After all our adventures in the snow in the Odenwald and around, we visited our family in the Netherlands. We had planned to do quite a lot, we expected it to be tiresome, but then, doing nothing leads to nothing :)
A well known view when going ‘home’: the Prins Claus Plein (at least, for me, not for Jr :)
But this also is new everytime for me; Den Haag with the skyscrapers
As we now are officially ‘tourists’ in The Hague, we decided to take a trip through the centre, visiting some old and well known buildings. We started off near the Buitenhof, at the place called Plaats (which means ‘place’, the square).
The Gevangenpoort is a former gate and medieval prison near the Buitenhof, it is a museum which shows all kinds of ways to torture people (which explain where old dutch sayings come from).
Outside, a stature of Johan de Witt, pointing at the location where he and his brother Cornelis got killed in 1672.
The view over the Buitenhof; with the buildings towards the Binnenhof located on the right. The podium for the Old/New years’ eve is already built up, fireworks are set as well on the Hofvijver.
Ofcourse the first start is a bunch of fresh salty raw herring.
The Binnenhof with the view towards the Ridderzaal (= a great hall, literally Knight’s Hall) . Built early 1230’s, The Binnenhof is the oldest House of Parliament in the world still in use. It’s here that on Prinsjesdag, on the 3rd Tuesday of September, the Queen or King of the Netherlands will hold their Troonrede.
Next stop: Passage. A very old covered shopping street, lovely to view with all the ornaments.
To be followed up by a next ancient building: Maison de Bonneterie. Unfortunately we came too late, the real Maison de Bonneterie shop had gone, but the building will still be there, soon hosting another H&M. It’s at this exact place I bumped into one of the 3 dutch princes quite some years ago; which I quickly discovered when the men with sunglasses and suits came close quick :)
Almost similar to the top in the Passage, the top of the Maison de Bonneterie shows a lovely glass circle.
Just a bit further: Restaurant ‘t Goude Hooft – my “every Friday evening” place which I remember as a combination of eating warm applepie with cream, chocolate and playing piano. It was located at a different location back then, at the other side of Maison de Bonneterie, but this building just suits it so much better.
The Berlage Building, hosting an office shop also called Berlage is quite an outstanding and significant building.
The Grote Kerk in The Hague as a direct neighbour to the Berlage Building.
We then visited another ancient building; De Bijenkorf (“the Beehive”). Also here a beautiful detail in the wooden stairs and the glass-in-leaded windows, built in 1926.
Famous are, (or were?), the typical advertisements during the times around Sinterklaas, beautifully decorated windows with so much to see for little kids :)
After we visited a friend and brought some dutch Oliebollen, we returned to the centre of The Hague and had this view from the Prinsegracht towards De Grote Marktstraat.
Back at the Buitenhof, something stunning awaited us: The statue of King Willam II was lit in sunlight, whereas everything else was still dark.
We continued our long trip via the Lange Voorhout Palace, or the former Queens Palace, currently hosting the Escher Museum
And right next to it, at the left side, Hotel Des Indes
Later that evening we returned to the Hofvijver to view the show that they’ve been preparing all day, and which we could hear throughout our trip through The Hague Centre that afternoon.
Ofcourse it doesn’t happen often that you get to speak with the Major of The Hague, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, but well, he happens to know me since I was a little girl :) Strange if he knows you but you don’t know him, except from television and radio.
The strange differences between old and new buildings around the Hofvijver.
So the Staatsloterij Oudejaarsfeest 2014 started and we were presented with a lot of light and music, played live in front of us
And then, it all of a sudden was close to 00:00:00 – 01.01.2015 !
And the fireworks bursted out, in front of us and later even above us! We celebrated our way home with firing off more fireworks and waking up the neighbours. Which was ofcourse fun to do
.. Until the “day after”, only 6 hours later we had to get out to go to our next event: The Unox Nieuwjaarsduik 2015 in Scheveningen.
But even that we coped well, despite it was quite cold:
* Sand temperature: 4 degrees
* Sea temperature: 6 degrees
* Windchill temperature: -2 degrees
So yes, it was almost warm when running into the sea. Running in wasn’t a problem, especially Jr. was really fast and ran in as one of the first. However, the trying to get out, being overwhelmed by 9.998 others who are trying to get in was quite difficult :)
But, for the EU 3,- subscription money, we got a bag with a little pennon that we participated, a can of lovely Unox Erwtensoep, also called snert, the famous Unox orange hat (it glows in the dark, I tell you!) and a little cup of vaseline, to get the water off quickly. And, besides all, a lot of fun – especially if 9.998 others are wearing orange hats and 2 wear something different ;) Weltmeister, jaja, it still seems to be a hot topic in the Netherlands ;)
2 days later, after having recovered from most of the events, including a lovely meal at a Japanese restaurant, we went out for Snowworld in Zoetermeer and after having gotten some more dutch kroketten Jr. went out on the slopes on his snowboard. But, he was honest, he likes it more down south, on an hour driving from us, in the Schwarzwald :)
You can’t have it all, but you can have a lot, as long as you do your best to achieve it :) And we did our best and survived! :)