Friday, September 14, 2012

The Netherlands - Den Haag

Also known as The Hague, Den Haag is the center of governance in the Netherlands. To be honest, I had not heard of this place before I met a new friend of mine who spent 3 years completing her bachelor's in Den Haag. 

It was a 2-day 1-night trip (thankfully it wasn't extended to 3-day 2-night one). Don't get me wrong: Den Haag is a beautiful place, but it's not a very big city where you have to spend three full days to explore.

Train station.

The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag was pretty interesting. It's such a shame that the exhibition on The Girl with the Pearl Earring was no longer there, but there are a lot of collections worth noting. I don't have any artistic backgrounds and I probably am not the best critique when it comes to fine arts and painting, but I enjoyed looking at some of the works there.

There is a cafe inside the museum. The ambience was great and everything smelled really good but they are (obviously) a little overpriced.

This was one of the you-can-take-a-photo-of-it painting that I really like. It was a really good play on colors and textures, and it looks really lively to me.

Another section that roused my interest is De Draad van Alexander or Alexander's Wire exhibition.

It was done based on a storybook where a man creates things with wires. In this exhibition, we can form our own wire art and put it on display. For free, of course.

Most of the "artists" were very young, about 9-12 years old. Even then, some of the works were simply brilliant, like this one:

I decided to try it out and make a dog out of a wire. Well, it's a peeing dog if you see how one of its hind leg was raised. You can put your name on your artwork, and so I did. My friends did not want to put their names and ages because they thought it was embarrassing to have people in their twenties do this kind of thing. As for me, I don't see why I shouldn't put my real info on the card.

Other exhibitions include some architectural designs and contemporary works of fine art. I found some of them pleasing, and some of them mind-disturbing.

Looking at contemporary arts displayed at that museum made me feel a little depressed after a while.

Well, what else? Oh yes, the raw herring. It's one of the famous Dutch foods!

When you order one, they will ask if you want raw onions or pickled dill toppings on it. They actually taste great: kind of like a mix between salmon and tuna sashimi. A little fishy, but I could bear with it. And it's not slimy.

There's this man-made beach as well. The beach was pretty clean, and there were lots of seagulls. It was pretty windy and cold but I still saw some people in the water LOL.

What else? Classic-looking buildings (and I don't know their names).

Oh and I can't miss this: public transport. It seems to me that trams are the most commonly used means of public transportation. You see them everywhere.

But the most surprising element is the taxis.

It's an Audi, yes. And it's a taxi. I've seen Mercedes Benz used as a taxi as well. It's interesting. I kind of wanted to try riding them, but I didn't have any particular destination to go and I guess my friends didn't really want to ride them :/


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