July 22, 2013
the pretty cities.
of course i'd have to be talking about the stately den haag and the historic food-filled streets of haarlem. last week i had the pleasure of visiting both, but on seperate occasions. after much chat and excitement about visiting the beautiful bloem, it was agreed upon to head back to den haag on a super sunny monday. bloem hit the carrot cake well and truly out of the park and can be read about here. with the weather being so well behaved we took advantage of it and spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering the city streets. the last time i was in den haag there was snow on the ground. the sunshine made her even more beautiful and i fell in love for sure this time around. den haag is known for it's palatial embassies and mansions with a strong air of elegance. it boasts it's own nearby beachfront they call scheveningen which well and truly put on a summer show for us when we were there a couple of weeks ago. this city is the dutch seat of government and home to the royal family. unknown to many non-dutchies, den haag was the capital of holland prior to 1806 and still carries a regal maturity about her today. the architecture alone is worth an afternoon visit and i was constantly charmed by the art noveau influenced doorways and shop fronts that led us out of the city. we stumbled across the australian embassy, admired the beauty of the vredespaleis and finally settled with a cold beer in hand on one of the many flower adorned terraces. this city definately takes the cake.
so many picture perfect moments down every street.
the streets are lined with colour and patterns that make me weak at the knees.
hello beautiful tiles.
a lovely city to bike.
amazing type adorned most surfaces.
more tiles, need i explain?
yes, yes and ummmm, yes. this place rocked my cake loving world.
one of my favourite dutch words.
we hit haarlem on an overcast tuesday on our return from the emerald city of zaandam. described as a classic dutch city with cobble-stone streets and grand churches, i was soon getting a strong gouda/leiden vibe from this decorative city. haarlem's origin dates back to the 10th century and it's clear that this city is crawling with history. after a spanish invasion and finally a stand from willem van oranje, haarlem soared into the prosperity of the golden age, attracting artists from throughout europe. the train station itself is a sight to be seen and has been featured in several blockbuster movies. as we made our way into the shopping district and out towards the windmill we were confronted by an eery silence, with many businesses shut for the summer. photo opportunites were still a-plenty and we stumbled across some beautifully designed houses and bridges. haarlem is a thriving city just soaked in history and as you turn each corner you are instantly reminded of this. haarlem is a living movie set crediting the great artists and architects of the 14th and 15th centuries. a true historic gem on holland's map of must-see cities.
so pretty, even when skies are grey.
from harlem, nyc to haarlem, noord holland. did you know the new york neighbourhood's name derived from our historic dutch city?
the dutch know how to colour code.