Sunday, January 23, 2011

Den Haag, Day 1

I got out and about today, lucky that it did not rain although it had last night.  What did I learn during my travels?

First, it is always fun to walk past a bunch of embassies to see the different styles.  The US, as usual, looked like a fortress and was uninviting.  I noticed two embassies that had their first floor windows shuttered--Iraq and Kuwait. 

Second, I learned that my navigation is much more about luck than skill.  I was looking for the Peace Palace--the location of the International Court of Justice--and pretty much just stumbled upon it.  Later, while looking for the most direct route to the beach, I ended up consulting the sun to figure out which way was north, and confirmed that by guessing that the wind would be coming from the sea.

While at the Peace Palace, I noted that it had a very beautiful gate.  Next to it was a Flame to mark the desire for Peace, or something like that.  Apparently, this was a product of a gathering of the world's ambassadors with 198 providing stones for this rock garden.  The flame was the product of seven flames from five continents.  Which of course leads to this question--which two continents needed someone else to provide the flame?  Antarctica would be one.  And the other?  Anyhow, the cynic in me notes that the flame is awfully small.  Not much hope for peace?

Third, best Dutch word for innocuous English word: slagroom = whipped cream.

Fourth, beer is not beer but bear.  I ended up in a chain restaurant with a stuffed teddy bear theme because I was puzzled by the name "Binky Beer."  Binky as a bear name makes more sense than as a beer name.  Had fine food and beer anyway.

Fifth,I spotted the most cynical underwear ever in a lingerie shop on the pier: "Love kills slowly."  So much for romance. 

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