The World is a Book

Writing about: Family Travel, kids, places, food…

Category: The Netherlands (page 2 of 2)

Delft

We spent a lovely day in Delft which is pretty close to The Hague and virtually connected. The trams run there so we don’t even need to get on a train and we can use our regular chipkaart for traveling. I think normally it will take about half an hour as we need to go into central area by bus and then change to the tram. We are getting faster and comfortable about which bus or tram goes where but still learning.

Delft town square

Anyway apart from the construction around the main station (everywhere we have been so far in the Netherlands has construction at the main train stations), Delft was lovely and quintessential Holland. Small streets along canals with lovely tall, row houses and ducks swimming by. We followed the spires of the churches and went to the main square as it was market day and so filled with stalls sandwiched between Nieuwe Kerk (new church 1381-1496) and city hall (built between 1300-1600).

old church from new church

We went into New Church which is the main burial place for the royal family and has the tomb of the William the Silent (founder of the country). The Littles were very taken with the dog at his feet – in marble – that supposedly loved him so much it stopped eating after he was assassinated. Max read about the rather gruesome death of William’s assassin (flesh torn off and disemboweled kind of thing) and was quite intrigued. I think they are becoming more interested in history!

delft new church

Then we climbed the tower which has 375 steps even smaller and more winding than Notre Dame. It is the second highest in The Netherlands. Poor Max was not happy but he made it. The views were amazing.

view from new church tower

Inside the church they were setting up for an evening concert and one of the organizers invited us to sit and watch the rehearsal. A famous Dutch pianist was playing with a small group of musicians and it was lovely. Amazing music and the acoustics were incredible. We were lucky to get this free show as the evening’s performance was sold out and looked pricey!

The market was neat and had good prices on fruits and vegetables. We were not prepared for shopping really but it spurred us on to find closer markets or to head back there with our snazzy wheelie cart and load up.

We ate a lovely old restaurant next to the city hall. Salads and sandwiches but notched up a bit (duck breast etc.). It was in a beautiful building and the back wall was from 1300s but the main part was much newer and “only” from the 1600s.

Delft market

I did not purchase any Delft pottery on this trip but will probably have to get a piece or two. I actually saw neat things in the antiques stalls in the market that I will explore more. Anyway Delft is lovely and will be a regular place to go to I think.

Delft

Heat Wave in The Hague

We have spent the last few days in a relative heat wave here. It’s been in the high 70s, sunny and dry. Over this weekend the beaches have been packed and it was fun watching hundreds of families on bicycles coming into the area. Five minutes walk around the corner is one entrance to the beach and the bikes pile up there. We also have a little food truck with French fries and ice creams etc. (Max and I love the white chocolate Magnum bars). Then across the dunes and on the beach are restaurants dotted around. They have outside seating with glassed in booths and some have low seating with big squishy pillows. All have children’s play equipment in front and trampolines and slides etc.

in the hague

We went out to watch the sunset on Saturday evening and it finally did around 9:45 pm. There were still lots of families sitting out but younger people came in and live music, disco balls, and dance floors started up. It looked fun although how some of the girls staggered across the sand in hugely high heels was surprising!

The heat is supposed to break this week and we are back to high 50s, low 60s. That will be a bit better for exploring as the buses and trains are not air conditioned and were unpleasant. We were gasping and dripping after a one hour train journey back from Amsterdam – the glass compartments with no air flow were very unpleasant. Still the journeys are short enough here.

Den Haag/The Hague

The house we are staying in for three months is lovely. We are in a suburb one street away from the dunes and beach and all the houses around us have lovely little gardens and the streets are treed and quiet. It’s amazing how much good use the people put their small gardens to use. Eating areas, play areas and gardens are carefully tucked in and highly manicured and neat. Our house is the top two floors with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath rooms and huge windows so the place is full of light and air. We have a balcony and the entire wall next to it is a window and can slide open. I think at night we can hear the ocean across the dunes – a dull roar.

dunes

The bus stops about 3 streets away and the tram is near the little shopping area about 6 streets (15 minute walk) away. There is an Aldi and Albert Hein grocery stores plus lots of other specialty shops including a fish shop that has raw and cooked fish relatively cheap – yum.

beach restaurants

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