a city with four names
The Hague Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
November 19th, 2005 – by: lauro
i am always in the netherlands because the border to düsseldorf is a mere 40 kms. i always shop or just hang-around at venlo - every holiday or holy week in germany, because everything is closed, well the dutch are protestants so they didnt had holidays like this in the country, so its good for me just to travel less than an hour to the border.
i was never been to a big city in the netherlands, only small cities and towns like domburg, middleburg and wasenaar which are famous for their beautiful coasts in the northsea and delft, utrecht and venlo.
so, i decided to visit the third largest city in the netherlands, which is the hague, den haag, 's-gravenhage and la haye - all four languages - english, german, dutch and french :D meaning the count's hedge.it was the former capital of the netherlands where it was moved to amsterdam. but the queen remained there as well as the parliament and the international courts. because it is always been a noble and cultural city.
what strikes me in the city is that it is alive with people from different natonalities! most of the foreigners in the netherlands came from suriname and indonesia. also lots of colored people and arabs were there - because netherlands is one of the most liberal countries in terms of tolerancy. i was offered countless times of grass whenever i went to the netherlands, you can actually smoke it in the streets. but of course, i declined :)
we arrived in the afternoon and my friend and me parked somewhere at the modern area around the city near the central station - where it is one of the most modern in europe.around it are the small skyscrapers of the city, lots of cafes and modern architectures. - i was so excited! and also i want to try my knowledge in german to read dutsch writings since it is the closest cousin of the german language (well they all came from germanic).
we walked around the modern area, but.. hmmm.. i dont know i dont like it, it feels cold there - lacks green, well maybe the area is still new and i can see new grown trees along an allee, maybe in the next 3 years it would become a much more imposing sight to see.
there were no problems finding the old quarter of the city, because everywhere there were directions and people are glad to help you if you ask. signs directing to every important monument and cultural attractions.
we first went to the castle of the queen, its just along the main road cut by the streettrain in the lange voorhout. the castle is very simple - eventhough queen beatrix if not, is the richest of all the monarchs in the world. the area of the castle is quite "cute" laughs, there were statues in the front and some strange sculptures. we didnt stayed long in the area and we still went further along the altstadt.
the altstadt is very impressive, because netherlands is one of the few lucky countries which were not destroyed by the modern war, and also its rich to restore the magnificent buildings of hanseatic or guilded architecture.
we circled around the old city then had a snack in one the bars, where everything was in ORANGE, well the national color of the kingdom is well, orange :D i had never seen so much orange in my life - walls, ballons and motiffs :D i had mango juice and a muffin stuffed inside with chocolate sauce :D.
after our snack, it was already dark and twilight was creeping in, we walked around the the cultural area, the mauritshuis museum and the binnenhof or the inner court of the knights. then the parliament, where in the background has the perfect view of the small but amazing skyline of the hague in twilight.
it was really getting cold, that was in autumn, so we decided to drive back to düsseldorf after a long day. i can say after this trip, the hague is one of the most beautiful cities to live in.
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