Posts Tagged With: Weather

Fuze tea (Or: Free treats in the city centre)

Today Marco visited the city centre to do a bit of shopping. Lucky guy had the day off! But he did take a photo for me (thank you). It turns out he found a fuze tea stand handing out free samples:

He chose the blueberry jasmine flavor and remarked about how they tried to make the giveaway corona proof. Normally it’s a chaotic group of people standing around, cutting in line, hoping to get in and out quickly. But today they had a line (see above) with self-service – you reach into the display case and grab your own tea. Which had the nice benefit that they don’t open the drink and then hand it to you to drink right away.

Today’s weather in short: sudden buckets of rain that fall onto your head without warning, lasting about 5-10 minutes, while a blue sky shines mockingly above you. And cold weather. Much colder. Apparently we went from an extreme heat wave to lower-than-average temperatures. Hmph.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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Shopping is dangerous? (Or: Issues with corona banners in Amsterdam)

A few weeks back, Amsterdam began an experiment with face masks in certain busier parts of the city (amsterdam.nl). The experiment runs through the end of August, after which it will be evaluated to see if face masks will still be required. This has been a bit controversial, with some store owners reporting that revenue is down up to 40% in comparison with other Dutch shopping streets that do not have this requirement (nltimes.nl).

Some of the streets also have banners hung up between the buildings letting people know which side of the street they should be walking on (see Tweet below).

The problem is that the bottom of the banner contains small pipes to help weigh them down so they do not move around that much in the wind. And what did we have yesterday evening and today? A huge wind storm. It turns out that the pipes were not properly secured, meaning there was a risk that the pipes would fall out, possibly injuring shoppers in the process. Opps! The streets were closed for 3-4 hours today while the fire department removed all of the pipes.

In other news:

  • Cafés violating customer privacy with Covid contact data (nltimes.nl). Restaurants, cafés and terraces must now ask you for your contact details, per the Dutch government. It’s not required that you leave your contact details, but it is strongly encouraged. I’m sure the stories linked above won’t help the government’s case, though. Example: a journalist left her contact details at a restaurant. Shortly after she left the restaurant she received a phone call from the bartender asked if she wanted to have a drink with him sometime. What???
  • Overvallen door een plensbui? Weerapps minder betrouwbaar door afname vliegverkeer (omroepwest.nl). The title is: Do you find yourself in the middle of an unexpected, quick rain shower? Weather apps are less trustworthy now that there are less flights taking off. The article talks about just that – when a plane takes off it automatically measures the outside temperature and wind speed as it rises in height. That information is also passed on to the Dutch weather service to help predict weather changes. During the lockdown (when flights were very scarce) the Dutch weather service released an extra weather balloon to gather additional data points for their weather reporting.
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Don’t get blown away (Or: Storm Francis knocks on the door)

Heat wave? What heat wave? The weather has definitely changed. I was actually a bit cold in bed last night! Scandalous.

Storm Francis poised to hit the Netherlands, winds of up to 80kph expected from dutchnews.nl. There’s also an article at omroepwest.nl (in Dutch) about the preparations The Hague is taking to minimize any damage from storm Francis. Think of things like breaking down beach equipment or closing roads which have already seen branches break off recently. The city is also strategically placing cables in trees on the Lange Voorhout to make sure if a branch breaks the entire tree doesn’t come down. Those really are beautiful trees, so I can see why they want to protect them (photo from a blog post earlier this month):

And, amusingly enough, there’s a bouncy castle festival going on in the region. The organizers mentioned that the festival would be cancelled tomorrow and they would be letting the air out of the cushions in preparation for the storm coming this evening. Seriously, a bouncy castle festival. How cool is that. My six year old self probably would have loved that.

Of course, nothing will top the wind storm of 2018. Yeesh.

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Storms are coming (Or: Finally! Rain!)

The thermometer reads 30.5C or 87F. I know it’s probably not the actual temperature, but it does make me pretty glad that rain will finally be coming tonight after an 8 day heat wave. Lots of records were broken in the Netherlands this week. The seven day average temperature for the country was 33.1C, with the previous record of 32C back in 1976 (about 91F).

Another record broken: the Netherlands had 8 straight days of temperatures above 35C (95F) somewhere in the country. De Bilt, a small town in the centre of the Netherlands saw temperatures above 30C for 8 days in a row. That is significant because De Bilt is the official site for average temperatures for the country (and also home to KNMI, the Dutch metrological service).

Of course, it will probably take a while before the apartment cools down, but hopefully not too long. I’m crossing my finger a lot while saying that!

And for some news regarding the corona crisis:

Stay cool, everyone… ☀️

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Landscaping around the Grote Kerk (Or: A bit of nature in the city centre)

Today’s photo is of the landscaping round the Grote Kerk, taken sometime last week. In this weather I’d be surprised if half of it wasn’t drying out.

Due to weather, water companies in the Netherlands warned there could be water shortages (article from nltimes.nl). The issues are due to the warm weather and the fact that a lot of people are staying in the Netherlands for vacation this year.

What else does excessive heat bring? People who want to go to the beach. However yesterday and today the sea was rated as ‘extremely dangerous’ with rip tides reported (nltimes.nl). And that is sadly true: four swimmers lost their lives yesterday.

Oh, and the beach in Scheveningen has never been busier (article from omroepwest.nl), with roads in that direction shut down by lunchtime yesterday for a while. The heatwave is here to stay for a bit longer, so buckle up. It’ll only get warmer! ☀️

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Skateboarders and muses (Or: Muzentoren in The Hague)

Today’s photo is of the Muzentoren in The Hague, about a five minute walk from The Hague’s Centraal Station. Muzentoren translates roughly to “Muses’ Tower”. It’s a relatively new building, made in 2001 according to the Dutch Wikipedia page.

The statue in front also has an interesting meaning, although my photo only shows half of it. It is called “Light and darkness”. The side you see is the light – standing up straight, looking straight ahead. On the other side is darkness (see this image from indebuurt.nl) where the other half sags down, looking dejected.

In other news… did you know it was a year ago yesterday that the Netherlands broke the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded? A city in the south of the Netherlands reached 40.7C or 105F. Yikes! Yesterday the average was around 17C or 63F. That’s a bit of a difference…

I still remember La Salle, a local French restaurant, putting out free water for anyone (including pets) that week.

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The start of the weekend (Or: Good weather awaits)

After a long working day, both Marco and I are ready for the weekend! The weather looks like it will be cooperating as well, with highs around 25C (77F) tomorrow. I definitely have not been getting outside enough this week so I am looking forward to a nice, long walk. I’m not sure where yet, but anywhere I can stretch my legs and socially distance myself sounds good to me.

Here’s a photo from the Holland Spoor train station last week:

It’s definitely a dirty floor, so I decided not to give you an extra large version of this photo. Ha! But as you can tell these stickers are reminders about what to do in the train station (wear a face mask, keep your distance and stick to the right).

In other coronavirus news, the Dutch government has stated that they hope to have the corona app ready for public use by the 1st of September, with August reserved for final testing (article from nltimes.nl). Or if Dutch is more your speed, try this Corona app article over at nos.nl.

For a touch of lighter news today, check out a video of a turtle by the name of Ernie biting a diver at Scheveningen Sea Life (article from omroepwest.nl). The diver’s fine, of course. But the turtle definitely does a stealth attack, first biting his behind before swooping around again to take a bite out of his helm.

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Always watching (Or: Johan de Witt in the rain)

My plan of getting good photos this weekend for the blog has been temporarily halted by one very rainy Saturday. Boo!

But I did get a picture of the Johan de Witt statue:

That is a carefully cropped photo to try and hide any construction that was going on in the background. But otherwise, yeah, it was not pleasant weather at all.

In other news:

Here’s hoping Sunday has some sun in store for us!

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The Hague is baking (Or: Whew!)

The Netherlands is in a minor heatwave that will last for about 3 and a half days. High 80s, low 90s temperatures (Fahrenheit). That does not sound that hot, but for us poor souls without air conditioning (or an office to retreat to) – whew! I am warm. I didn’t have as much trouble yesterday, but today I am definitely feeling it. We have one more day of high temperatures tomorrow before the weather turns on Saturday, including a bit of rain.

Speaking of The Hague, the latest news is…

…a Uniqlo store will be coming to us in the fall. This is where Marks and Spencer used to be (let’s flash back to early 2014 when It opened – oh how I miss you!) Uniqlo is a Japanese fashion store. Wikipedia says there has been a store in Amsterdam since 2018. Who knew.

In other news:

Stay cool everyone! ☀️

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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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