Marco, Roger and I were in Antwerp earlier this week for the Hella Mega Tour (Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Green Day). We booked the tickets in early 2020 and then only got to see the show now. Thanks corona! The scheduling was really nicely done, with Weezer and Fall Out Boy playing for an hour and Green Day closing the show with an hour and a half performance. Everything was almost perfectly timed (with only a few minutes delay here and there). The show ended when they said it would, wow!
Part of the reason everything is so perfectly timed is because 50 cents of your ticket price goes to public transportation, so you can ride the bus, tram or metro for free there and back. The venue and public transportation company agreed that all shows must end by 23:30. If that happens, the public transportation company guarantees that line 1 would run for an hour after the show ends. In the end we did take the tram there, although we walked back to the hotel after the show (about a 30 minute walk) due to how crowded the metro was. Technically they call it a metro, but the vehicles that arrive are still the shorter trams, so nothing like the New York City metro.
I will spare you my less than spectacular photos of the concert itself, so here are some other ones:
This is a statue of Nello & Patrasche, characters from the book A Dog in Flanders (visitantwerpen.be in English).
What can I say, I like Ferris wheels. And I thought this was a pretty image, with the Ferris wheel just poking out from behind the trees. This Ferris wheel is called “The View”.
Above: a look at some of the architecture in the city centre. Very pretty! We also enjoyed the nice wide streets as it made it easy to walk around.
I mentioned Koekamp, a park for red deer and fallow deer, a few weeks back. It’s less than a 5 minute walk from The Hague’s Centraal train station.
A look at the area. If you look closely, you can spot a deer behind the picnic table in the middle-left part of the photo.
They are very smartly taking a nap (this was just before lunch). If you can read Dutch, try the article Op de Koekamp ligt het oudste hertenkamp van Nederland from boswatchersblog.nl. Keep in mind the number of deer is artificially controlled (to prevent inbreeding, among other reasons), and not all deer can find a new home.
And lastly, here is a photo of some stags. Male red deer are apparently known as bucks, whereas fallow deer (known for their spots) are called stags.
Today’s photo is of the Escher museum in The Hague. The building looks a bit rundown (on both the outside and the inside), but I definitely enjoyed the exhibits when I visited.
There was talk that the Escher museum could move to the old American embassy, but those plans fell through a few years back (dutchnews.nl). It’s a bit of a pity since I think they could do so much more with a larger building.
The front of the building is adorned with a classic Escher drawing:
One day I will finish that Escher jigsaw puzzle that Marco got me for Christmas…
Blue skies all around, and we’re halfway to the weekend!
This is the old city hall of The Hague, which I have photographed a few times. The red windows are always the first thing you notice when walking past.
The dark brown building at the right of my photo has an Eat Company mural with an autumn theme, which you can just barely see. The company was changing it seasonably back in 2015-2016, but this mural was never painted over after it was added in 2016. So we’ve been stuck in autumn for the last five years almost…
Today’s news theme is apparently bikes:
Bicycle Cities Index 2019 from coya.com. Utrecht has taken the top spot on this global list. The criteria included percentage of bicycle users, safety, anti-theft measures, bicycle-related crime and road infrastructure. Go Dutchies!
France bans Dutch bike TV ad for creating ‘climate of fear’ about cars from theguardian.com. I saw the end of this commercial yesterday but didn’t think anything of it. Although I did to turn Marco and ask him “VanMoof? Who names their company VanMOOF?”. But apparently the commercial is very anti-car, including images of factories, accidents, traffic jams and flashing lights of emergency vehicles in the reflection of the car before it melts and reforms as a bike.
World’s second biggest bike garage opens in The Hague from nltimes.nl. With space for nearly 8,000 bikes! It’s found underground at The Hague’s Centraal Station. And can you guess who has the biggest bike garage in the world currently? Also the Dutchies. Utrecht – not a coincidence considering my first news point above – has a bike garage with space for 12,000 bikes (!).
I think the morning and early afternoon were relatively dry, but how would I know? Work kept me inside sadly. By the time everything got sorted in the late afternoon, the sky was a dark grey and rain was looming. But Marco and I both needed fresh air, so we did not let that stop us. And sure, we got rained on, but at least we got our fresh air…
But in the spirit of that, I’ll share a photo of the Palace Gardens which I took last week:
Lovely blue skies, great temperatures, all you could want without ever having to leave your hometown.
Although that one stray tree branch in the top middle of the photo does look a bit out of place. Anyone have a ladder and a tree cutter?
In other news, The Hague libraries will be opening up a bit more starting tomorrow (1 July), as the Dutch government has relaxed some of the corona measures. Unfortunately it is still only open 12:00-17:00 Monday through Saturday. But you can go there to study, read newspapers, visit the café for coffee and snacks, etc. You can also use library computers for up to 60 minutes per day. See more (in Dutch) at Studeren, uw krantje lezen en meer: veel kan weer!
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)?