Hello Armchair Travellers of Bloglandia!

Welcome back to another installment of the Dutch Diaries, which makes it sound far more introspective and mysterious than it really is.

Basically, I’m just showing off my vacation pics.

As with last time, we’re heading out on another day trip from the delightful land of Delft…and yes, I will be getting to that marvelous, and surprisingly addictive, town very soon.

Now, if you missed Part One of the Dutch Diaries, you can check out some big organs, big dunes, and a big (but fun) tourist trap HERE. And if you missed Part Two, want to see some funky architecture, and if you’re disappointed at the lack of windmills in Part Three, you better stop by HERE.

Otherwise, let’s jump on the tram and clatter our way to The Hague (that’s Den Haag to all the cool kids out there).

The Hague Travel Tip (if coming from Delft:

If you pop into the Delft Tourist Office, you can get a day pass for ANYWHERE the tram goes for only about $7USD (Sept 2022 price). It’s super handy and a damn good deal. You can get the pass anytime you like (anytime before you get on the tram, that is), then just validate it on the tram on the day your journey.

Day Trip #2: A Long Day Out

As I mentioned last time, we did a few day trips from Delft, but not as many as we’d planned on doing because Delft proved to be way more full of stuff to do than we expected.

However, with Delft being only a few kilometers away from The Hague, it’s hard to not pop on over for a bit. Or an entire day, as our excursion turned out to be.

Mr Husband and I had been to The Hague when we visited the Netherlands in 2012, but we really only zipped into town to check out the painting The Girl with the Pearl Earring which was on temporary display in a very tiny venue while the painting’s real home (The Mauritius) was getting a makeover. Oh, and we also stopped at a history museum because I really had to pee and we had free admission.

Anyway, this time around we had the whole day and a hefty list of sites to check out.

Stop #1: Escher in Het Palais

This was on Mr Husband’s wishlist of things to see, and it was one of those sights I didn’t have much interest in going to, but then ended up loving it.

Escher in Het Palais is exactly what you might guess, even if you can’t read Dutch: MC Escher’s works inside a palace.

Escher in het palais

After getting a little lost, we finally found our way to the museum…which wasn’t open yet. Guess we should have lingered a little longer over breakfast.

In addition to featuring the usual funky drawings and prints you might expect from Escher, the museum also had some of his earlier works. I honestly had no idea Escher could draw anything realistic, so these were especially cool to see.

But what was also interesting (Mr Husband claimed it was more interesting) was the building itself.

You know how you go into a museum that’s been put into some old, fancy building (like the Louvre) but yet there’s not one iota of info about the building itself, what the rooms were formerly used for, or what historic events might have taken place in them?

I find that mind-bogglingly annoying.

Not with Escher in het Palais. Each room details what the room had once been, who hung out there, and all sorts of tidbits about palace life.

Escher in het palais
In case you need remodeling ideas….

Also, and I really got hooked on these, each room has a chandelier designed by Dutch sculptor Hans van Bentem. 

You’ve got umbrellas, spiders, and this whale-dolphin thing…

Escher in het palais chandelier

There’s a bird….

Escher in het palais chandelier

And, quite possibly the best of all, this skull and bones….

Escher in het palais chandelier

After spending a fair amount of time in the gift shop, it was time to head back out into the real world.

Stop # 2: An Unplanned Excursion

When we told our B&B host we were going to spend the day in The Hague, she suggested we not miss the current king’s palace (Noordeinde Palace) and to take a stroll through the gardens behind the palace.

Which meant getting a little lost again.

That is to say, we found the palace easily enough, but trying to find the garden’s entrance? Well, they don’t exactly let us commoners in the palace’s front door to pass through to the back door and into the garden.

But after much wandering, we did finally find the garden gates and sauntered along the paths.

Sorry, there’s no pictures, because…

The gardens were nice enough, quiet in the hubbub of the city and a good spot for a snack, but I imagine they’d look a little better in spring, rather than late fall when nothing’s in bloom.

Stop #3: And Again, We Do More Walking Than Intended

Our next stop was to get some pictures of quite possibly the most fanciful government building in the world: the Binnenhof.

Den Haag binnenhof

Even though it looks like a palace, this is the seat of the Dutch government. And if I was going to have a job pushing bureaucratic papers around all day, I think showing up to work here might take a little sting out of being a civil servant.

You can tour the Binnenhof, which I would have liked to do, but I think we missed the day’s only English-speaking tour and my feet were killing me by the time we found the place.

Don’t get me wrong. You can’t miss this building. The trouble was….finding the inner courtyard because there was construction going on, blocking off the easiest route.

Den Haag binnenhof

So we walked around almost the entire building, wondered if we’d gone too far, turned around and walked back, and then found the inner courtyard…which was only a few meters from where we’d turned around at. 

But hey, we were burning off breakfast! Ugh.

Stop #4: Peace, My Brother

One place I did not want to miss, and that we hadn’t made it to on our previous trip, was the Peace Palace. This isn’t in the heart of The Hague, but it’s only a short tram ride away.

So, with our day passes in hand, it was back on the tram…and much to my feet’s delight, there were seats available.

Despite the name, this isn’t where royal hippies sit around drum circles (golden, jewel-encrusted drums, of course).

This is where international law cases dealing mainly with human rights, border disputes, and the like are heard.

peace palace

It was built in the early 1900s, primarily with money donated by Andrew Carnegie, and while I have my doubts about humanity, it does give a little spark of hope that we still try to solve some of our problems peacefully.

Like the Binnenhof, you can tour the Peace Palace, but only if there’s not any cases being heard on the day you want to visit. However, they do have a nice visitor’s center…with, yes, a gift shop.

Stop #5: How’s That Again?

Our next, and final goal of the day was to take the tram all the way to the beach of Scheveningen.

And no, my keyboard didn’t suddenly vomit letters.

Scheveningen

The beach town’s name is kind of sort of pronounced like “skuh-nay-vuh-ghin” but, believe me, you’re not going to pull it off.

In fact, the word is so hard to pronounce, that the Dutch used to weed out German bad guys in World War II by making them pronounce the word. And if you’ve seen the complexity of German words that Germans can rattle off without a hitch, you’ll understand just how hard this place is to pronounce. We opted to just say “the beach” whenever talking about going there.

Anyway, history and diction lessons aside, Scheveningen is a BIG resort town with a BIG boardwalk, loads of hotels, loads of overpriced beachside restaurants, and a pier with a BIG Ferris wheel (which was featured in an episode of the latest season of Van Der Valk, by the way).

Scheveningen

Oh, and there’s also wind. A lot of wind. I hate wind. Really hate wind. I can fully understand why this guy is hiding his head in a hole.

Scheveningen

Needless to say, I was glad to call it a day and get back into the relative comfort of the tram and back to our cozy B&B in Delft.

And next time, you’re going to see exactly why that B&B was so cozy and welcoming and why we barely wanted to leave the place!

Type at you soon!

***

Be sure to introduce yourself to Mrs Morris & Mort in my FREE short story Mrs Morris Meets Death

 

Note: Some links above are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, i get a teeny tiny commission to keep this site running, but it costs you NOTHING extra. What a deal, right?

2 thoughts on “The Dutch Diaries, Part Three: What!? No Windmills!?

    1. There was one I really liked and wanted to get a postcard of it, but no postcards of it…and I forgot to take a picture of it ☹️🤨 Guess I’ll have to go back and get that photo!

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