For my birthday last week Marco and I visited Den Bosch. The official name of the city is ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Duke’s forest) but it is almost always shortened to Den Bosch (The forest). The first day we walked around the city using a walking guide from the local VVV office (tourism office).
One of the main attractions of the city is St. John’s church, which shows off the height of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands
Also some curious art can be seen:
De Halve Peer (The Half Pear)
The half-a-statue above came from a dispute – two parties were tasked with creating this memorial / remembrance piece, but only one invested the money. And here is the result – half a statue!
I also took a picture of this lovely farmers plaque on the side of a brick house:
This afternoon Marco and I visited Scheveningen and walked along the beach’s boulevard. It was definitely a cold day in February, with lots of wind, but at times the sun shone. They were busy preparing for the opening of the beach season which should happen within a few weeks:
Laying down the path in the sand
A bit further down the path is already in place – with a gorgeous view of Scheveningen’s pier and the new Ferris wheel. To the left of the wheel is the bungy jumping area.
Marco and I first walked in the other direction, towards the haven. We took a lovely picture of Keizerstraat. Some call this the oldest shopping street in the Netherlands.
A few days ago a coworker of mine showed me a few pictures she had taken around The Hague. As she comes from a warmer climate, she loves to see how Christmas is celebrated here — not that The Hague is that cold. Her favourite pastime seems to be visiting Christmas markets, which is pretty cool.
The first picture she took was of the holidays Coca-cola truck in the city centre:
And the other one she took was an awesome picture of the holiday lights at the Plein. I just love the hazy moon:
In the middle, to the left of the Christmas tree, you can just make out the statue of Willem the Silent, which I previously blogged about.
Recently Marco and I explored the neighborhood (Rabbijn Maarseplein) just outside of Spui/Grote Markt, past Hema. I came across a statue of a woman:
I am not sure why the flowers are there, but I suspect it has something to do with World War II. There is also a nearby monument to Jewish children who perished due to the war. Amsterdam’s public transportation was recently stopped for one minute to remember the February 1941 strike in protest of the prosecution of Jews (Dutch | English).
But I am actually not finding much about the statue of the woman online. Does anyone know anything further?
Marco and I just visited the statue of Haagse Harry (Dutch wikipedia) which was unveiled earlier tonight. The statue can be found above the Grote Markt tram tunnel.
Who is Haagse Harry? A character in a Dutch comic strip who lives in The Hague and speaks The Hague dialect (plat Haags). Here’s an article about the unveiling of the statue (English | Dutch). The author, Marnix Rueb, passed away in 2014. His family used the prize money from a posthumous award, The Hague Culture award, to finance the statue.
If you want to see an example of the Haagse dialect, you can check out this dictionary (a random Google link). The news article about the statue’s unveiling was also written in the dialect. They also translated a good portion of denhaag.nl into Haags in a mirror site (though I don’t know how long that link will work).
There was a contest to determine what the text on the t-shirt would say. It ended up being “Kap Nâh!! Lekker belangrijk”.”Kap Nâh” is “hou op”, or in English “Stop it”. It’s also the name of the first album of strips released. “Lekker belangrijk” is “very important”, but said sarcastically.
And of course, here’s a view from behind. Typically Dutch…
In April of this year, Roger, Marco and I made a stop in Chinatown after visiting the 9/11 memorial.
This is a statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Columbus Park, New York City. He was the first president of the modern Republic of China.
Two other things I remember about Chinatown: buying tea bags at TenRen (variety sets), as well as buying awesome red bean ice cream at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. So good, and the portion size for my ice cream cone was a bit on the large size — I got a lot for my money.
I was digging through my photos from my various trips to the Netherlands and came across more touristy-type photos. I found one that was in reference to William the Silent (just like a previous statue post about him). I have no idea why he was called William the Silent, but internet research (hi Wikipedia!) seems to suggest it was because he never spoke up regarding controversial topics.
statue of William the Silent in the Hague on a horse
I must admit I also like the deep blue window coverings behind the actual statue. Too bad the flowers can’t be that color as well!
Speaking of red flowers…
I spent a year and a half in the Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During that time I did a bit of searching on Dutch culture and history — this was before I visited the Netherlands.
One of the things I excitedly learned was that there was a statue of William the Silent in the Hague. I didn’t really understand why his finger pointed to the Binnenhof at one time (or, more accurately, what the Binnenhof was) but I thought it was an interesting bit of trivia.
William of Orange statue at The Hague, Netherlands
But I had seen a similar statue at the College Avenue campus… one that points in a seemingly random direction. Upon further digging I realized that there was a replica of the Hague statue placed at Rutgers University, due to the University being founded by Dutch ministers back in 1766.
William of Orange Statue at Rutgers University (from Wikimedia Commons)
I kept the secret for a month, telling my then-boyfriend that I had a surprise to show to him when he was in the country again. I remember dragging him to the statue, refusing to tell him what I was going to show him, and the look on his face when he realized what it was.
Half a world away, but so close without my realizing.