Bulb Fields and The Hague

Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Friday, March 23, 2007

We spent a day exploring the 'Zuid Holland' (South Holland) district, driving through the cities of Haarlem, Lisse, Leiden, and the Hague.

We stopped at the famous Bulb Fields south of Haarlem... The Netherlands is the source for 2/3rd of the world's fresh flowers (did you know???).  Here you can see where the flowers are cultivated. It's really amazing... acres and acres of fresh flowers all separated by color and type. Truly breathtaking.    
Our next stop was The Hague - the countries third largest city and seat of government (also home to the International Criminal Court & Europol!).  It had been a long time since we had seen so many high rise buildings - it was interesting to note the contrast of the old, more typical-European structure of the city with that of the new modern era.  We enjoyed strolling through the fairly vast grounds in and around the Binnenhof (parliament) and had lunch inside the courts of the parliament next to the Knights Hall (a church-like structure also known as the Riderzaal).  We also walked around the town center, the church (Grote Kerk), and browsed the stores in the towns many shopping streets.    
During our first trip to The Hage we did not have a chance to visit the famous Mauritshuis museum - a 17th century mansion exhibiting the art collection of Prince William V from the famous House of Orange.  We have subsequently been back for that and were awed by both the beautiful interior of the house and the impressive collection (especially that of the three most famous 'Golden Age' Dutch artists - Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, & Frans Hals). 
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