A festival of lights and culture in The Hague, ‘Royal City by the Sea’……

December, 2018

During these last days of the year, I have a house-and catsit in a city, where I haven’t been for many years. A city filled with musea, history, modern buildings and impressive government buildings, palaces, many stores and on a short distance the sea.

It is a rough two-hour car drive from my home in the eastern part of The Netherlands, to The Hague, but it is a totally different world! After getting settled in my temporarily home, I hop on the tram and the first thing you notice is the mixture of nationalities and languages.

I get off at Central Station, where I have an appointment with an old friend and I am impressed, as the station is huge and has changed completely. Our meeting point is the piano, where everybody can hit a few notes and which is placed in the hallway. Just a couple of hours after my arrival in the big city, I already get a sightseeing tour from somebody, who knows The Hague very well.

The first thing you notice, is the abundance of lights, illuminating the historical buildings all over town.

‘The Royal City by the Sea’ is a nice combination of old and new and during these few days, I just get a taste, what this interesting town has to offer. I visited Mauritshuis, where you find all kinds of famous Dutch and Flemish masters. While entering the museum, I witness a demonstration of the ‘yellow vests’. Interesting to see how just a few people are triggering the police, while all others are trying to have a peaceful demonstration.

Panorama Mesdag, with a special exhibition of The Storm, is a museum you have to visit, as it is one of a kind! The guardian of the museum showed me an optical illusion; he walked ‘into the painting’ and collected a clog, which seemed very big from a distance, but was just as small, as the one closer by……….

It is like a dome and you have the feeling you are standing on the beach! Many artists, besides Mesdag and his wife Sientje van Houten, have been working on this fabulous piece of art.

On New Years Day, I meet up again with my old friend and he treats me to a wonderful ‘saté’ lunch, in an Indonesian restaurant called ‘De Poentjak’. From there we stroll through The Hague and finally take the tram to Scheveningen (by the sea), where he shows me the different harbours. I am impressed, as everything has changed so much. It must have been many years ago, that I visited this part of Scheveningen.

We finally end up at ‘Simonis aan de haven’, a wonderful place to get your favorite fish! Here its ‘self service’, a great way to have lovely food for a fair price! We just grab a bottle of wine (for 13 euro’s), sit ourselves upstairs, from where you have a wonderful overview. While outside the fireworks are in full swing, we catch up on stories of the past………

Later, we walk over the famous boulevard and witness the woodstacks, which will be burned in the evening. This year they cause many problems, as of the increasing wind.

 

 

 

Along the promenade, there is an exhibition of statues.

It is all part of ‘Beelden aan Zee’, a museum in Scheveningen, which I visited a couple of weeks ago. At the moment, they have a wonderful gathering of artwork of Ossip Zadkine, the same artist I saw in France, in Les Arques.

From the boulevard, we walk through the Kurhaus. In front of the Kurhaus there is a skating rink and the Kurhaus itself, is nowadays surrounded by many other buildings.

I realize that I have been away for 23 years and time didn’t stand still………..