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Ghent, Belgium and The Hague, Netherlands

Posted by on July 14, 2018

Ahh, the Netherlands….

Of course, when people think of this country, they’ll probably think most of Amsterdam where it’s full of canals, dams, boats, marijuana smoke-outs, weed brownies, marijuana cafes, red-light district…. a lot of what tourists go there to do: oogle the drugs and stare blindly into the city full of tourists and locals alike.

All the more that there isn’t much to do in Amsterdam unless you’re into that stuff OR you plan on going to 2 museums: the Rembrandt Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. There is also the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, but once you see the lines sprawling out onto the street corners and you estimate the waiting lines of 4+ hours…. yeah…. pass. If you’re going to go to Amsterdam, then you better buy advance tickets like I did with the Winston Churchill War Rooms. I highly recommend staying in Amsterdam for a day or two before you break the Amsterdam chains and go to the other Dutch cities.

The problem is that all these Dutch cities are the same. They all have a lot of history in them and depending if they got bombed heavily during World War II or not, they will have huge, amazing buildings that are older than dirt. Despite the fact that Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, there are lots of governmental buildings in The Hague. You’ll notice that a lot of the roads are pretty wide which is the result of a lot of bombing runs back in World War II. This allowed for the roads to expand and allow automobiles to drive around the city more easily. That’s why I don’t have any good pictures of Rotterdam – that Dutch city got carpet bombed immensely that nothing of historical significance survived the zombie bombing.

the hague governmental buildings plaza platz

I don’t remember where this was at, but what’s funny is that it looks like the status is talking to the mini crowd in front of him…. “Luke… I am YOUR Father! I mean, all of you – I AM your Father!”

The Hague puerta Tor gate orange yellow bricks

Another interesting photo – I saw this arch gate while walking in The Hague. It just sticks itself out there.

Dutch Parliament government ministers congress holland paises parliamento

The Dutch Parliament meet in this building instead of being in tourist-crowded Amsterdam. You have to see the back of it…

Hofvijver pond dutch parliament building backyard patio

So this is the back of the Dutch Parliament building. They call it Hofvijver, which to them is a lake but it’s more like a pond. Just look at those swans, they’re just chilling like they own the place.

Compared to The Hague and Rotterdam, Ghent which is in Belgium an easy few hours driving from The Hague, did not get bombed much which spared the inner-city which is where most of the tourists go to. Mostly pedestrian or bikers or trams crowd the streets. Not cars. So that shows you the huge differences. Ghent’s two major buildings still stand because it avoided the war bombings.

Saint Nicholas church Ghent innercity dom eglise iglesia cloudy day nublado

This is Saint Nicholas church. It is huge and it just sticks in your face.

inside adentro Saint Nicholas Ghent Holandes paises bajos Holland

You can go inside Saint Nicholas’s church. Now, it ain’t the Vatican nor Aachen Cathedral but it’s quite big.

Saint Bavo's Cathedral Ghent Netherlands clouds city dutch style

This is Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. Not as big as Saint Paul’s but still another one of those, “Whoa! Where did that come from? Another big church???”

There is not much to see other than those historical buildings in Ghent. It’s still worth a walk around and get a good bite to eat while in Ghent. Mussels are the big thing in Belgium and in the Netherlands although it’s more pushed upwards by the Belgians for some reason. Get ’em when they are in season! Because when I went to Belgium, mussels were not in season.