Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The The Hague - Amsterdam Tour in June

After few years of assuring a couple of friends of ours that we would visit them in The Netherlands, where they live, we finally decided to keep our promise and we mobilitate the troups in June.
We were there just few days during which we spent most of the time trying to feed and put to bed four kids, admire The Hague beach and had a long walk in Amsterdam.

For me it was the absolute first time in The Netherlands, so I was in observation mode. Mattias had already been there, but got surprised by a couple of things or two as well.
In general, I didn't find enormous differences (if we don't consider Amsterdam, that is) with Sweden. The suburbs of The Hague where they live reminded me of Sweden, with a British touch though. The area was architecturally speaking very nice, quite new buildings in some form of old style, but with the streets having space for pedestrian/bikes, green areas with playgrounds and recycling bins there and then.
I really enjoyed walking around the area, which was quite peaceful (except when some house in the surroundings threw a party) and very child friendly. However, no shops where there and one had to walk few minutes to reach a center which offered shops of all kind.

Suburbs of The Hague
The closest playground
A serie of similar houses

The house where the party was!
During the Sunday, they brought us to The Hague's enormous beach. Thinking that all of that is practically artificial makes me mesmerized! 
Before reaching the beach, it was lunch time and they let us discover Simonis, a fantastic fish restaurang which I'd like to import to Sweden!
We put our feet in Simonis and our jaws fell to the ground
There is plenty of wonderful sea food to eat and we surely didn't spare ourselves in the orders. Although it was a lot of fried fish and french fries, there were also other kind of dishes and we loved every second of it! 
We definitely ate the best plate of oysters, together with fried mussels, woked shrimps, and a lot of other dishes. 
The place is a bit rustic, but it greatly fits with the idea that one is eating freshly caught fish.

A bad photo of the catch of the day
The beach per se' is just huge. We didn't get close to the water (I counted that the temperature would be cold) and we limited ourselves to walk on the sand and pick up some shells. I bet that during the few days of warmth in summertime, this stretch of sand is covered by people sunbatching. Already when we were there, although it was windy and of my taste too cold, there were few people that were doing that.

Scheveningen Beach with the sea

View over Scheveningen beach

People playing some very funny form of football on the beach
On the Monday we ventured on a short visit to Amsterdam, which however left us quite shocked.
It is true that we are quite conservative people, but we have a decent level of tolerance.
Unfortunately, the general atmosphere of the city left us disappointed.

The town is beautiful, it has wonderful buildings and possibly an interisting history, but it seems that all of its beauty is attenuated or even drowning in the cannabis culture. Which is sad. That there are coffee shops we surely knew about that, but that there are tons of shops that are selling all sort of souvenirs with such theme was quite a surprise. Is it possible that Amsterdam shall be just identified with a hemp lollipop?

Dam Square
We ate nearby Dam Square, in the restaurant floor of a mall nearby. There were tons of other places around there, but we didn't want to end up in any tourist trap and, since we are usually quite picky and undecisive, we didn't want to end up starving until too late (with the kids this is not anymore an option).

We checked many roofs and I liked this big church and its tower bell, whose name I don't know.
We walked, and walked, and walked, which was not exactly the best thing to do with Isabella. Oscar slept half of our tour, so he had less complaints.
We had no specific target, but at a certain point we were undecised if we should go inside a museum or to the botanical garden and we aimed at this, to then discover that the entrance price was almost prohibitive and we gave up trying to find our way back towards the train station.

Typical buildings: high and narrow and with a strange construction in the center of the roof. Maybe something used for lifting furniture during a move?

Old and new buildings, sorrounding channels

On the other side of the street, The Rembrandt House Museum

We saw a nice building in Nieuvmarkt and we continues towards the station. It looked like we were in Chinatown since plenty of asiatic restaurants were a bit everywhere, but as soon as we entered a narrow alley moving towards another big building (Oude Kerk) we froze (or better, we froze "inside" but we walked very fast) since, without realizing it at first, we entered the Red Light District (De Wallen).
This was not only a shocking view because of the concept itself (women were doing everything possible to sell their bodies showing themselves through glass doors) but for the hour. We were in the middle of the day and it looked like there was plenty of activities.

The stations
After this, we took a short break on the church's benches and we decided that we had seen enough and turned our intentions towards the airport, by taking the train.

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  1. Ciao Arianna, sì quegli spuntoni in cima ai palazzi di Amsterdam servono per le carrucole usate come montacarichi :)

  2. Leggo ora il tuo commento... Sei un'esperta del loco?;) io avevo delle rimembranze scolasttiche

  3. Leggo ora il tuo commento... Sei un'esperta del loco?;) io avevo delle rimembranze scolasttiche


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