If it's raining cats and dogs in Den Haag on your one and only day of sight-seeing....

Splish-splashing along the cobblestone rues and avenues, dodging puddles left, right and centre, my pink sneakers were beyond drenched, a waterlogged mess of footwear attire gone wrong.  So, there I stood – in the midst of a torrential downpour – in the Royal City by the Sea and all that I was able to focus on was rubber boots.  Or, lack thereof.  My long anticipated sojourn to the aristocratic gem of Den Haag had taken quite the unexpected detour, my sights no longer set upon gawking at palaces and architecture, but on the more mundane task of scoring some dry and leak-proof raingear.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day....

Really jealous.  Wish I had an umbrella!!

The residential abode of the Prime Minister and generations of Dutch royalty, this compact metropolis is home to the international Court of Justice, as well as to Parliament and government offices.  Offering the best of both urban and seascape, The Hague draws upwards of thousands of visitors from around the globe each year, its world class museums and seaside resorts just a fraction of the attractions on offer.  From wide leafy promenades and spacious green spaces to the relaxed and easy breezy beachy feel of Scheveningen, the Hague does not disappoint, its cosmopolitan flair ensuring a little bit of something for everyone.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Den Haag photo courtesy of Laura B.

Oh, and did I happen to mention that it’s also home to one of the oldest shopping arcades in Holland?  Built in 1885, the Haagse Passage is a World UNESCO Heritage site, its ornate fixtures and glass domed roof visually transporting one back into the 19th century – a prestigious European shopping mecca dotted with caf├ęs, bistros and high-end boutiques catering to 21st century shopaholics.

Shopping mecca extraordinaire - bags, boots, bistros. Off to the races!!

Salivating at the prospect of indulging in excessive acquisition and hell-bent on snagging the bargain of the day, I was in seventh heaven, visions of rows upon rows of designer satchels dancing in my head, I was up to the task of a marathon sprint, snatching and grabbing until I dropped.  Or, at least, until my Euros ran out - whichever came first.

Ditching my travel pal, I barrelled on in, on a frenzied mission like none other, on a quest for umbrellas and slickers, boots, bags and whatever.  Huffing and puffing, determined to outrun the mob, jostling with hordes of soaked pedestrians seeking refuge from the rain, I was on a whirlwind spree, a cyclonic force to be reckoned with, virtually unstoppable in my tracks.  Until the unthinkable.

Umbrellas!! YIPPEE!!  Too late.  It stopped raining..

Casually languishing on an outdoor patio in this indoor promenade imbibing on quite the selection of ales was none other than my globetrotting buddy, calmly waiting out the storm.  Vino, anyone?  Well, lunchtime was just around the corner….

Catching a concert of upcoming world-renown musicians

Now, who’s the smartest one of the bunch?  Wait.  Don’t answer that.

Come shop till you drop or at least until your Euros run out, in Holland’s third largest city, Den Haag.  If it’s raining cats and dogs, no need to seek refuge under a tree, just scurry on in to Haagse Passage and treat yourself to a vino or two or three (hic!!) and pen postcards home.  After all, half the fun of travel is the unexpected, the unplanned and the unpredictable.....

Next post - In two weeks, Wed, April 15th!!  Stay tuned for the escapdes of cuckoo ol' Auntie Nora and sidekick Oz in the Netherlands.  What adventures await? Can’t wait!!

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