So I’ve been in The Netherlands (NL) since last week Thursday evening, and the first few days I drove around doing a lot of shopping for things to take back to Portugal with me. But yesterday, despite the gloomy but warm day (the first couple of days were really sunny and warm), I decided to go for a bike ride (hence the picture above of a bike) to the center of Den Haag (The Hague/Haia). Besides I needed to get some groceries for dinner which I’d be cooking for my friend and her boyfriend that evening. So here are a couple of pictures of my bike ride from Voorburg to the center of Den Haag. Just pictures of the local sights that I’m so used to having gone to Den Haag loads of times when I was still living here.
So the picture above shows a bike and you find these sign posts everywhere indicating a bicycle path, so cars have to be extra careful, and let me tell you while driving here, I’ve been extra vigilant to make sure I don’t run any cyclists over. In Portugal it isn’t much of a problem as you don’t see too many people cycling, especially on the roads (you do see them now and again), but here in NL they’re everywhere and should you have an accident involving a car and a bike and whether or not it’s their fault, usually the person driving the car gets the blame and the heavy fine and might even have to pay the medical costs for the cyclist, so if you’re ever driving around in NL be very careful turning corners, if you see a bike coming let it pass first.
Here above we see the new Randstad Rail, they were still figuring out some problems with it when I left NL 2 years ago, but it now seems to be running smoothly. It connects Zoetermeer with Den Haag and lots of people use it. It’s almost like the Metro in Porto but not quite. I’ve not had a chance to go on it yet, but maybe next time I come for a visit I’ll have a go.
There are lots of things to do and see in Den Haag, plenty of museums, just lovely architecture to behold in the buildings you pass by. The building above is the Maurits Huis and is a museum of art with plenty of paintings of famous Dutch artists. I’ve never been inside, because looking at paintings just isn’t my thing, but I love looking at architecture, and I love this building, despite it not being anything too special compared to some other buildings in Den Haag, but I like it nonetheless.
Here we have De Buitenhof which is where parliament is housed. It’s a huge block of lovely buildings (there is also a new glass building on one side) with a lovely big courtyard on the inside where there’s a church and the entrance to most of the buildings. On one side of De Buitenhof is a huge man-made lake with a small island in the middle and a large fountain. This little island gets used by several ducks throughout the year. In the winter they put up an ice-rink at the very far end of the lake, and should it be a really cold winter that the lake freezes over completely and it’s safe to skate then people will just skate on the lake itself. I’ve never had the pleasure of skating on the actual lake, but I’ve walked by it plenty of times and taken pictures of the wildlife surrounding it.
And here we have Paleis Noordeinde, where the Queen has her office, or at least it used to be her office, and probably still is. Right next door to the left of this picture is an old house which used to be Prins Willem Alexander’s house until he married Prinses Maxima and so now they live on a large property in Wassenaar. I believe the house still belongs to the royal family, but I’m not 100% sure on that.