Lost and Found in Den Haag...

Trip Start Apr 28, 2007
Trip End Oct 26, 2007

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

A day in Den Haag, to explore Ngaire and Damon's new locale.
Ngaire and Jen left Brian to find some great new trades and set off up the street to go window shopping.  Their neighbourhood has an eclectic collection of up-market clothes, kitchenware and shoe shops (always of interest to Jen) as well as cafes, bistros and bars.
The local pet shop caters to those dogs that need to be "walked" rather than doing it on their own four paws - or rather it caters to the sort of people who own that sort of dog. In fact the shop is full of things for the pets' owners rather than for the pets themselves.  What self respecting cat wants a leopard skinned chaise longue?
Bikes are in your face in the Netherlands - we have never seen so many, nor seen so many versions of the bike.  They put the kids up front/on the back, either on a seat or in a cart if there is more than one, and of course they take their dog on the bike too. Everyone bikes here; from the cool hip teens to the wizened old ladies.  Reckon its straight from two wheels to four as they downgrade to a zimmer frame. Even Ngaire is a convert, and so we got to try out the Dutch version of a bike - its like a cadillac.  Nothing like a mountain bike; you sit upright and cruise.
In the afternoon, Ngaire showed us round the historic Binnenhof area in Centrum. It was originally the 13th century hunting lodge of the counts of Holland, but now these ancient buildings house a museum, and art gallery and political/governmental agencies.

On display at the Mauritshuis is the The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer. Given all the other things we had planned we admired the poster outside and moved on.

Escher is displayed in the Het Paleis, but to get there, we first went to an opposite quadrant 
of town being misguided by a somewhat confusing tourist map. We wished we had Geepers with us. We won't comment on anyone's sense of direction, but it helps if you start off with the right map.  Looking on the bright side of it, we saw plenty more old buildings en route and were soon back on track. We did enjoy Escher - his attention to detail in his woodcuts was impressive and his perspective in his later works quite intriguing.
On the way home we stopped at the Peace Palace, a nice building but it seems that inside it's just politicking.
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