It’s been a bit of a week, huh? I myself have been struck down by the lurgy, had to take a day off work on Thursday and have generally just been feeling a bit sorry for myself! Add that to the fact that the world continues to be completely bonkers (that’s putting it extremely mildly, I know, but I try not to get too serious on here – nobody needs extra helpings of serious right now!) and I think it would be quite easy to just spend all of our time moping. But NO. No moping if I can help it! Let me tell you about what I got up to last weekend to take all of our minds off things a wee bit…
(Side serious note: I’ll be at the George Sq protest in Glasgow tomorrow, because we absolutely need to do something instead of sitting about watching people’s basic rights being taken away from them by a complete maniac and his minions. Do come along!)
Last weekend, myself and Mr Debs took a cheeky wee trip over to The Hague, to visit his sister who’s working over there at the moment. We only stayed for 2 nights, so it was a bit mental trying to fit in as much as possible, but it was SO FUN.
We flew into Amsterdam Schiphol with KLM, which only takes an hour and a half, *plus* they give you a wee snack and a drink which is amazing – particularly given that the flights were pretty cheap, even cheaper than a certain orange-coloured budget airline. From there, the easiest thing to do is to get the train up to The Hague which takes roughly 30 mins. Now, here’s where I gush a wee bit because I flipping love European trains. Especially if you get a double-decker one – even having lived in France a while back I’m still totally not over this. And they’re usually really nice as well! The aforementioned Mr Debs and myself actually worried we’d gone into First Class by accident when we got into the carriage:
It was pretty plush compared to what we’re used to, loads of space and everything and WIFI. Of course, this wasn’t First Class, although if you can see the S on the window, it was the quiet carriage, basically my worst nightmare 😛
The Hague itself is lovely, it feels like a funny mix of city-town-village, as you can walk around 10 minutes out of the actual city centre and feel like you’re somewhere completely different! Then there’s Voorburg, which is a mere 20-minute cycle from the city centre, is basically like a wee village all in itself although it does tend to get lumped in with The Hague quite a lot as well.
Speaking of cycling, we hired a couple of bikes from the hotel (easyHotel, only the best for us obv!) and cycled about for a bit on the Saturday, which was lovely! I’ve never really cycled on the road at home as it’s a bit scary and there aren’t a huge amount of good cycle paths. I’ve also seen other drivers be completely ignorant and even dangerous towards cyclists, so I don’t really fancy it. In The Netherlands, however, it’s completely different – there are loads of great cycle paths everywhere and even when you do have to cycle on the actual road, drivers are really considerate! Mr Debs in particular had a great time doing this, so much so that he almost fell off his bike showing off!! (Dafty.)
We had a great time seeing the sights and something in particular that was really cool was The Penthouse in The Hague Tower. 42 floors up (higher than the restaurant at the Eiffel Tower, apparently!) you get a cracking view of The Hague and tickets are only €9, which includes entry and a drink at the bar! Mr Debs’ sister (Sister Mr Debs…?) suggested going at sunset, which was a brill idea as the view was amazing as you can see below:
They had a viewing platform we stood at for a bit, plus it was nice to go into the bar for a (very tasty!) Mojito afterwards and enjoy the relatively fancy surroundings. Definitely recommend!
I also took the chance to go to Pull & Bear, which is a fave clothes shop of mine that we don’t really have massively throughout the UK (I checked and they seem to have them down South, but not in Scotland at all…!) so when I’m in Mainland Europe it’s always on my list! They had a cracking sale on and among other things, I picked up this amazing tee for €2!!
On our last day after a spot of brekkie, we went to Amsterdam for a look about. We weren’t massively bothered about seeing all the sights, probably because we were a bit exhausted from our other crazy-busy days, but we did manage to see some of the totally gorgeous buildings and of course the lovely canals. We stopped for a few drinks in a pub/café/restaurant that was basically inside a CASTLE (ok, so it’s not a castle, it used to be a ‘weigh house’ but it’s still really cool!) including some Glühwein (mulled wine) which I was especially excited to have as I thought everywhere would have stopped doing it after Christmas – yay! In another place we stopped in I also had a pint (well, 500ml) of Jupiler, a beer I hadn’t had in a fair while, so I was pleased to discover I still like it. Another yay! We partook in some bitterballen (once we’d stopped laughing at ballen) which are meat-based croquette type snack thingies,and they were super-tasty as well. We also had some Dutch Abbey cheese, because cheese.
We had a fab time and I can definitely see us going back at some point, maybe even just to do Amsterdam itself since we never saw that much of it. It did, however, make going back to work on Monday extra-sucky cause we’d had such a fab time away. Ah well!
Til next time,