Posts Tagged With: Winter

Lange Voorhout under snow (Or: Before it all melted, of course)


Quick update on where we stand with the curfew: it is still in place until a new court session this Friday. In the meantime the government is also working on an emergency law (done the proper way this time) which they hope to have passed on Friday. That way even if they lose the court case, which said the original curfew law was not legal, the curfew itself is still active. It was a crazy day yesterday, that’s for sure!

In happier news: I have a few remaining pictures from last week of a snowy Lange Voorhout. Taken by Marco, of course. He braves the snow and ice better than I do!

The Lange Voorhout is an L-shaped path in the city centre (article from denhaag.com in English).

Beautiful, isn’t it?

And a photo of the Escher museum, with snow. Of course, by now all the snow and ice has melted away. If you’re lucky you might find a pile here or there. But I am not complaining – I had my fun last Sunday (blog post). I am looking forward to the Spring-like temperatures this weekend as well. It should be nice!

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All fun must end (Or: The last skaters on the Hofvijver)

Marco took some photos of the last few skaters on the Hofvijver this morning.

There weren’t that many skaters because the city had put up fencing around the entrance to the water:

The fun didn’t last long, however. More skaters found themselves in problems this morning and afternoon. After the fire department got everyone back to dry ground they started breaking up the ice along the walls to make it impossible to get back on. See also this article from district8.nl in Dutch: Politie haalt grote groep schaatsers van ijs Hofvijver Den Haag.

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Frozen Hofvijver (Or: Ice skating craziness begins)

Marco took some photos yesterday of the Hofvijver (the pond outside the Dutch parliament) beginning to freeze over.

Cool photo, huh?

Here is a look at the Hofvijver from the side of parliament:

Technically you’re allowed to ice skate on the Hofvijver (and a lot of people do), but it does raise some security concerns.

To prevent people from getting too close to the parliament, the part of ice next to the buildings is always deliberately broken.

Of course, a lot of people went through the ice yesterday. Check out this article in Dutch from regio15.nl (including photos and a video): Meerdere mensen door ijs gezakt Den Haag. In the afternoon, someone went through the ice and was rescued. Shortly thereafter a few more people went through the ice, so the rest of the skaters were told to wait on the island in the middle. Eventually they were led away by the firemen, mostly using ladders. Today The Hague has put fencing around the Hofvijver to prevent people from ice skating, but that really hasn’t stopped most people.

Bekijk het witte Haagse groen eens vanuit de lucht, from hethaagsegroen.nl in Dutch. (Aerial pictures of some snow-covered nature areas in The Hague).

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Snow by the Buitenhof (Or: Waiting to buy fish)

Here is a look at the snow by the Buitenhof earlier this week:

The small building in front of the tree in the photo is a fish stand, and yes, there was a line of people waiting to buy fish. How very Dutch.

And I spotted some weird headlines recently, all from nltimes.nl

Man arrested for calling cops 100 times. Apparently he was unhappy with their IT technology. Somehow I don’t think tying up their phone lines will help.

Man fined after breaking ice on Amsterdam canal. Don’t mess with the ice in canals when Dutchies are hoping to get some ice skating in. Officially he was fined for violating the sailing ban, not breaking the ice. (I read on NOS.nl that he was fined for sailing in the wrong direction.)

Weird snowman sends Amsterdam police responding to reports of dead body, complete with a photo of the “dead body” in question. I guess you could think it was a dead body, if you look quickly or something…

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Four days later (Or: Still cold and windy)

The Netherlands is wrapped in a cold spell, with temperatures set to get even colder over the next few days before gradually warming up from Monday.

Code Yellow: Roads still icy, trains still running on adjusted schedule from nltimes.nl. For the most part Sprinters (stop trains) are running to serve all stations, but there are not as many Intercity trains which run between cities. Although the NS promised to put in longer trains, people are still seeing packed trains:

A tweet showing full trains without the ability to keep 1.5 meters distance, noting that shops are closed but this is allowed.

Speaking of shops, they are now allowed to be open for click & collect, but a lot of bigger stores are not offering this option, including H&M, Bijenkorf and Zara (article in Dutch at nos.nl). In some cases because they think the work involved won’t be worth the money gained.

Arnhem zoo brings penguins inside due to the cold from nltimes.nl. Considering these penguins occur naturally in South Africa and Namibia, this does make sense. It does say that the only the partner-less penguins and young penguins without a cave to keep them warm were brought inside (awww, they have their own caves?)

And, finally, while not related to the Netherlands at all, I must simply share this tweet:

Combination cat-lawyer!

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Possible curfew extension (Or: An icy, wintry day)

The Dutch cabinet is consider extending the curfew to 2 March. The curfew runs from 21:00 to 04:30 every night. See also: Outgoing Dutch Cabinet says it will seek curfew extension through March 2 from nltimes.nl. That would be an extension of 3 weeks and bring the measure into line with other measures that are currently in place until (at least) 2 March.

I forgot to post this yesterday but here are some pictures from regio15.nl (in Dutch) of what The Hague looked like under a thin layer of fresh snow on late Saturday into early Sunday morning. We got some more after that, of course.

Skating on the canals? Amsterdam take steps to accelerate ice formation from nltimes.nl. Amsterdam and other Dutch cities have introduced a temporary ban on boating within canals to help stimulate ice growth so that the chances of skating on natural ice are higher.

Van Ark [the minister of Sports] to consider allowing ‘corona safe’ competitions on natural ice from dutchnews.nl. The Dutch government is in a very difficult position at the moment. Dutchies are very fanatic about being able to hold an Elfstedentocht (11 city skating competition, English Wikipedia) at the first possibility of natural ice being thick enough. An Elfstedentocht had already been ruled out late last year due to corona, but now that we are in a situation where we will have at least a week of ice, everyone is thinking about it again. A majority of the Dutch cabinet is for it (article from ad.nl in Dutch), with limited or no public. However it does seem like a bit of a double standard when other things are being cancelled. On the other hand, the last Elfstedentocht was in 1997 due to climate change, so…

And finally, a bit of crazy news: Politie vindt onderkoelde man die in vrieskou van Gouda naar Weesp liep from omroepeest.nl in Dutch. In summary, the trains were not running this weekend so a man decided to walk from Gouda to Weesp (about 54 km or 33 miles) in the evening during the snowstorm. He actually almost made it to Weesp before he called his mom and said he was in trouble. The connection was then lost, so his mom called the police. They finally found him using a police helicopter. He was found not far outside of Weesp, laying on a bike path, suffering from hypothermia of course. But the story ends well: after some care he was reunited with his family. Sounds like he wasn’t fined for breaking curfew, either….

(The Hague has a herd of Scottish Highland cows in Westduinpark, or West Dune Park.)

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More snow pictures (Or: Storm Darcy in The Hague)

Here are a few more pictures that Marco and I took yesterday during our walk outside. I fear that everything is probably ice by now, since the Netherlands isn’t known for cleaning up well after snow storms. It is sort of logical, since we don’t get that much snow these days.

Above is a statue of Louis Couperus (English Wikipedia), a Dutch novelist and poet.

It wouldn’t be a proper Dutch blog post without some pictures of bikes.

One slightly evil looking snowman. We saw this one near the “Constitution Sofa”, which is the slightly weird translation I found on thehague.com. I’d probably translate it as “Constitution bench” instead.

And finally, a picture of the New Church. Marco and I haven’t been inside its gates in ages. But with the falling snow it was particularly pretty this time.

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Fun in the snow (Or: Storm Darcy arrives in the Netherlands)

Marco and I went for a walk around lunchtime today to take a few pictures of the snow that fell. It was fairly cold, but that was mostly restricted to my fingertips.

First a picture of a very cold Hofvijfer. There were actually about 10-15 birds in this part of the water, although it is pretty difficult to see.

I didn’t even see the bird flying above when I was taking the picture. My only thought was of my freezing hands and wondering how fast I could take the picture and put my gloves back on.

Lange Voorhout. Off in the distance (and almost impossible to see) is the Escher museum (official website in English). Did you know it is possible to take a virtual tour of the museum? I found it pretty interesting, even if I felt like I had to move the mouse in the “wrong” direction to move around. Note: I’m not sure if they will keep the virtual tour up after the museum opens its doors again, so don’t wait too long.

Look at the snow on this car on the Lange Voorhout – you can see how hard the wind was blowing.

Handhaving grijpt in vanwege drukte tijdens sneeuwpret from regio15.nl in Dutch. In English: Security intervenes due to overcrowding during “snow fun”. The University of Delft’s library is built into a hillside, which means their roof is basically a grassy hill. They said it was okay to snow down the hill (provided no one uses sharp objects which might damage the roof underneath), but of course that meant massive crowds arrived by the afternoon. It is a very cool library design; I’ve been inside once.

Code Orange weather warning issued for Monday; Expect school closures, roadway problems from nltimes.nl. Code orange is a step lower than today’s code red, so there is some improvement. Monday should have been the first day that primary schools were allowed to re-open in the Netherlands, but the weather has definitely thrown a curveball in that regard.

Opps. Tram 16 derailed earlier this morning. Admittedly HTM (The Hague’s bus and tram provider) is still trying to ride most of their routes, with an adjusted schedule. NS, the national train service, said no trains would run today. Amsterdam’s buses and trams were running this morning but have since stopped. Amsterdam’s metro held out a bit longer, until earlier this evening, before that was stopped as well.

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Code red (Or: Brrr, cold and windy!)

Later this evening and tomorrow the Netherlands will be under a “code red” warning for Storm Darcy. Apparently the last time the entire country was under code red was February 2012, before I arrived in the Netherlands.

Dutch issue Code Red weather alert for snowdrifts, blizzard conditions from nltimes.nl. The expected snowfall itself varies anywhere from 2 to 6 inches; it really depends on who you are listening to. The wind is the real problem for traffic, since it will cause snow drifts and limited visibility. Some days it will feel like -15c to -18c (closer to 0F) next week, which is rare in this country. Some news sites are calling this a “once in ten years” event.

And of course, what you would expect to see in this situation…

Empty shelves, of course. That’s the bread area by an Albert Heijn (grocery store).

Dutch health services announce closure of all test and vaccination sites due to weather alert from nltimes.nl. Makes sense. Even the Dutch government is getting in on the action, posting a page about having “fun in the snow” in a responsible, corona proof way: Schaatsen, schaatsbanen, sneeuw en winterweer from rijksoverheid.nl in Dutch. Mainly rules about skating, snow ball fights, etc. Oh, and don’t forget to be inside by 21:00 for the curfew…

In other news: Legendary rock band Golden Earring stops after 60 years on ALS diagnosis from nltimes.nl. Golden Earring (English Wikipedia) is a Dutch rock band from The Hague, internationally known for their hit “Radar Love”, among others. Here is a YouTube link of Radar Love.

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Five Guys (Or: Time for a bit of fast food)

Marco graciously allowed me to change our plans; we picked up Five Guys for dinner tonight. We haven’t been in there a year and a half, probably… definitely not since the corona crisis started. Which is a bit strange, since it is much quieter there these days. Unfortunately for them.

That’s technically where the line would be, if there was a line. And of course there are no free shelled peanuts at the moment.

But ignoring that – woo, Five Guys! Hamburger with jalapeños, grilled onions and mustard for me, with cajun fries. This time we were smart and ordered “cajun on the side”, so we could add the spices ourselves. That meant the spice was a bit more uneven, but at least they were not completely coated in cajun spices this time.

One of the two message boards at Five Guys, a staple by all of their locations I think.

350 snow plows ready to keep Dutch roads clear over snowy weekend from nltimes.nl. Snoooowww! And cold. With lots of wind. So we’ll just stay inside all week? (Of course some Dutchies will strap on their ice skates and rush outside.)

As frost and snow looms, the Dutch draw up rules for Covid-proof skating from dutchnews.nl. See what I mean?

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