Fireworks Explosion

It has been far too long since I last blogged, and I’ve really missed it! The last couple of months have been a real turning point in my life – I officially graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Law, and started an amazing new job! Life has changed a lot and gotten a lot busier since two months ago, but I’m very glad to have been given a wonderful opportunity to stay in The Netherlands and continue to live here and enjoy this beautiful country.

To kickstart my return to regular blogging of my adventures here, I thought I would share a lovely throwback to mid-August, when the International Fireworks Festival was held at Scheveningen, our favourite beach in The Hague. This festival brings together various countries to compete with their best fireworks displays, and lasts for a couple of weekends every year. I was able to visit the displays of China against France, and what a beautiful, glowing, explosive experience that was on a warm summer evening!

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Have a wonderful week everyone!

Chinese New Year

The Hague city centre took on a whole new personality this past Saturday, with the Chinese New Year being celebrated right in the heart of China Town. Hundreds of people were able to celebrate and take part in the festivities, peruse street stalls filled with food and clothing and masks, and watch dragon dances and firecrackers being lit in the middle of the road.

The streets were chaotic, to say the least, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing dragon dances for the first time. Capturing them in a photograph was extremely difficult, given the crowds, but the atmosphere was electric with the brightly coloured dragons and the hammering of the drums and cymbals.

The centre of China Town was fully repurposed to make way for the parade of dragon dancers, accompanied by their drums and firecrackers. Some of the main roads were transformed into piles of firecracker paper, with the sound of them being heard every quarter of an hour.

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The main street in China Town covered in smoke after a round of firecrackers.

Experiencing a Night of Museums

This Saturday, I finally got to attend one of the best cultural events that takes place in The Hague annually – Museumnacht! This is a night which opens up over 40 cultural places of interest in the city, ranging from art galleries to film houses and historical museums. Not only can you experience art, architecture and history until the early morning, but each place had special surprises for the night – from ice cream at the Mauritshuis to a Cirque du Soleil theme at the Escher Museum!

I had never properly been to a museum in this city before Saturday (shock horror), so I visited three of the most popular ones in one go!

1) Museum de Gevangenpoort (‘Prison Gate Museum’)

Even though this was the smallest museum of the three I visited, it was definitely the most fun! We were taken on a short tour of the torture room and prison rooms, and given a lot of interesting history about some people who were held there. There was even a very realistic depiction of a man that had been formerly imprisoned in one of the prison rooms! For each room we visited, we were asked a question to test our knowledge – if we got it right, we got a chocolate coin! It was a great start to the night.

2) Het Mauritshuis

Next stop was the very famous Mauritshuis! The building and architecture of the museum itself was exquisite, as was the art inside. I was able to see well-known pieces such as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Vermeer and ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp’ by Rembrandt, and so many other beautiful paintings and sculptures. There was also a special British Royal Collection featuring 22 Dutch genre paintings. This museum was definitely a wonderful visit, made even better by free ice-cream at the end!

3) Escher in Het Paleis

Finally, I visited the stunning Escher museum. This was a building I had been passing by for the past few years I have been in The Hague, and the museum was even more beautiful on the inside – perhaps because it is a winter palace! The museum had been transformed into a circus theme on the night, which went perfectly with Escher’s amazing optical illusionary art and the Halloween festivities. Aside from Escher’s creations, the main highlight for me were the chandelier sculptures – they were exquisite! A perfect end to a night of culture.

Food Truck Festival Trek

This weekend, me and my friends paid a visit to the best food truck festival in The Hague, held in Westbroekpark! Held in one of the most beautiful parks in The Hague, right at the end of this sunny summer, some of the best food trucks gathered over a four-day period to offer food from all over the world, fresh drinks, and live music. The weather was warm, with no rain in sight for once, and the festival was – unsurprisingly – very popular!

It was my dear friend Silvia’s, and her twin sister Elena’s, birthdays on Friday, so we decided to visit this festival to celebrate. With some of my closest friends together, we went around the festival and enjoyed the ambience and how beautiful some of the trucks were. Very hipster, very on trend. There was even a little merry-go-round and theatre for kids!

Out of all the endless possibilities available, we all got a mixture of food. Most of the girls had very fancy gourmet burgers, with lobster or pulled pork. There were some amazing hand-cut fries available as well, which I had to try. As dessert, I got my favourite from last year’s festival – a ‘brownie special’, with a warm, fudgy brownie, ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge sauce! I just couldn’t help myself.

The best part of the festival was definitely the atmosphere at night. The air was warm, the music loud, and there were beautiful lights everywhere. We had a wonderful time at a great location, and it was a lovely way to celebrate a birthday outside!