Travel Blog – Den Haag

4 10 2009

The day started with the only real plans being that we were to pick Alyona up from the train station as she was returning from Germany. Admittedly we were still feeling the effects of doing absolutely nothing the night before but I was indeed alright to drive so it was ok.

Our first destination was Rotterdam which, apart from the interesting name, had a cafe that Tony knew about down on the water which we decided to check out. Not far off the most direct route to Rotterdam was the town of Gouda and it seemed stupid not to stop there.

Gouda (f4.0 1/800 40mm - Photo courtesy of Martin)

Gouda (f4.0 1/800 40mm - Photo courtesy of Martin)

We drove straight in and stopped in the main square in the hope of finding some breakfast but the town was dead and nothing was selling so we had to settle for a coffee instead.

Gouda Town Square (f8.0 1/500 24mm)

Gouda Town Square (f8.0 1/500 24mm)


(Shame about the top of the building but I just couldn’t go wide enough)

Walking around a bit we did find a specialist cheese and wine store that sold baguettes for 2 euro so we had freshly sliced cheese and homemade honey mustard for breakfast before hitting the road for Rotterdam once more.

We made it to the place Tony knew through a little guesswork and it turned out that it was a cool little hotel a bit out of the city center but by one of the main areas of the harbour. We had a second coffee and beer and laughed at the evidence of the nothing we did the night before.

Photos from the night before (f8.0 1/100 32mm - Photo courtesy of Tony)

Photos from the night before (f8.0 1/100 32mm - Photo courtesy of Tony)

So once again a nice relaxing morning in the sun (spot yet another pattern?)

Tony looking cool (f8.0 1/200 24mm)

Tony looking cool (f8.0 1/200 24mm)

After a short walk which really didn’t do Rotterdam justice we headed to the city’s famous port to see how big it really was. Well, turns out it is HUGE and after driving past it for kilometers and kilometers we reached the end of a peninsular.

We did see some fairly serious model planes being flown and a lot of Dutch enjoying a day watching the ships pass by. After a while though we realized that we were late to pick Alyona up from the train station so rushed back to the city center. We were 15min late so Tony ran in to try to find her while Martin and I tried to find a park.

Going past the train station we ended up at a huge roundabout that to go the whole way round again required going through 7 traffic lights … 6 of which were red. Finally we found the ‘kiss and ride’ area where Martin stayed with the car while I ran in to try to find Alyona and Tony.

In the ends it turned out her train was a half hour late so the running around thinking we had lost her was all a bit more dramatic than necessary and everything worked out fine in the end.

The plan for the evening was a few drinks and dinner at Den Haag. You’d be forgiven for wondering why we wanted to spend that much time at the International Court of Justice but for the Dutch (and for Tony) Den Haag seems to be more closely associated with the beach. When you reach the shore it is a typical European beach resort with crowds, beach chairs and old dudes wearing far too little.

Typical European Beach (f8.0 1/125 105mm)

Typical European Beach (f8.0 1/125 105mm)

We walked down the (long) line of restaurants on the beach and finally settled in for a beer at one of the slightly quieter ones that professed to have mussels.

Three musketeers (f5.6 1/50 24mm - Photo Courtesy of Alyona)

Three musketeers (f5.6 1/50 24mm - Photo Courtesy of Alyona)

Dinner and beer were the order of the hour while the sky got darker and the tourists slowly went back to their hotels. Before leaving we had to go see the court which is of such a large historical importance but otherwise we just left the city.

UN - Den Haag (f6.3 1/20 16mm - Photo Courtesy of Martin)

UN - Den Haag (f6.3 1/20 16mm - Photo Courtesy of Martin)

On the way home we had great fun taking photos of the cars passing by and of the glorious sunset in the rear view mirror.

Sunset in the Dutch Countryside (f4.0 1/400 40mm - Photo Courtesy of Martin)

Sunset in the Dutch Countryside (f4.0 1/400 40mm - Photo Courtesy of Martin)

We parked the car at Tony’s work so we wouldn’t have to deal with it the next day (or pay parking) and took the tram the rest of the way into Utrecht. The rest of the night was quiet and we had a few drinks outside under the stars and watched comedies on Tony’s laptop.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: