Friday, May 28, 2010

Den Haag

One of the days that we were in Delft we took a side trip to Den Haag (The Hague), the seat of government in the Netherlands.  After a bit of wandering around, trying to figure out where we were (got off the bus one stop too early), we made it to the Binnenhof, or Parliament Square area.  Once there, we found a large gilt statue with (I think) Queen Beatrix on it.

This is the Ridderzaal, where the queen gives her annual speech (according to Wikipedia).  It certainly looks like a church from outside, but since we didn't go in (don't even think it was allowed unless you were part of a tour), I couldn't say what it is inside.

Apart from seeing the sights of Den Haag, our main objective was to go to the Mauritshuis Museum.  It has The Girl With a Pearl Earring, as well as many other paintings from the Dutch Golden Age.  I loved the Girl - in reproductions, you really don't get the true nature of the play of light and dark, and the glow that she has - as well as a small painting of strawberries (I got it on a postcard), and some of the still-lifes. 

Before heading back to Delft for the afternoon, we had to have lunch. There were many little cafes to choose from, all with tables and chairs arranged on the sidewalks and in the middle of the square. I can't entirely remember what we had - sandwiches? - but it was good, and it was so much fun just to be sitting in Europe, eating at a cafe.  Ahh...

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