Arrived at the house with two colleagues at 11:30pm on Sunday, 10/20/13. We took a taxi from the train station off The Hague Central (or Den Haag Centraal).
I marvel at the size of these train stations.
Backyard of the house.
The remaining two colleagues arrived at 3pm and 1:30am.
We rented a three story house via Airbnb for two weeks. The owner of the house is a man named Reinier, a cool Dutch man in his 50s or 60s. So cool. His girlfriend’s name is Petra and his fat cat’s name is Nala.
His entire house is nicely decorated with statues, paintings, rugs, and trinkets. Multiple big screen TVs throughout the house, including in the kitchen.
The house is in a very nice suburban location, and it is one street away from the ocean. After walking through some shrubs (reminiscent to Magdalena Bay in Mexico), the ocean appears!
Touched the Atlantic Ocean from Europe’s side for the first time.
On a side note, I am a WWII geek. I didn’t read much growing up, but all I did read was WWII history, especially on the European Theater (thus my admiration of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Operation Overlord, and warfare technology). So, I climbed a small hill a couple hundred meters away from the beachhead.
Sitting on top of the hill, I realized that I was sitting on broken, buried concrete. I could spot a couple more to my left and right. I assumed the only thing that would be buried under 50 feet of sand would be an Atlantic Wall bunker.
I was right (source: Wikipedia). This beach was heavily fortified during WWII, and I stood where Germans waited for an Allied impending invasion.
Imagine being a German soldier in Normandy Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. Imagine spotting 5000 ships approaching, getting larger in scope. Knowing that, within a few more minutes, you’ll be squeezing the trigger of your MG-42 machine gun at human beings you’ve never known and will never know, for the sake of the doctrine instilled by your ruler. Holy shit.
Other thoughts about the Netherlands so far:
- Bicycles are a super popular means of transportation.
- A lot of Dutch families have dogs.