Old Travel Series: The Hague (Europe, Part 5)

This post is part of a series where I’m incorporating old travel journal entries into this blog. This part of the series is from my first ever trip to Europe, when I visited the Netherlands, Belgium, and France with a group from my college. This is transcribed from the original hand-written journal I kept during that trip while I was still just a wee college student. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for more tales of our adventures!

Didn’t catch the first post in this series? Start from the beginning!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

I really need to get on the ball with this whole journal thing. I’ve done another two days worth of stuff since I last wrote in here.

Well…yesterday we went to the Hague (Den Haag) and visited the Mauritshuis Museum, which is essentially the Queen’s collection of artwork. It was a beautiful museum. My favorite paintings there were the Vermeers, most particularly The Girl With the Pearl Earring and The Art of Painting. Both were done with such simplicity and beauty. There was not one wasted brush stroke or one off color. They were perfect. The Girl With the Pearl Earring seems to me to be almost a Dutch Mona Lisa. There is such mystery in the work…there’s a story behind it, yet it is still mysterious. That’s why I love it. Katy and I were more than giddy over this work. We both sketched from it, which I got such a kick out of…I was sketching from the REAL PAINTING! Wow.

Actually seeing the Vermeers was quite a surprise treat for me. I didn’t know ahead of time I would get to see them so it made it even better, even more special…this perfect moment in time when all is well in the world.

Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp was also quite interesting. Rembrandt’s style is so wonderful. Such careful, beautifully placed brush strokes. It’s truly amazing.

After the museum, a group of us ran off for lunch and then tried to go to the Escher Museum,  but it was closed because the Queen of the Netherlands was coming. We decided to stick around and see the queen so we did. It was really cool. The queen was actually pretty informal. She just walked up and waved, shook a few hands, unveiled a hat on this sculpture tree (apparently every time the queen goes there, they unveil a new metal hat on this metal tree of hats. It’s a thing.) Yeah…

Then the trumpet guys played a little tune and she went inside the museum. The guards were pretty relaxed as well so I guess she’s not in too much danger of assassination or anything. So…seeing the queen was cool. My camera battery died and I didn’t have my other charged one with me, so I didn’t get a picture, but Norwood got one so that will be good when it gets developed (he brought a film camera).

Other than that, we just walked around the Hague a bit, went into a cool antique shop where I got a really old postcard (I love it!)

After the Hague we went back to Haarlem and had some dinner. We went to the same place Norwood, Katy, Lindsey, Kari, Dinah and I went sketching earlier this week (see the sketch of the building in my earlier entry). Dinner was quite tasty. I had kip sate, which is chicken sate in peanut sauce with potato salad, fruit, fries and mayonaise. I learned that kip means chicken in Dutch, which has been helpful in deciphering menus. I had wine with dinner, which pretty much means I came back to the hotel and conked out immediately.

I’ll write about today in the next post…

Didn’t catch the first post in this series? Start from the beginning!

Next post in this series:


1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s