Netherlands Photo Highlights – The Hague, Delft, and Kinderdijk
The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands and is about 45 minutes from where we are staying in Rotterdam. Many of the Dutch government buildings are in this city instead of in the capital city of Amsterdam. It also happens to have the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court so it is one of the major cities hosting the UN.
I’ve been searching for a good vegan cupcake and after inquiring at the tourist office, she also suggested this vegetarian butcher shop. We talked with the owner for a while and bought a delicious lunch of curry “chicken” sandwich and “pollo” con mole tortillas, which we promptly inhaled.
After lunch, we wandered around the town and found the Binnenhof. I have no idea what this is, but it made me feel like I was in a Harry Potter movie.
We visited the Mauritshuis, which is an art museum with famous Dutch paintings like The Goldfinch and Girl with a Pearl Earring. They also had a temporary exhibit about slow food which I loved.
We took the tram to the beach to relax and explore. It was beautiful, albeit windy and cool. The chilly weather didn’t stop many sunbathers, though.
Delft is a small town between the Hague and Rotterdam that is so frickin’ adorable it hurts. We met some American friends of ours there for dinner and had some time beforehand to snap a few ridiculously adorable pictures.
I learned that the Netherlands is mostly below sea level! So, to combat the ever-encroaching water, the Dutch have devised elaborate water pumping systems that keep their feet dry. Windmills were the first of these systems. We took a water taxi down the river from Rotterdam to check out the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a glorious day, as you can see from the pictures. It was in the mid-70’s with hardly any wind or clouds. I may have gotten a bit sunburned…
People had to tend to the windmills day and night to make sure enough – but not too much – water was pumped out. Therefore, the millers lived in the mills with their families. A couple of the windmills were set up to show us what life was like for them. We enjoyed exploring this place with our old friends from Minnesota. It had been nearly 3 years since we last saw them!
Martin and I rented bikes and our friends brought theirs along so we could bike among the windmills. No cars are allowed in this area; the only “road” is a bike path. Unfortunately, one of our friends ran over a nail and her bike got a flat tire. We tried patching it, but had no luck – at least it happened later in the day so we were able to bike a little bit with her.
I am loving being in smaller cities and spending time in nature. I don’t know what we will do tomorrow, but I know we will have fun.