Tag Archive: The Hague

It’s been 9 weeks. And before then, around 4 weeks of clinic visits and lab procedures. I haven’t had 13 slow and easy weeks in the last few years. A quick check of my busy travel calendar the last few years confirm this. And you know what? If you’ve been under “house arrest” for a considerable time, the first day out heightens all your senses to appreciate the air you breathe, the noise you hear or perhaps the lack of it, the temps that make you sweat or the breeze that cools your skin. The Harbour Square within the CCP Complex is a favorite spot within the metropolis. Antipolo too but it’s too far out and the traffic going there is near-unbearable. So between the waters and the mountains, I longed to instead count the yachts bobbing up and down in the bay.

There are still a few days before the year is over but Bali was def the last trip in 2019. Thoroughly enjoyed with the family despite the intermittent chest pains, which I assumed must have been acid reflux. My guardian angels must have worked overtime to bring me home safely and guided a family doctor to remind me to see my cardiologist instead of a gastro-enterologist. I did, and then had medical attention in the nick of time. After more tests pre- and post-stenting, my cardiologist declared I’m good to travel again. Yey! Two trips lined up for next year, and now working on a possible 3rd and 4th. I am so happy. And thankful for the trips made in the year 2019 without mishap. I still cringe at the thought that any one of these trips could have turned really nasty. I am thankful as I remember.

Same group on 2 separate trips to Brunei and Malaysia

Ticked off a few squad goals including this Hokkaido in Winter!

A third of the fambam in London.



Cardiff Castle in Wales


Amsterdam, Volendam, Marken, Giethorn , Zaans Schans, Delfth and The Hague


Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp


The Cotswolds


Off to Graz, Ljubljana, Trieste and Istrian Peninsula (Croatia


A family trip to Bali, Indonesia


So what’s in the drawing boards this coming 2020? Well, there’s a booked Nile cruise in Egypt, and the South American adventure should soon be firmed up, plus there’s that wedding later in the year in Barcelona. Same travel buddies…. unless of course we start growing tired of each other πŸ™„. We have yet to plan for that trip to Europe with my soon-to-graduate #aponimamu. And another adventure with my soon-to-retire dear friends. We’ll see. Meanwhile, let’s have a truly Merry Christmas in our hearts and a Prosperous, Harmonious New Year ahead.

My last visit was in 2003 but that was on official business so it shouldn’t count. In 1986 and 2000, I was there. First as a student, the next as a tourist. Most things remained the same, but for the price of West End tickets. As a newbie watching musicals for the first time, I was very lucky to be there when Les Miserables first showed some 3 months before my arrival in 1986. With my student discount, it was a steal watching it and quite frankly, I was beyond awed. I’ve never seen the likes of it till then. I’ve watched it several times since, both in West End and Broadway, and even back in my home country. This Cameron Mackintosh was my new hero. Fast forward 2019. Ticket prices have spiralled. Lowest-priced musicals still hovered from Β£30 upwards. Some at Β£200 and up. And I mean really upwards. If you’re aiming to watch only one or 2, sure you can splurge. But not if you’re meaning to watch more. And so, rather than stay longer in London, we moved to stay nearly a week in Amsterdam and then another week in Brussels before heading back to London and onwards for 8 nights in Bath and The Cotswolds. We made many day trips from our chosen city base using trains, buses and vans. This is our Trip Summary from May 19 to June 12, 2019.




Day Trip from London: Stonehenge




DayTrips from Amsterdam


Zaanse Schans

Volendam & Marken

Delft & The Hague



Day Trips from Brussels




Back to UK


The Cotswolds

Day Trip to Cardiff, Wales

We’ve been lucky with our walking tours and day trips in ALL my travels. Out of Amsterdam, we booked trips to Delft and The Hague. Because they’re near each other, we thought we’d book a combination day tour. Typical of me to prep and read up on the city or town attractions, dripping with excitement over the sites to see. Unfortunately, we had the worst tour guide ever. Lazy, inattentive and with absolutely no regard for making the tour worthwhile for the client visitors. We breezed through many of the sites riding the tourist coach, getting off only 3x in places where we were given an hour or so to roam — unguided — on our own. πŸ™„ Had we known, we could have just hopped on a train, skipped a few sites and DIY’d it. We could have covered more, lingered longer AND saved ourselves the frustrations.

The Royal Delft Factory and Museum was our first stop. A young lady from Royal Delft welcomed and escorted us through the factory and museum. The highlight was watching this lady artist do her stuff in this earthenware factory that’s been around since the 17th century. It was a good and educational tour, but no thanks to our Tour Guide. By the time we were done, this tour guide who must not be named was waiting, a tad dazed and reeking of alcohol. We were seated up front and I could smell him. His spiel by this time is slurred, and we had to strain to understand what he was saying. Still, we were excited that we are now headed for the city square of Delft — the birthplace of Jan Vermeer and the former royal seat of the House of Orange. Much to see right within this square. There is the 13th century City Hall, rebuilt in the 17th century in the Renaissance style. Then there’s the gothic New Church right across the square from the City Hall which is by no means “new”, dating back to the 15th century. Now the royal mausoleum of the family of William I of Orange, the Church has a tower one can climb up to for a panoramic view of the entire Delft. Between these 2 historical landmarks are quaint shops and cafes. Perfect for people watching if one has the time.

I must say this Tour Guide Who must not be named should have taken the time to guide us around this Square. But no, he simply instructed us to go explore on our own and to meet him back in the parking area where the bus would be waiting in an hour. He could at least have guided us the first 15 minutes before leaving us to explore more on our own. After all, he stayed right within the square, claiming a table and drinking more beer. Oh well. From the square, we rounded up a corner and chanced upon a lively Saturday Market which could have interested the others in our group. But no, this mister is far too busy downing bottles of beer. 🍺🍻🍺

If you think that’s bad enough, let me tell you about the last segment of the tour. We hardly saw The Hague except for an hour we were forced to waste in Madurodam, a miniature theme park which featured scale models of famous landmarks in The Netherlands. I’m sorry but this hardly excited me. I am willing to concede it’s a matter of personal preference but seriously, I would have preferred more time spent in The Hague’s more interesting and historical spots. Instead, we had a 5-minute stop at the Peace Palace and a “drive through” the many embassies in this city. Yes, a drive through of the embassies. I was hoping to see the iconic Protestant Church, International Court of Justice, the Maurithuis which houses Jan Vermeer’s “The Girl With the Pearl Earrings”, and other celebrated works of Rembrandt and other notable Dutch masters. Zilch.

Did I even manage to take photos of The Hague? Just one. And this was taken from a moving bus. So frustrated. But I’d stop ranting at this point. We’ve been lucky with our other plans. Can’t win them all.