New Years in the Netherlands

The Hague is the Netherlands ‘ third-largest city home to one million citizens. Yet walking the streets feels somewhat calm. People don’t rush around like they do in London. Plus there are fewer humans. Some of the streets are pedestrianised too which helps.

We began our first day with a choco loco and a mango smoothie from The Smoothie Company. This provided us with the fuel we need for our five and a half-mile walk.

Our first stop was the Peace Palace, which opened in 1913. Outside the gated palace is a monument and an everlasting flame.

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We found woods beyond the Palace road and wandered through them. A robin flew between the trees, while a bird’s nest balanced on the bare winter branches above us.

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After a while, we made it to a peaceful lake. Here there was a barcode on a post. this was for citizens to use their smartphone to vote for what type of bench they wanted in the park. Apparently, this is a very Dutch thing to do. I found it fascinating.

We sat on an existing bench for a while enjoying the surroundings.

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Walking once more we made it to the sandy beach in Scheveningen and enjoyed a stroll along the shoreline and the pier.

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Some brave souls were learning to surf in the freezing waters. I was tempted to swim but dipping my hand in the sea I felt how cold it was and was persuaded not to.

We jumped on a tram back and went to the supermarket to pick up some supplies for dinner.

Stopping by the Kings Palace on the way back we admired the view at night.

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Day two took us to Amsterdam. To get there from the Hague is easy, you need to jump on a train for 20 minutes.

In Amsterdam there is lots to see. We began by walking around to get our bearings. There was an Italian restaurant on one of the canals where we stopped for a hot tea and watched the world go by.

In the afternoon we took a boat trip along the canals. Where we learned that at least one car ends up in the canal every week!

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The canal houses are so narrow due to taxes being less if the house front takes up less room.

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We enjoyed more night time views before heading back to see in the new year in The Hague.

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On our third day, we visited Rotterdam which was bombed in the war only a few churches remained. The contrast between the new and old buildings was stark.

We stopped by a Jamie’s Italian restaurant for some delicious lunch. It was reasonably priced and tasted super!

The trip flew by and before we knew it we were on the way back to the UK.

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Who else has been to the Netherlands? Share your favorite place to visit in the comments below…

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