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 Рeven 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.

IMG_1638IMG_1639IMG_1643IMG_1645IMG_1649IMG_1650IMG_1656IMG_1659IMG_1661IMG_1662

Have a wonderful week!

 

Sunset at the Beach

The winter months are starting to set in here in The Netherlands, and you can feel the bite of the wind in the mornings and evenings a lot more. On the plus side, the Christmas lights and decorations are being set up all over the city!

With the start of the winter season, I’ve been missing the beautiful beach a lot, especially the summer sunsets. These photos were taken just a couple of months ago, in a completely different season. Now the same beach has been transformed into a grey and freezing landscape, far too windy to visit except for the shortest walk.

IMG_9300IMG_9343IMG_9391IMG_9401IMG_9403IMG_9404IMG_9470

I’ve been in wonder of shells since I was a little girl and would visit the beach in Sri Lanka; that clearly still hasn’t changed! I love the beautiful shells you can always find on the quiet beaches here, no matter which season.

Have a wonderful week!

Streets of Roma

After successfully finishing my final year at university a few weeks ago, I finally visited one of my dream locations – Italy! I’d been wanting to visit since as long as I can remember, and the country was everything I had imagined – and so much more. I spent the last week with some wonderful ladies, and had an amazing time exploring three very different areas of the country – the mountains neighbouring a little village, the seaside town of Pescara, and – most importantly – Rome!

I was at a loss on where to even start blogging about this trip, considering the amazing locations I was lucky enough to see and the hundreds of photos taken. But I decided to start with Rome, the most beautiful capital city I have ever seen. Rome itself could take up a hundred different posts, but I thought to share some gorgeous photos of the streets and some of my favourite looks at the city, aside from the magnificent sights of the Colosseum, the Vatican, and so on.

IMG_7448IMG_7482IMG_7483IMG_7507IMG_7478IMG_7444IMG_7474IMG_7475IMG_7868IMG_7872IMG_7896Visiting this city brought me a wonderful sense of satisfaction – I still can’t quite believe I spent two wonderful days there. The streets, the skies, the warmth, and the food culminated in an experience right out of a dream. I can’t wait to go back and see it again, and explore Roma’s beautiful hidden areas which remain unseen.

Have a wonderful week!

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!

IMG_9216IMG_9214IMG_9218IMG_9220IMG_9228IMG_9231IMG_9236IMG_9238IMG_9241IMG_9243

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.

IMG_8916IMG_8918IMG_8940IMG_8949IMG_8950IMG_8961IMG_8989IMG_8988IMG_8966

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!

IMG_8971

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!

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!

IMG_8597IMG_8598IMG_8599IMG_8608IMG_8609IMG_8592

 

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.

IMG_8771

The beautiful coast

IMG_8772

On top of ‘De Pier’

IMG_8774

The skyline from De Pier

IMG_8777

Brilliantly blue summer skies

IMG_8778

Scheveningen’s Ferris Wheel

IMG_8789

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.

IMG_8634IMG_8635

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

IMG_8679

A view from atop a bridge over a picturesque canal

IMG_8663

A side view of one of the many canals in Amsterdam

IMG_8654

Two pigeons sunbathing

IMG_8673

One of Amsterdam’s many beautiful canals

IMG_8708

Another canal in the centre of Amsterdam

IMG_8727

In Dam Square

IMG_8692

Close to the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam

IMG_8743

A beautiful view next to Amsterdam Centraal Station

Have a wonderful week!

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!

img_8312

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.

img_8301img_8304img_8297img_8314

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!

img-20170211-wa0008

Have a wonderful week!

Winter Walks

It’s the middle of winter here in The Hague, and while there hasn’t been much snow, it has been quite chilly and icy on the streets. Winter weather can be painful – especially when it gives you a cold – but when the sun is shining outside, walking around the city can be just as pleasant as it is during the summer.

Stepping outside this past weekend was one of those lucky pleasant days – the sun was shining, there was an antique and books market in the centre, and plenty of people walking around taking advantage of the weather. Europeans always know how to appreciate good weather!

I went walking around ‘Het Binnenhof’, or the Inner Court, the centre for Dutch politics. The Dutch parliament meets here, and the buildings also house the office of the Prime Minister and the House of Representatives. This area is a gorgeous, peaceful location – the courtyard is a massive open space for the public to walk through, and just outside the walls of the courtyard lies several restaurants and the shopping centre on one side, and the famous Mauritshuis museum on the other side.

img_8042img_8061img_8069img_8074

The buildings both inside and outside this courtyard always give me a very Hogwarts impression, with the tall towers, sloped roofs, and bricked walls.

img_8101img_8103img_8110

Just outside the Binnenhof lies the Hofvijver, a lake nestled among some of the most famous buildings of The Hague. The Hofvijver and its surroundings make for some beautiful pictures, no matter the season or time of day. On this walk, I found some unexpected mushrooms growing on a tree, a graceful addition to the scenery.

Have a lovely week!