Picture of the Week

29 January 2017

Week 03: Den Haag

Filed under: — Administrator @ 18:46

I spent half of the week in the Netherlands. The purpose of the trip was to attend a meeting at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague. While I also took a few pictures at home in Alicante during the week, this blog is mainly about the three days in The Hague.

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I flew to Amsterdam on Monday morning and took the train south to The Hague. Along the way, I looked at the familiar flat Dutch landscape through a very dirty train window:
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Then I looked around at my fellow passengers. Next to me sat three young women. They are a good illustration of the ethnic and cultural diversity of today’s Netherlands; and yet, they are doing exactly the same thing:
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I arrived in The Hague and made my way to the hotel in the international quarter of the city, which houses Europol, many embassies and many other international organisations. I then went for a walk, looking for a residential neighbourhood where I could find a supermarket and stock up on essentials for the minibar (it is my habit to use hotel minibars for my own stuff). Right outside my hotel was a reminder of the bonds between the UK and the Continent, Brexit be damned:
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I did find a residential neighbourhood and a supermarket. And a bicycle with Pluto:
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After a session in the hotel gym, I met up for dinner with my friend Michiel Fokkema from Rotterdam. We went to a nice seafood restaurant on the beach. I photographed him with my 1.4/23mm lens:
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And then Michiel lent me his magical 50mm Noctilux which I mounted on my Fuji for this image at f1.0:
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A somewhat fuzzy picture of me, but I still like it. And perhaps the activity in which I am engaging goes well with the fuzziness:
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Early Tuesday morning, I and my colleagues walked across the street to Europol’s building:
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This is how I spent most of the day:
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I quite liked Europol’s building. There is some interesting architecture:
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And some interesting art as well:
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A small memorial to policemen killed in the line of duty:
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In the evening, I took the tram to the centre to have dinner there with a colleague. This image gives an idea of how empty the international quarter is on a cold winter evening:
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The city looks nicer in the centre:
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And here is the Dutch national dish, an Indonesian rijstafel:
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I was flying home from Amsterdam Wednesday afternoon, so I had a free morning in The Hague. It was a cold and crisp morning:
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The fountain outside my hotel:
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I decided to spend the morning visiting the nearby museums, first the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and then the adjacent Fotomuseum:
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The Gemeentemuseum was a very positive surprise, with a fantastic collection which I really enjoyed. I have set up a dedicated gallery here. What I show below are some pictures from the Fotomuseum and its immediate surroundings.

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Outside the museum stands this strange statue reminiscent of Ronald McDonald:
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It is unclear which details are part of the work, and which ones were added later:
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The main attraction at the Fotomuseum was a major exhibition of Werner Bischof’s work from post-war Europe in 1945-46:
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This arrangement of the photos was quite a sight:
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One of the interesting things about the exhibition was that Bischof’s contact sheets were also displayed. Here, three photos of post-war Poland with the corresponding contact sheet:
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Two visitors looking at contact sheets. I had posted a version of this image as a Picture-A-Day, but a friend suggested this tighter crop:
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The café of the Fotomuseum:
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Outside the museum I noticed a curious juxtaposition of a modern sculpture and what appeared to be an ancient cemetery in the background:
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Almost 400 years ago:
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Old relief:
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Outside the museum stands this old telephone booth. At first I did not notice the human shape inside:
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I have no idea what Stalin is doing here…:
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Then it was time to head to the train station and catch the train to the airport. Outside the station I stopped to look at a huge collection of flowers. Later googling revealed that they were placed there in memory of a street musician who had recently died:
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The full story about this remarkable man is here (in Dutch).

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There are certain foods I miss from the Netherlands–not many, but some. One is the wonderful Matjes herring, served like this, in a soft bun with chopped onions. I had one at Schiphol, just before going through security. Yummy!
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Back in Alicante, Thursday and Friday Spain was hit by a real blast of winter, with lots of snow in many parts of the country, including on the beaches in Torrevieja, south of Alicante. But here we just had spectacular skies like this (and rain, of course):
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An unusual sight, the mountains above Alicante covered in snow:
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Finally, an abstract image of the rain, taken while driving to work Friday morning (while stopped at a red light, of course):
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