Dusk in Amsterdam

It’s a strange feeling to be done with university, and not have to worry about assignments and exams anymore. This week, I went to Amsterdam for dinner with some friends, and even though the afternoon was very cloudy and grey, when the sun started to set, the skies cleared up and led to some beautiful dusk photos of Amsterdam’s stunning bridges and canals.

Capturing these photos while enjoying time with my friends will always represent a special time for me – at the end of my degree, it is a time of change for me, where I am graduating and saying goodbye to a lot of special people as everyone returns home or travels elsewhere in the world. It is the end of one phase, but the beginning of the next part of my life, though I’m not sure what it might bring just yet for all of us!

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In response to this week’s Photo Challenge: Delta.

Have a wonderful week!

The Japanese Garden

After more than a month, I’m back to blogging – finally! Finishing my thesis over the last month was a tough process, but it’s finally done and I’m very happy to be back to going out and exploring this beautiful country during these warm months.

During a little thesis break last month, me and some friends went to visit the beautiful ‘Japanse Tuin’ (Japanese Garden), located in the heart of Clingendael. This beautiful little paradise is only open for eight weeks every year from April to June, and again during the autumn period for a few days in October. The plants and flowers in the garden are very rare and fragile, which is why it has to be closed off to the public for the rest of the year.

The garden is stunning during the spring opening, with all the spring blooms out in full force. It was perfect for me to take some great focus shots of all sorts of beautiful flowers and winding paths inside the garden. We visited on a warm but cloudy day, which finally ended up with a full storm breaking loose right in the middle of our visit. Despite the rain, looking out at the garden from our little shelter under the small temple structure in the garden was breathtaking.

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The above picture shows the start of a slight drizzle, but the next one shows the scene about a minute later – in the middle of the heaviest rain shower in weeks!

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I visited the garden once more on its closing day, with the hope of getting some more pictures in a sunnier environment. However, despite the lovely sun shining that day, the garden had already lost most of its best blooms. It was still very beautiful and serene, especially with less people visiting, but the garden is definitely best visited during its flowering season in May.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Visiting Rotterdam

On King’s Day last week, I paid a short visit to the nearby city of Rotterdam while the sun was shining. It had been a while since I’d visited another city, and the wanderlust impulse was calling. Since it had been raining just that morning, the clouds and sky over this big and very commercial city were quite beautiful.

Rotterdam is not usually one of my go-to spots, as it is quite lacking in the ‘nature’ department. However, it is a great city for shopping, eating, and walking around. The shopping areas of the city are far larger than in The Hague, and filled with a lot more boutique stores, in addition to the more famous fashion chains.

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A little further away from the city centre is the well-known ‘Erasmusbrug’, or Erasmus Bridge, which connects the north and south parts of the city together. A towering construction, it has quite the view over the port city of Rotterdam. These are some photos I took around this time last year, with slightly greyer skies.

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Springtime Flowers

Happy Earth Day!

With the last couple of weeks being hectic, and with the next few months likely to be even busier, it’s been hard to get outside and appreciate the outdoors and take photographs much. However, a couple of weeks ago, I got the opportunity to take some beautiful shots of budding springtime flowers in Lange Voorhout, near the centre of The Hague. These budding flowers were gorgeous to see with the setting sun, and stretched for several metres along a long path. It was very much like walking down an aisle of flowers!

I hope to get a chance to go walking again soon, and take some more photos once the weather stops switching to cold and rainy. April is always an ‘off’ month here, with a very thin line existing between winter temperatures and summer sun!

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Sunny Scheveningen

Studying for exams at this time of the year has me longing for the beach. At the end of March, a beautifully sunny day allowed me and some friends to visit Scheveningen, The Hague’s busiest beach, for a food festival and market. Though it was still slightly windy, the blue sky and warm sun made up for the months of grey and cold we had all been feeling a little too keenly!

Visiting Scheveningen always gives me a warm feeling of security – that winter is finally behind us, and summer is slowly making its way in. This beach has some wonderful, happy memories that I’ve collected over the past four years, and will forever be somewhere I can recall fondly as ‘home’ for a period of my life.

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The beautiful coast

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On top of ‘De Pier’

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The skyline from De Pier

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Brilliantly blue summer skies

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Scheveningen’s Ferris Wheel

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The Kurhaus

Sunshine Strolls

Last week, I went on a wonderful, long walk through Amsterdam on a warm, cloudless day, a rarity here in these cold, rainy months! Walking all the way from one train station to another, I could enjoy the hot sunshine to its full benefit and discover some new canals and streets in Amsterdam that I had never seen before.

Walking from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Amsterdam Centraal was quite a feat, covering several kilometres, made especially harder when having to manoeuvre through the many canals in the centre of Amsterdam. It definitely paid off though! We passed a beautiful park called ‘Westerpark’ at the start of the walk, filled with birds, fountains, and blooming flowers.

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The sunshine made for some beautiful photographs of the canals, standing atop the many bridges connecting the streets together.

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A view from atop a bridge over a picturesque canal

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A side view of one of the many canals in Amsterdam

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Two pigeons sunbathing

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One of Amsterdam’s many beautiful canals

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Another canal in the centre of Amsterdam

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In Dam Square

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Close to the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam

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A beautiful view next to Amsterdam Centraal Station

Have a wonderful week!

Discovering Delft

A visit to Delft on a grey and rainy day last week had me wishing for spring to arrive even more than usual. Delft is a stunningly beautiful little city, just ten minutes away from The Hague by train. Filled with dozens of picturesque canals, quaint stores and lots of royal history, it’s always a fun visit, even on a grey day.

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The City Hall

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Nieuwe Kerk (‘New Church’)

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The blue heart of Delft, representing Delft’s expertise in fine blue china

Since it was quite rainy outside, I decided to venture into the Nieuwe Kerk to see the resting place of the royal family and some stunning stained glass windows. Unfortunately, since the church is under construction, I wasn’t able to visit the tower, but will definitely be coming back next month to try again!

Spring is starting to appear finally in The Hague, so I can’t wait to start exploring in the warmer weather and enjoy the flowers and leaves starting to spring up all over town.

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One of the many Delft canals, showing the way to the leaning tower of the Oude Kerk ‘Old Church’

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One of the many architecturally stunning old buildings to be seen in Delft