Going Dutch, the Camel in clogs*

So the travel blog that began life in Bolivia – and which is named in celebration of the three types of camelids (Alpaca, Llama and Vicuña) which live on the Bolivian altiplano – is heading for a new home…in The Netherlands. That’s correct, from one of the highest countries in the world to one which is frequently below sea level.

After travelling from Bolivia to Nicaragua (and back again), a few months squatting back in London, with the occasional trip down memory lane, the time has come to move on again…

Leafy square, The Hague, The Netherlands

Leafy square, The Hague, The Netherlands

Clock outside Central Station, The Hague, The Netherlands

Clock outside Central Station, The Hague, The Netherlands

Bikes as far as the eye can see, The Hague, The Netherlands

Bikes as far as the eye can see, The Hague, The Netherlands

I’ll be living and working in the beautiful city of Den Haag – The Hague as its known internationally – home to the Dutch Government and Royal Family, as well as the UN’s International Court of Justice. It’s also the head office of the International Water Association, a global network of dedicated water and sanitation professionals delivering innovative solutions to the world’s water and waste problems…where I’ll be working.

Road sign, The Hague, The Netherlands

Road sign, The Hague, The Netherlands

Hat sculpture, The Hague, The Netherlands

Hat sculpture, The Hague, The Netherlands

Grote Kerk, The Hague, The Netherlands

Grote Kerk, The Hague, The Netherlands

After a few hectic weeks packing our lives into boxes, saying goodbye (again) to family and friends, sorting our flat in London and tying up loose ends, I’ve been in The Hague for a couple of days. First impressions have been positive. The sun has been shining and the warm Spring weather has seen outdoor cafes filled with Northern Europeans desperate to soak up some vitamin D. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to looking the ‘wrong’ way for traffic every time I cross the road…or at least that I’ll live long enough to do so.

Road sign, The Hague, The Netherlands

Road sign, The Hague, The Netherlands

The Hague, The Netherlands

The Hague, The Netherlands

The little boy who put his finger in the dyke? The Hague, The Netherlands

The little boy who put his finger in the dyke? The Hague, The Netherlands

Tram, The Hague, The Netherlands

Tram, The Hague, The Netherlands

So, as I explore my new home, no cliché will be left unturned. Expect thorough investigations of the art of flying a windmill; the meaning of the painted wooden clog, and exactly what the mouse on the stair was doing wearing them; not to mention exploring endless fields of tulips. There may also be the occasional polemic about why water equity is at the heart of sustainable development.

Parliamentary buildings, The Hague, The Netherlands

Parliamentary buildings, The Hague, The Netherlands

Statue, The Hague, The Netherlands

Statue, The Hague, The Netherlands

Cycling should be a lot more pleasant, not to mention safer, than on London’s crowded streets. Plus, I will be able to legitimately support a national football team that actually knows how to play football…bring on the totaalvoetbal!

I hope these photos give a flavour of The Hague…all the signs are that it should be a interesting place to live.

Road sign, The Hague, The Netherlands

Road sign, The Hague, The Netherlands

* the phrase ‘camel in clogs’ is the intellectual property of Ms. A. Pollard, a wordsmith of rare ability.

11 thoughts on “Going Dutch, the Camel in clogs*

  1. Hey Paul! Congrats on the new location and new… action! You probably managed to grab the three only sunny days a year. (Joke of course)
    I lived in Amsterdam for 3 years. Lovely experience.
    Veel geluck en succes (or something like that!)
    Brian

    • Thanks Brian, so far the weather has been kind, although I did get soaked two days ago. As someone with Dutch experience, any suggestions for successful living in the Netherlands? Can’t wait to explore the country, especially Amsterdam which has such a fabulous cultural life – or so I’m told.
      Best wishes, Paul

      • Hi Paul, I’m not sure I qualify as a consultant on Dutch successful living… 🙂
        Now, things to do: it’s a bit late in the year to ice-skate on the canals, but you can get locals to take you in the winter. This time of the year it’s the tulips. Incredible sights. Any local Dutch can tell you where and when. Don’t miss it. Then of course Amsterdam, the Dam, the Van Gogh museum, The Rijksmuseum (recently refurbished). The island of Texel. Lots of things to do. Enjoy. And don’t miss the flowers. They shoud be coming out any time now.
        Be good.
        Brian

        • Hey Brian. That all sounds like good advice, thanks. I’m really looking forward to seeing the flowers – it is supposed to be magnificent. Hopefully we’ll have some good weather, it has been a little damp this past week. The Vermeer painting of the Girl with the Pearl Earring is in The hague, may try to see it at the weekend! Hope all’s well, Paul

        • The girl with the pearl! Wow! such envy. (three years in Holland and we never went to Den Haag!)
          Before and beyond Scarlet Johansson, this kind of painting I always find very moving. Think of the model when you see it. she was 18-20 then? She had a name. A life. “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…”
          Enjoy.
          Brian

  2. Oh yes! Signs of great things to come! Really love that clock too!
    Looking forward to learning also, about the work of the IWA.

    • Hopefully there will be plenty of interesting things to do and explore. At the moment I’m just exhausted trying to work everything out! I imagine fracking will make an appearance at some point…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s