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

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.

Snow in The Hague

Against all odds, it finally snowed in The Hague this weekend! This was quite an unexpected treat, as it’s already February, and there hadn’t been much snow in recent months. If it did snow, it melted too quickly to be enjoyed. So when it did snow this past Saturday, I – along with many other city dwellers – took this opportunity to enjoy the unexpected winter wonderland that our city turned into!

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The Hague doesn’t usually get much snow, as it’s too close to the sea and never truly gets cold enough for snow to remain on the ground. If anything, residents of The Hague will get icy sleet, accompanied by enough blustering winds and grey skies to keep us from enjoying the winter season much.

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As someone who comes from hot temperatures and island life, snow remains a wondrous thing to be seen. I was incredibly excited (as seen below), as this was the first time I could actually touch snow without it melting away!

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Have a wonderful week!

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.