Memories popped up when I was in the Centrum of The Hague today. Some memories were of my time in The Hague alone, and some with Will and those from the stories he told me about the years during WWII.
This photo is the Passage, where Wim and his friends walked under to get to their ballroom dance lessons.
The next two photos are of the Binnenhof, the complex of stone buildings, and one of them is where the queen holds her annual speech -the great hall. The complex is also made up of the Dutch parliament – since 1446, a tower is known as the little tower and then the Mauritshuis museum, which has been the office of the Prime Minister since 1982. I wanted to see the Mauritshuis Museum, as the famous painting, “The Girl With the Pearl Earring” rests inside this museum. However, due to some massive construction in the same area, the museum was closed.
There are more old buildings in the Binnenhof, that have stood in place for eight centuries. A larger modern building – which has been built since the first time I was in The Hague alone, houses the House of Representatives.The courtyard is open to the public and a gold fountain adorns the square.
This photo is the entrance to the Binnenhof courtyard.
The small lake on the side of the Binnenhof was featured in my book, “Too Close to the Sun” a Dutch boy becomes a man during WWII. Wim and his friend hid inside an underground shelter, during the bombing of Rotterdam. When they crawled out of the shelter with many other men, women, children and dogs, they saw the lake shimmering in reflection from the fires and smoke from the bombing.
The top floor of this restaurant was reserved for the members of the American Woman’s Club, back in 1999 where we and our spouses got the best view of Queen Beatrix going to the Binnenhof Ridderzal in her gilded carriage. Every year on the third Tuesday of September the Queen delivers a speech and the Minister of Finance presents the Budget to the House of Representatives. The Indonesian food was good, too.
Couldn’t resist the Jamin candy store. Jamin is a famous candy store in the Netherlands.
Cornelis Jamin was born in 1850 in Boxmeer. He moved to Rotterdam, where he started a street trading of candy and after ten years, he had two sugar factories: one in the Red Sand and the Crooswijkse Quay. And again three years later, in 1883, the Netherlands had its first Jamin store.
I had to purchase some candy for the memories. You choose what you want and put it into a cone shaped bag. There are the well known and loved salty licorice is unique in flavor, but not my favorite…just too salty for me.
Another sweet treat are the stroopwafels – they are round cookies with honey and are big enough to put on top of a cup of tea to warm. I saw a man in the center of town making them and other sweet items right on the street. Stroopwafels are now available in World Market, but before this, I used to order them from the Dutch mail order company.
The Haagsbluf restaurant uses a typical word that Will had described to me. The Hague had a reputation – deserved or not – I’m not convinced, but nonetheless, a dessert made of egg whites and sugar, and is so simple, with such simple ingredients, that it is a bluff for a real dessert; just like those snobby people in The Hague.