August 02, 2010

Going Dutch

As part of my Eurotrip, I caught a train in France that crossed Belgium to get to Holland. I dropped off my luggage in Eindhoven, where  former Bangalore roommate Stein lived. Eindhoven is more a residential city than a tourist one, with its claim to fame being that the electronics manufacturer Philips was founded there in 1891. We headed to his university town of Maastricht, which claims to be the oldest city in the Netherlands. Roman fortifications, churches, and public squares abound. As with many European towns it feels like a living museum. We enjoyed some cognac at his college buddy's pad before heading back to Eindhoven.

The next day we went to the Hague or Den Haag as the locals refer to it. Although not the capital of the Netherlands it is the seat of government and plays an important role in international politics. Home to the International Court of Justice and over 150 other global organizations, the Hague bills itself as the legal capital of the world. After traipsing past some parliamentary buildings and estates of the nobility, we caught a tram to the nearby seaside resort of Scheveningen.

Stein was about to begin a new job and his company had provided him with an apartment in Scheveningen. We walked around the the most visited beach town in the Benelux region until we located it. He had not yet received the keys to his house, so we perused it from outside before heading to the coast and enjoying the windswept sands of the Dutch coastline.


“Whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof.”
- Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch biologist