The Hague, Netherlands

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The first stop on our Dutch adventure was Den Haag, also known as The Hague or s-Gravenhage (no, that's not a typo!). Though Amsterdam is the official capital, The Hague has been the Netherlands' seat of government since 1588. It's also home to several fine museums, including our main destination: the Mauritshuis Art Gallery. I'm very glad I did a little bit more research before we left on our trip, otherwise we would have showed up to the gallery on Monday and found out it's closed on Mondays! So we left home a bit earlier than originally planned to tour the gallery and all was well. But I'm getting ahead of myself! Continuing on...

We parked and dived in. Though the city has a half-million residents (it's the country's third largest city), The Hague is very manageable and strollable for the sightseer.
Love everything about this. The brick, the cream woodwork, the luscious red doors.

While walking towards the heart of town we saw this epically awesome colored ceiling. Love at first sight.
Give me all the colors!

A little further on we got to the main center of town, the Binnenhof Parliament Complex overlooking a giant pond. The complex is the seat of Dutch political power with the meeting place of the parliament and the office of the prime minister. 
So Dutch what with the bicycles and all that jazz!
We walked around the Binnenhof complex and into the courtyard. 
Cool orange and white striped awnings.
Dominating the middle of the complex is the Knights' Hall, called the Ridderzaal, which is where the two houses meet jointly on special occasions. 
Reminds me of Hogwarts. #harrypotterforever
The golden fountain features a statue of the recently retired Queen Beatrix. The Netherlands is a monarchy where the parliament governs with the monarch's approval. 
Well I'll be.

Then it was on to our must-see stop: the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery.
The Hague's top art museum features Dutch Golden Age art including top-notch pieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and many others. Not only that, it is all displayed in a gorgeous mansion. 
Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem

Even the walls were gorge.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer. Basically the reason we came and it was amazing seeing it in the flesh. Made the entire 8 hour drive absolutely and totally worth it.
Another Vermeer masterpiece, his View of Delft.

View of The Hague by Jan Paige van Evans.
The weather was lovely and there was a shady park along the pond so we strolled and Jane chased birds to her heart's content.
My little family enjoying the little family of ducks. 
Grass filled tram tracks.
Our family in The Hague, Netherlands on Friday July 8th 2016.

Then it was time to load up and drive out to our hotel. Oh you know, just a historic windmill on the side of the road, nbd. 
GPS: "Board ferry."
Me: "SAY WHAT?!"

Riding a ferry was not on our original Google Maps itinerary, our GPS is hormonal, luckily it was boarding right as we turned the corner and a short 5 minute ride later, we were back on land.

After that random boat adventure, we arrived at the resort thing we had booked. 
The little house we rented had a nice yard with a table to sit out and enjoy the (very windy - no wonder this country is dotted with windmills!) day.

The kiddos in front of our home for the next few days. 
A fun-filled first day!

1 comment

  1. Loving all the photos!!! I now want a multi-colored ceiling!!!!!!


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