Robb and I decided to journey to the other side of the Netherlands for some sea and more fresh air. And we ended up in Den Haag, or The Hague for the English speakers. Besides being home to the Dutch parliament, it is home to the UN’s International Court of Justice and the Peace Palace. And it’s also home to Robb’s good friend, Rien. And Bjorn, our German bagpiper with a Scottish accent who now lives in Copenhagen flew in just to meet us.
We started our walk from Schveningen and headed towards the Peace Palace. Along the way, we walked through the international district and spent our time trying to name all the flags of the world. Geography nerds…
More walking ensued. Eventually, with our tummies growling, we decided to partake in a Dutch tradition. Haring (herring) is a Dutch delicacy, and if it’s topped with raw onions, it’s a Hague specialty. All in all, it was very fishy. One was enough for me. And my herring mouth stayed with me the entire day.
While digesting the herring, we wandered by the Binnenhof and Ridderzaal, where the Dutch parliament meets. Luckily for us, some government buildings and museums were free that weekend. [Free is awesome!]
For you history buffs, the Ridderzaal was built in the 13th century and started off as a manorial hall for a king. We walked through the halls, following the crowd. Truthfully, I didn’t really know what I was looking at until afterwards, when I looked up the information on Wikipedia.
We wanted to enjoy the evening around Scheveningen, the shore area. After a short stop at the Jumbo [Hallo Jumbo!], we took our dinner to the beach. With cheap bottles of wine, hummus, salads and bread rolls, we enjoyed the sun setting and a concert nearby.
The next day, we had to say goodbye to Rien and Bjorn and head back to the east side of the Netherlands. It was a great visit, albeit short. As for “where’s the ice cream?” Bjorn, for some reason, kept asking us this question the entire time. What a strange man…