We said good bye to the folks at De Oude Tuinderij B&B this morning. Rob and Jette gave us some travel tips for the area we’ll be in next week. It rained a lot overnight and we expected a rainy day ahead of us, but it was just overcast.
It took about 50 minutes to get to Den Haag with the GPS routing us through a pretty residential area at first. We found parking easily and it was a short walk to the central area of Den Haag. The MC Escher museum (Escher in het Paleis) is housed in the former winter palace of Queen Emma and was used for a time by Queen Wilhelmina. Dick has been an admirer of Escher and his graphic art. I love some of his wood cuts and lithos that depict scenes or people. One of my favorites is the Tower of Babel. The optical illusions can be interesting and the museum played this up with some fun exhibits. I don’t have much patience or appreciation for his mind bending stuff, though. It literally gave me a headache! The intermingled historical photographs of the palace and the royal family throughout the museum was kind of a weird juxtaposition to Escher’s art, but I’m glad it was there.
After we left this museum, we looked for some visitor information and had an on-the-go snack. We decided to do a tour at the Medieval Prison to take a break from art and do something we wouldn’t normally gravitate towards. The tours had to be scheduled in advance so we booked one for later in the day and walked to the Peace Palace instead. I’ve seen several job ads for the archives of the International Court and have daydreamed about working there for a couple of years and living in The Netherlands as an expat. Dick and I have talked about living abroad for a short period sometime in the future. We’ll have to see if that plan ever takes shape! Anyway, it was cool to see the Peace Palace up close even though we couldn’t get a tour reservation to see the inside today. The building, which is a pretty impressive piece of architecture, was funded by the Carnegie Foundation. In fact, the building and land still belong to the Carnegie Foundation.
Back at the Medieval Prison or Museum de Gevangenpoort, we joined our tour. I guess it’s just like an American to expect that English will be the language of choice. Nay! The entire tour was in Dutch. It turns out this may have been a good thing for me, since I was spared the gory details! Dick filled me in on some of the story highlights afterwards.
We looked around for a dinner restaurant in the vicinity of the museums and realized it was a pricey neighborhood. I get a little impatient when lunch has been skipped and dinner gets delayed! Fortunately, we found a Dennys-like place near the parking garage that provided an adequate meal at an affordable price.
The next accommodation for us is the Pax Tibi B&B in Reeuwijk near Gouda. It’s an old farm with a pig barn (or piggery) turned into guest rooms. Each room has a door painted with a different farm animal. Ours is a chicken. It sounds kinda rustic, but this place is really nice! We have a lovely view of green foliage out our side window. It’s a level above our first B&B. The owner was very welcoming and served us tea/coffee with a warm stropelwaffle as soon as we arrived. They have some farm pets — a few chickens, pigs, rabbits and at least one cat. We love it!
Today’s curious sighting: funky chandeliers at the Escher Museum. Each room had a chandelier in a unique shape: guitar, wine bottle, bird, skull & crossbones, etc. The center spiral staircase had a long chandelier with several different shapes. The chandeliers didn’t seem to have any association to Escher or the palace and we didn’t see any posted explanation about them. Curious.