross over to your desired bus.

I will happily tag this post as “Spring” because the weather was just that good. Much better than the slightly grey, will it rain or won’t it sort of day that we had today.

Fun video of the day: two cops and their horses dance a socially distanced salsa dance at Zuiderpark in The Hague (omroepwest.nl)

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Canal ride through The Hague (Or: In the shadow of the Palace Garden)

The weather yesterday was pretty good, around 25C or 77F. This of course meant that a lot of people were outside yesterday. Marco and I also took advantage of the good weather, but we tried to go outside earlier in the morning before it got too busy. We mostly avoided the city centre as much as we could.

And not without reason: yesterday NS, the national train service, was asking people to stop traveling to Zandvoort to go to the beach. And a popular shopping street in Leiden was briefly closed yesterday (article in Dutch at omroepwest.nl)

Near the end of our walk I took a photo of the canal that crosses alongside the Palace Garden:

In the photo you can see a small group of boaters enjoying the good weather as well as a few people sitting on the edge of the canal on the right.

Oh, and in other random Dutch news:

New future for Amsterdam post-corona tourism with ‘right’ visitors (dutchnews.nl) – which reminds me of another story from a few weeks ago where Milan was looking adding temporary bike lanes to give cyclists more space (theguardian.com), with Paris announcing a similar scheme (forbes.com).

Researchers discover seabed volcano 100 km from Texel (dutchnews.nl) – the volcano was given the name ‘Mulciber’ after the Roman god of fire. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you like a bit of risk in your life) the volcano is long dead.

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Flowers and sweets (Or: Marakesh bakery)

A photo taken a few months back, of a local bakery by the Holland Spoor train station, Marakesh bakery:

A very Spring-like photo, which is timely considering the weather of late. On the one hand we’ve had a few storms – storm Ciara two weekends ago and storm Dennis last weekend. In the United States these storms would be better known as winter storm Kade and winter storm Mabel. It’s interesting to think about how far these storms travel.

On the other hand the photo is ‘timely’ due to the fact that storm Dennis brought along warm temperatures, helping break the record for the warmest February 16 by 03:20 in the morning (around 56F) with temperatures in the southeast maxing out around 63F. The only problem is that the storm brought along a lot of rain and wind. The rain is luckily gone, but like the first storm the wind will hang around for a few more days.

So don’t let go of your hat just yet…

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Flowers in the sun (Or: A spring day)

Here are a few more photos from last weekend’s gorgeous sun:

The shape of the purple-pink flowers is especially eye-catching.
These bright red flowers are along the water by the Buitenhof
Flowers in the foreground, monument to Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach in the background.

The stone building on the right is the former American embassy of The Hague, which since moved further away from the city centre. The monument in the distance is to Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, a Dutch colonel back in the 18th century.

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Warm weather (Or: Who needs a jacket?)

Yesterday I had the day off so I went for a walk. The weather has been great for the Easter holiday: 70-75F with a ton of sun. One of the places I walked through is the Binnenhof, a place mentioned a lot on this blog. I like going there and watching the tourists, actually. It’s weird to live somewhere that tourists visit. So I go there and watch the families and friends excitedly taking photos of this and that…

Here is my photo, with the beautiful blue sky behind.

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To celebrate the good weather (Or: By Hofhouse)

Full disclosure: this picture was actually taken at the end of June last year, on a Friday. The weather was spectacular that day. It was taken at Hofhouse, here in The Hague. The only drawback is they aren’t open in the weekends, although that makes sense since they are reliant on the traffic to Central Station.

Marco and I enjoying a beer at the start of the weekend last year

This week’s weather has also been great, considering it is mid-February. The weekend and the last few days have been 15C-18C (about 60-65F). Of course, the weather gets colder after today, but still – we are still above average temperatures tomorrow.

And it’s not even March yet… kind of scary, when you think about it!

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SUN! and music (Or: Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague)

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.

Flowers at the Hof House in The Hague

Flowers at the Hof House https://www.hofhouse.nl

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.

Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague, 2018

One of the music stages at the festival

Bevrijdingsfestival music in The Hague, 2018

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 display at the Bevrijdingsfestival in The Hague, 2018

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…

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