Let’s visit the Netherlands! (30 April–5 May 2015) – Day 3: Gouda, Den Haag, Madurodam and Rotterdam

I know that I haven’t been updating this blog for a very long time – entries have been far and few between. Still, this blog isn’t dead yet and I’d be providing updates from time to time.

Today’s entry would be about the city of Gouda – famed for cheese and a sweet Dutch treat, stroopwafel!

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This is Gouda station. There’s a small Albert Heijn kiosk there with a rude cashier there but I won’t dwell on that.

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More canals.

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I came to Gouda to buy stroopwafels. There are several stores selling the real deal but I went for this one:

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I’m telling you – nothing beats the original stroopwafel fresh from the griddle! Stroopwafels are kinda chewy and gooey when still warm and the syrup just flows from the centre but not so viscous so as to dribble down your hand. You won’t want to eat the store-bought stroopwafel after this!

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Next stop – Den Haag (The Hague). The International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court is situated here.

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Trams in Den Haag. This is on the Green Line – Scheveningen Noorderstrand. These rolling stock GTL look pretty old (which they actually are).

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Statue of William 1 of Orange (or William the Silent), Prince of Orange (not to be confused with William 1, King of the Netherlands – the king who lost Belgium).

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Time for a quick snack! It’s not yet herring season but I’d love to try the Hollandse Nieuwe!

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I ordered a ‘broodje haring’ – raw herring and raw onions slapped in between an ordinary slab of bread. You may be wondering how it tastes like – it’s creamy (even without additional condiments) but not too salty. The raw onions weren’t designed to mask the fishy smell – in fact it complements the entire package well. I would have ordered another bun but quickly thought that traveling alone meant that I could not risk getting diarrhea or something like that. 

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Den Haag Chinatown

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I’d have spent more time in Den Haag as it was a surprisingly lovely place to visit. Where Eindhoven is a provincial city, Den Haag is bustling enough to be lively yet not too large so as to create the impression of being smothered by crowds of people.

It was getting late and I decided to leg it to Madurodam:

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What do we have here? Holland in miniature form! And it’s not Lego city – it’s an actual representation of Holland within a reasonably large funfair-like ground, replete with moving vehicles, bridges and with live fishes and canals.

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These fish are not really all that big…

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It’s great fun waiting for the trains to make a loop around its circuit.

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Real life tulips in a small patch.

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There’s just enough time to travel to Rotterdam which is just some ways south of Den Haag. Honestly, I have no idea what to do in Rotterdam but would just try my luck there.

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I had wanted to visit De Kuip Stadion but decided against going too far when there’s a Feyenoord club shop here within Centraal Station.

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Nice walk along beautiful streets of Rotterdam:

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Markthal Rotterdam (Markethall)

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Erasmus Bridge.

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That’s a long, tiring day. The next day would be filled with tulips and gardens which brings peace to the mind and, if you think so as well, soul.

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