Sunday, August 31, 2008

Den Haag (The Hague)

Yesterday we briefly saw some sights at The Hague. One of the first sights we happened upon was the US Embassy, which was embarrassingly fortified and boring looking. It was the only embassy we saw, in fact, that had a 12 foot tall wrought iron security fence. Should Laura and I need US government protection during our stay, we need not fear the angry Dutch, automatic weaponry, or long range missile attack when inside the embassy's walls.

After browsing an antique fair, we visited the M.C. Escher museum. Although M.C. Escher gathered most of his inspiration during stays in Italy, he was actually a Dutchman. The museum contained a number of his most famous works. The work pictured at right, which was on the front of the museum building, is the well-known "Day and Night."

We walked through the courtyard of the Binnenhof, the heart of Dutch politics. The first components of the complex were first built around 1230. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy and we will be revisiting the Binnenhof on September 18th, the day Queen Beatrix arrives in her golden coach to open parliament.

We spent several hours walking about town, which was an attractive mix of old and new. The two pointy buildings and the dome shaped building have colorful local nicknames.

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