The Hague

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

At 9 a.m. the bus pulled up to the dock, we identified our luggage to be loaded on the bus,

Our hotel

Our hotel

eight couples boarded the bus to drive us to our next adventure, The Hague. Forty-five minutes later we arrived at our hotel, the Grand Hotel Amrath Kurhaus. We were not in The Hague, but in a seaside resort of Scheveningen. Luggage was unloaded, but rooms were not available, so the luggage was put into storage. We climbed back on the bus and headed into The Hague.

While Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, The Hague is where all government buildings are. After we had driven past a few of the government buildings, we began a walking tour that brought us to the Mauritshuis, an art museum of Dutch Golden Age paintings. We were given one hour to explore the floors and find the gems. Fortunately, we were also given a guide to tell us where to find the Vermeer paintings and other notable artists.

On the left: Vermeer's painting of The Girls with the Pearl Earring From the top: The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius The View of Delft by Vermeer The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt

On the left: Vermeer’s painting of The Girls with the Pearl Earring
From the top:
The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius
The View of Delft by Vermeer
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt

We returned to the hotel as the guide’s duties were about to end. We were given keys to our rooms along with a few suggestions for the following day on our own. At this point, we were starving! First order of business, find lunch! We were told there were many restaurants along the boardwalk behind the hotel. So that’s where we headed.

Translation for the name: Pancake House. These were not your mother's pancakes.

Translation for the name: Pancake House.These were not your mother’s pancakes.

Did I mention, we were STARVING, but it was nearly three o’clock, so we didn’t want to eat too much. We split the pancakes. First up, a savory bacon pancake, followed by a banana and chocolate ice cream pancake. These pancakes were more like a crepe than a breakfast pancake. They were gone in no time, so we were off exploring the boardwalk.

Soon we came upon some curious metal figures. I learned that an American, Tom Otterness created these Fairy Tale Sculptures by the Sea.

Top is the boardwalk. Followed by: The Herring Eater, The Lion and the Mouse, See No Evil, and I am standing by Angry Momma

Top is the boardwalk.
Followed by: The Herring Eater, The Lion and the Mouse, See No Evil, and I am standing by Angry Momma

It was fun to see if we could figure out what fairy tale each one represented. I’m not sure where Angry Momma fits in. 🙂 The guide told us to walk to their shopping street for fun shops. I’m afraid we didn’t find any fun shops to browse in. My feet were killing me so we headed back to the hotel. We’d been walking for several hours, so I was ready to rest up before looking for dinner.

The hotel was a beehive of activity when we arrived. People were swarming everywhere! We found out that the president of Indonesia was about to arrive and there was a dinner set up in the ballroom. I was a little surprised that we weren’t asked for IDs as we made our way to the elevator.

It was great to sit back and relax as we planned our next adventure. Suddenly something moved at the window startling me.

As you can tell, we didn't have much of a view, so the movement behind the curtain was unnerving. There was a pair, one at each window peering in.

As you can tell, we didn’t have much of a view, so the movement behind the curtain was unnerving. There was a pair, one at each window peering in.

Slowly I pulled back the mesh curtains to reveal a pair of peeping Toms, or perhaps they were just begging for a bite.

Now hunger was beginning to set in, so what do you do in a new city? You ask Google for the best restaurants near the hotel. Trip Advisor had ten to choose from. We picked Roccos Pizza Trattoria. My husband wrote the directions down and we set out to find it. After walking the wrong way too long, we finally found this restaurant, but it was after 8:00. Once again we were starving. It was just the kind of place we like to discover. I had a great view into the kitchen. It was interesting to watch the pizzas being assembled.

My husband had a veggie pizza. It had cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, onions, artichokes, and even green beans. He loved it. I had the prosciutto pizza. The prosciutto slices were added to the pizza after the crust, sauce, and cheese were baked.

My husband had a veggie pizza. It had cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, onions, artichokes, and even green beans. He loved it.
I had the prosciutto pizza. The prosciutto slices were added to the pizza after the crust, sauce, and cheese were baked.

We each took half a pizza back to the hotel. Fortunately, we had a mini-fridge in the room and I had some ziplock baggies. This would be our dinner the next night too. (We did not feed our friends who were staring at us through the window.)

In the morning we purchased tram tickets that would bring us to The Hague. Our goal was to find the Escher Museum, which we did without getting lost first. It was interesting to explore the work of M. C. Escher.

A few examples of prints by M. C. Escher.

A few examples of prints by M. C. Escher.

Once we left the museum, we got back on the tram and headed to Delft. Unfortunately, we had no guide to explain what we were seeing. We walked and walked, enjoying the sites, snapping a photo here and there.

A few buildings of Delft and a scenic canal.

A few buildings of Delft and a scenic canal.

This bench made me laugh. We need more of them in the world.

This bench made me laugh. We need more of them in the world.

Eventually we found our way back to the tram. One more stop before we were back to our hotel, the Peace Palace. We could only stand at the gate to view the palace, but there is a free visitors center near the gate with video to take you through the history of this building. Andrew Carnegie donated most of the money to build this after World War I.

The Peace Palace was opened in 1913. The eternal flame was installed in 1999. It is surrounded by stones from each of the countries that are part of the Peace Palace.

The Peace Palace was opened in 1913.
The eternal flame was installed in 1999. It is surrounded by stones from 196 countries.

It’s been a long day and we are leaving the hotel at 4:30 a.m. to catch our flight back home, so we were grateful to eat our cold pizza in the room and get a few hours of sleep. We had a wonderful trip, but it was nice to finally land in our own bed.

Thanks for traveling with me these past few weeks. It was fun to relive the days as I put together the collages of pictures.

 

 

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21 thoughts on “The Hague

  1. Elsie, I’m glad I visited your blog today! I will be planning to travel to Europe next summer and I’m not even sure where to begin! I’ve enjoy my quick trip with you today and I am off to explore some of your other posts. ~Amy

  2. Terje says:

    Seeing the paintings, Escher’s art and beach made me smile. The few days disconnect between our visits still boggles my mind.

  3. Those pancakes looked so yummy! You ate well on your trip! All the pretty buildings and the history you were surrounded by, makes me want to go back and soak up more of its charm. Thank you for sharing your visit in words and pictures!

  4. You had such a rich and varied holiday – sights and sounds and food and art. So much to enjoy and you made every moment count. Thanks, too, for allowing us to travel with you.

  5. Thank you for sharing your trip and photos with us. I am a fan of Escher’s work. Kathy enjoyed looking at your pictures as well. As you say, vacations are nice, but it is always good to be home.

  6. It is so wonderful that you take so many good pictures that we can almost feel like we are sightseeing with you. I loved the museum and the gorgeous paintings: Dutch paintings really are special. I also loved seeing Delft…it looks so charming…like a medieval village. You didn’t mention Delft pottery/dishes. Were you able to see any? That would have been the highlight of the trip for me since I love pottery!. Good to have you back home and sharing with us.

  7. So glad to get a taste of your adventures. You know how to tell the story of your personal adventures, unique and exciting. We all were there with you and I can’t wait to get on the plane and hang on that boat, beginning in AMSTERDAM!!!!!

  8. Lynn says:

    Elsie, you are really giving me the river cruise bug!!! Sounds like the experience was amazing! I love the bench pic…so so true. Thanks for taking us on your adventure!

  9. Judy C. says:

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. So glad that you are back and enjoying your own bed, but oh the memories you have. It’s another beautiful country.

  10. I love every bit, and am sorry to see that it’s at an end! How wonderful that you saw the “real” Girl With A Pearl Earring”, and the Escher Museum. His work is awesome. I’m glad you both are such adventurers, don’t want to miss a thing. The buildings are really amazing, aren’t they? Thanks, Elsie.

  11. What fun! I miss traveling–my kids are still young, so we’re sticking to the States for now (in a great way). But I can’t wait for the chapter of my life when my husband and I can explore Europe. It’s funny reading that you can look up on Google where the great restaurants are…when I traveled in India and Thailand I just had to rely on my senses to find the good restaurants. I’m nostalgic for those times after reading your post!

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