Leiden in January

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted some photos of my travels in the Netherlands! A good way to get back into it with the start of the new year.

This month, I took a day trip to Leiden to visit the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden). Aside from visiting this very interesting museum, I also had a customary walk around the city. The day was extremely chilly, but the sun shone bright and the skies were a clear blue – something to be happy about here in the winter! I love the cobblestone sidewalks and the little canals in Leiden – definitely a beautiful city to visit.

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Here’s to the start of a new year! 🙂

The Roadless Village

A few weekends ago, I visited the charming little village of Giethoorn, otherwise better known as the ‘Venice’ of Holland. This village was about 3 hours away from The Hague by train and bus, which was quite a journey to make, but was definitely worth it. It was such a picturesque scene, with the entire village made up of canals and the houses sitting just next to them.

We took a canal trip around the village, which is the nicest thing to do when the weather is colder/windier as it was that day, but I definitely want to return in the summer and take a boat which you can drive yourself.

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I definitely see why Giethoorn is such a popular place for tourists; despite its small size, it was really beautiful and a perfect way to see how the canals work in an area outside of Amsterdam.

Have a wonderful Easter!

Last Winter Walks

Despite a little less blogging than I’d hoped for so far, photography has definitely not taken a back seat in my life this year! Last weekend, I took a lovely winter walk in Westbroekpark, a park closer to the beach in The Hague. Despite the very chilly air, I could smell spring right around the corner. The sunshine is starting to become a more regular feature, there’s less rain and gloom, and the hours of the day are lengthening!

This park is such a quiet, peaceful park right in the middle of the beautiful suburbs leading up to Scheveningen (the beach). Though it’s not incredibly large, it’s significantly ‘hillier’ than the other parks I’ve visited in the city, which makes for some good walking with a partner or friend. I enjoyed having a coffee, strolling through the many trails lined with trees, and seeing the little signs of spring showing through.

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Have a wonderful week everyone!

Snowy Reflections

Happy New Year to everyone! Hope it will be a year filled with success, happiness and love!

One of my goals this year is to get back into blogging and photographing more regularly, and organising my time better to incorporate this into my life. After being busy with starting a new job and coping with the new routines in my life, it’s time to start fresh and make time for writing and taking photographs, something I love doing.

To recap one of my favourite moments from last month, there was a wonderful December day where it snowed copiously over here in the Netherlands. It was simply magical and really set the country into a winter mood, even though it totally messed with the public transport system. Unfortunately, it didn’t snow on Christmas Day again, but experiencing actual heavy snowfall for the first time (without it disappearing overnight!) was amazing.

I took the time to take a few photos to add to my memories of The Hague, which looked absolutely beautiful covered in snow – even though it was freezing cold! They turned out to be some of my favorite photos from this year, and captured a very special memory for me.

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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

The Hague By Night

The Hague is a stunning city by night, with a thousand beautiful lights and illuminated buildings. Walking around by ‘Het Plein’ or near the Parliament buildings provides for a wonderful view, no matter the season or weather. On a blustering cold and windy night, a walk through the city centre led to some wonderful photos.

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Looking up at the huge Mondriaan mural on the outside of the City Hall (‘Stadhuis’).

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The beautiful twinkling lights lining the outskirts of a square in the city. This area is known as ‘Het Plein’ in The Hague, and is a wonderful area surrounded by historic buildings, museums and a number of great restaurants and bars.

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Despite the intense wind, this was a lovely road taken through the city, especially to look at it from a different angle. Seeing The Hague by night never fails to amaze me – it is so beautiful in its own way.

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.