A few days in Den Haag (The Hague)

I spent two nights in The Hague, and got to explore some of this charming city. I chose the Kingkool hostel, which was one of the best hostels I have stayed at. I will now use adjectives that I have never used to describe a hostel: impeccably clean and really comfortable beds. The entire hostel was friendly, fun, and lovely. I would definitely stay here again! Each room is decorated in a unique way and I was staying in the graffiti room.IMG_1142Knowing that I was in this place for the next two nights, I took a few moments to take a deep breath and reflect on my trip so far.

I am always nervous when I set off on a solo trip, imagining the infinite things that could go wrong. However, slowly I settle into the trip and into myself, realizing that I do have everything I need to make this happen. I had just arrived in the Hague, checked into my hostel, and was wandering around the Grote Markt in search of food. As I was thinking about this, a mantra that Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sebertson use to open each of their “Beautiful Writers” Podcast came to mind:

We are here now to give witness witness a shared truth: that absolutely everything is progress, that we have all that we need, and that brilliance is unfolding right here and now.

In that moment, I was like “Yes! I do have everything that I need – the resources, the ability, the boldness to do this!.. but,” I mused, “I am not sure if magic is unfolding right now.” At that moment, I looked around over my shoulder and there was a friggin RAINBOW arched over the rows of Haag houses. So, perhaps, magic and brilliance is unfolding. It was one of those moments where I was able to stop and savour the sense of pure joy, ease, and bliss that filled my life, and it was perfect.

IMG_1022.jpg
Classic rainbow picture, where it was so spectacularly brilliant in person, but this photo is a pretty terrible reflection of that…

One of the places that I really wanted to see was the Peace Palace, which is “seat of international law” which has become a spectacular symbol of the fight for peace and justice, since the first Hague peace conference in 1899, continuing through today, where International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration are housed. IMG_1111 While much of the palace is not open to the public, I really enjoyed the many little dedications to the fight for peace, including a monument around the a peace flame which has rocks from each nation. This peace tree is a place where you can write your prayers and wishes for peace.  DSC_4823

DSC_4882I then biked to the pier, which is just 15 minutes from the downtown on the North Sea, of course along a perfect bike path. IMG_1165 (1) DSC_4855DSC_4850The wind was INTENSE, and I ventured out on the pier as the wind whipped around. IMG_1114.jpgI again must admit that I didn’t extensively tour the sights in the Hague, but I did wander by some interesting public art:IMG_1033I also spent a while at one of the best cafes I have ever been to. It combines all of my favourite things – impeccable coffee, bicycles, public pianos, book exchanges, and friendly people. Over the last day, my brakes had been knocked out of alignment and so one of the brake pads was rubbing, so when I rolled into the cafe, the super coffee/bicycle guy did a quick brake adjustment before whipping up a perfect americano and spending some time shooting the breeze about cycle touring. I am pretty sure this is one of the most perfect places in the world.

 


 

Remember, this is all part of my “Pedalling for Mental Health” challenge, where I am hoping to raise money for mental health research. If you are able to support this great charity, please donate hereSlide1

Today’s distance:  9miles/15km                                                                                                                                                        Total miles logged: 168miles/270km

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