One of the things that I find unique about the Netherlands is the inland waterways and the life that surrounds them. You can take even a masted boat right into the centre of many beautiful Dutch towns, like Zierikzee, Sneek, Goes or Hoorn. Within your ‘little home on the water’, you become part of the town and can watch people passing by. We often sail our boat to Westerdok in Amsterdam. It’s right in the centre, next to Amsterdam Central Station and only 300 meters from the lively Haarlemmerdijk shopping street. Amazing.
As a city I enjoy living in The Hague. In September 2012 I arrived with my two teenage boys in The Hague ahead of my husband, who joined us in May 2013. I love this city and am even very proud of it. It has an international flavour and yet the sense of community is what I like the most. You can easily connect with people, something I found harder to do in other countries that I’ve lived in.
I like the elegance and calmness of the city without it being boring. The city is both the seat of the Dutch government and home to the Dutch royal family. The embassies and multinational organisations make it a real international hub with great restaurants and festivals and yet still you can make a connection with people locally. As my job is to make people ‘feel at home’ in the city I can honestly say that The Hague is the only place ‘where I can have my cake and eat it!’
The best way to see the city is to rent a bike. In this way you can also visit the forests and the dunes, as well as the beach and the harbour, and experience aspects of The Hague you probably wouldn’t otherwise see. Escher museum is a favourite for me, but I would also recommend the Louwman Museum. It’s housed in a lovely building which is a homage to the world’s oldest private collection of historic cars, coaches, and motorcycles. You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to like it: the information given with each car is just enough to intrigue you. To get there I suggest you take a bike ride through the Haagse Bos where you can also see the Huis ten Bosch Palace, the residential palace of the Dutch Royal Family since 1981.
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