Saturday, May 31

Nice walk

I discovered this small park located between Oostduinlaan and the Wassenaarseweg (close to Shell headquarters) yesterday and found it very nice and quiet. Well maintained, clean, quiet, it offers a nice environment to go for a walk (dogs allowed in certain areas) or for a picnic.

Wednesday, May 28

Banana in a park

In the serie of realist pieces of "street" art, this banana placed in Zuiderpark.... Colorful!

Tuesday, May 27

Puzzling street scupture

I am very puzzled by this teapot hanging in the Noordpolderkade in the Laakkwartier, I cannot find it very attractive to look at, and don't think I would like to see it from my windows... I managed to find on the internet that this piece was called "ECHTELIJKE RUZIE" (Marital fight), which I reckon is pretty creative. It is designed by Jo Klingers. It represents a coffepot and a broken chair.

Monday, May 26

Fishing ropes

For some reasons, I always like the colors you can find around in the harbor, being the boats, or like here fishing ropes and nets.

Sunday, May 25

Elegant shopping in the Bonneterie

Maison de Bonneterie is an elegant store in the centre that carries exclusive men's and women's fashions and a cast of brand-name household goods and personal items. It is a multi brand fashion store with an accent on luxury and tradition. Until today, Bonneterie has remained a family business.

The main shop is located in Amsterdam. I found on a touristic Amsterdam website the history behind the name: "At its beginning in 1889, Bonneterie has been established in by a couple Joseph Cohen and Rosa Wittgenstein as shop with hosiery(mainly stockings), in the times when it must have been a crucial piece of ladies clothing. Bonneterie run personally by Rosa Wittgenstein, had an enormous success. In 1913, the present building of the Bonneterie has been built. Designed by a then known Dutch architect A.Jacot, with an interior in the style of Louis XVI, an imposing staircase and a glass roof. Soon after, the second Bonneterie shop in The Hague has been opened, again with an imitating the palace of Louvre interior".

Friday, May 23

Kids' little kitchen gardens

My 5 year-old son was allocated a little piece of common garden for 2 months to go with his class gardening once a week during school time. aren't those gardens cute? They are just so proud of bringing home their harvesting! It is just a great idea!

Thursday, May 22

Colorful flower pots

You can notice everywhere in the city that Spring is definitely here with (too) colorful flower pots. I have spotted them in different places in the city like above on Het Plein, and the same flower arrangements in front of the Kurhaus below.

Wednesday, May 21

No feet please!!!!

Do you have an idea where I found this post today, which reads: "Only wash your hands please, not your feet"....?

Tuesday, May 20

The passage

The "Passage" in the city centre (just around the corner of the Buitenhof) is the oldest shopping arcade in the city (opened in 1885), and was then fully renovated in 2007. It is designed in a neo-Renaissance style and is a unique street as it lies under a roof of glass. It is now listed as a historical monument. There are a couple of very nice shops in it (including the Apple store and the great DOK cookware one), so you have a very elegant stroll in it, especially when the weather is not so nice. Click here for a panorama of the arcade.

Monday, May 19


Kinderdijk is a great location to go to to show your friends and relatives a very typical corner of Holland. This place, located 50 kms North East of The Hague has been on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1997, when the 19 well preserved windmills built between 1738 and 1760 were recognised as being the symbol of the way The Netherlands managed their water ever since. Those mills were used to get the surrounding Alblasserwaard polder dry, as it was under sea level. The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for "Child's Dike". The Wiki entry on this explains the origin of the name as follows: "in 1421 during the Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421, the Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard polder stayed unflooded. It is said that when the terrible storm had subsided, someone went on to the dike between these two areas, to see what could be saved. He saw in the distance a wooden cradle floating. There was no hope that anything would be living in it, but when it approached, movement was seen. When the cradle came nearer, someone saw that a cat was in the cradle trying to keep it in balance by jumping back and forth so that no water could come into it. When the cradle eventually came near the dike, someone fished the cradle out and saw that in it a baby slept quiet and dry. In some of the stories the cat kept it balanced and afloat. This folktale and legend has been published as "The Cat and the Cradle" in English:.

The amazing thing is that most of the mills are still inhabited!! One of them is open to the public and you can get an idea of what it can look like to live in one of those.

Try to get there on a windy day, when the mills are working, and if possible, bring your bikes with you (at least for the kids!) as you will need to walk around to get closer to the mills.

Sunday, May 18

Two real wild Storks!

I could finally catch today a nest housing a couple of young storks, in Ottoland, a small village in a wide farmers' countryside 50kms away from the Hague. A local person told us this couple had been coming on top of this church every year; the nest is growing bigger and bigger, and will soon need some (artificial) consolidation. You can see on the photo below how big it is now.

For those who are not familiar with my previous posts on storks, this is the symbol of the Hague, and I have been trying to catch a sight of them for months, with no success so far in the city!

Saturday, May 17

Art in the streets of Scheveningen

On 31 October 1995, a foundation supported by the local council was created in Scheveningen called Straatkunst op Scheveningen withe the aim of stopping and preventing any sort of pollution of our local environment (graffiti, paint, etc...). This special panel was inaugurated in 1997 and you can find in the Neptunustraat. They have used a lot of mosaic work to complete this work, as shown on the picture below.

Thursday, May 15

Shopping tip

The actual store of Woodleaf & Furn at the Haagsche Bluf 43 is closing down at the end of June. Rush there is you want to stock on beautiful Christmas (and fantastic Halloween) decoration as they are all discounted at 50%! Their miniatures lighted houses are beautiful and are now a real bargain!

Wednesday, May 14

The wonderful Japanese garden

Don't miss the temporarily open Japanese garden in Clingendael. It can still be visited until 8th June. The garden was placed on the list of national historical monuments in 2001.
The Hague websites explains that "the Japanese Garden was created in the beginning of the 20th century by the former owner of the country estate of Clingendael, Marguérite M. Baroness van Brienen (1871-1939), also called Lady Daisy. Lady Daisy sailed off a number of times by ship to Japan and brought back to the Netherlands a number of lanterns, a water cask, sculptures, the pavilion, the little bridges and several plants. The original design with the serene pond, meandering brook and the winding pathways has remained intact all these years".

The garden is not big, but the entrance is free and if you can get before the crowds come in, you'll have a wonderful experience!

Tuesday, May 13

North Sea regatta 2008

The edition of the North Sea Regatta 2008 ended yesterday. It was very busy in Scheveningen harbor in the last 4 days as nearly 400 boats competed in 24 classes along the Scheveningen coast. There was a very nice atmosphere, also due to the beautiful weather conditions over the week-end. Ver

Monday, May 12


If sometimes you may think it's nice to live on the waterside, forget it when it is abnormally hot and sunny and when everybody in the city and around has decided to enjoy a day out on the beach.....

The worst experience was to see all the garbage left on the beach by uncivilized Dutch was hard for me to believe I was in the Netherlands. What do they think? That because the beach is cleaned every night it gives them the right to throw away cans and plastic bottles where they sit? It reminded me of El Rodadero beach in the Colombian city of Santa Marta; when I then asked locals why their beach was so dirty at the end of the day, they then answered that they were not bothered because that would give some work to all the poor people who would during the evening gather and then sell the garbage...... This is not the case in Holland, and I suggest the Council to stop cleaning the beaches for a week to see whether they would be a reaction in the papers!

Friday, May 9


Just to finish on posting on MuZee Scheveningen (see the last 2 days posts), here is a pic of the last exhibition they showed on the first floor: "Remembering is life", an art project developed for senior people when during 6 workshops senior people had to paint on textile their most vibrant memories (favorite food as a child, self portrait, favorite flower etc....).

I found it very interesting, especially the fact that you realize that kids' drawings are not far away from drawings made by senior people. What about us in between? We just do not take the time to draw!!!!!

Thursday, May 8

Still in Muzee (see yesterday's post), you'll find this strange bathing machine in use about 1830 to 1920.

The description reads:
"The bather would enter the bathing machine, undress and put on a bathing costume. A horse pulled the coach into the sea to a depth of 70cm, the bather then enjoyed a dip in the water and after bathing he re-entered the coach. Then the horse pulled hte coach back up on the beach. During the bathing there was always supervisin by a "bath man" attendant". In case of affluence, people had to get a number to get on the waiting list.

Any idea of how we will be having a bath in the sea over 150 years?

Wednesday, May 7

In the old days, ...

I was pleasantly surprised by the MuZee in Scheveningen. This small museum offers a nice picture of what the activities in this popular bath resort and fishing harbor used to be around the beginning of the last century. It is also a nice place for the kids to celebrate their birthday, as they offer some activities like looking for shells (the museum owns a big collection of shells from around the world), as well as climbing to the top of the Scheveningen lighthouse.

If you wonder what those wooden picks on the pic above are for, then think of smoked eels. The fishes were hung on the stick before being smoked. If you want to see how they used to do it, then you must pay a visit to the harbor next 7th June on "Vlaggetjesdag" or the day celebrating the new haring season.

Tuesday, May 6

The Hague, cultural 2018 (maybe)

This was my intended post for the month theme on "Numbers".

The Hague has set its sights on becoming a European Capital of Culture for ...... 2018 with a new International Dance and Music Centre on the Spuiplein. The Netherlands and Malta will each have a turn in 2018 to supply a European Capital of Culture, which shows off the richness of European culture. Dutch cities wishing to make a bid for the title have to submit their plans to the national government by October 2012. If you want to know what it means for a city to be a European Capital of Culture, then click here. In 2009, Vilnius is the capital city.

Monday, May 5

Student house

This is one of the main student houses in the Hague around the Haagse Hogeschool (The Hague Highschool), a tower with approximately 1100 student flats, managed by the Duwo organisation. I have not spotted many round buildings in the city, apart from that one.

There is a sharp shortage of student housing in the city, and there is at the moment a real boom in the design and building of new facilities for them.

Sunday, May 4

the "Peperbus"

When I saw this strange column I immediately thought of the Morris columns in Paris, those 4m2 cylindrical outdoor sidewalk structures with a characteristic style that are used for advertising and other purposes.

It is in fact an old electrical transformer column, the type of which is not in use anymore for more than 20 years. This one was re-designed as a piece of art by Griffinkommer. Behind, a modern office building.

Saturday, May 3

Back from Zeeland

Zeeland ("sea and land") is one of the 12 provinces of The Netherlands, and consists of islands. It is only one hour drive from The Hague and is a popular holiday destination. You can enjoy there very nice sand beaches, and mussels and oysters, the local specialty.

The region has a very rich history in the 16th and 17th century due to influent trade, hence beautiful town and villages like Middleburg, Veere and Zierikzee are worth a visit.

It is also known as being the symbol of flood fighting with the Deltaworks, since the disaster of the North sea flood in 1953 when nearly 2000 died in one night.