Thursday was Hemelfaart. This is technically a church holiday - on which Christ ascended to heaven - this rather non-churched country celebrates it with holiday from most work, no school, some stores closed, etc. But after an effort begun several years ago, we were able to take a tour of The Peace Palace, the Vredepalais. You probably would enjoy googling this and reading about the peace efforts that have continued for a hundred years here in The Hague. Lucky for us, we managed to get into an English tour so that we could indeed understand more fully. We were not allowed to take photos inside the building. So these are from out front. Our visit followed closely on the heels of the national day of remembering - the Dutch Memorial Day, in appreciation and thanks for all the efforts made to end the Second World War. The sincerity of the Dutch people is impressive, up to and including the maintenance of American cemeteries.
We have spent some time in "downtown" The Hague, doing some shopping and a bit of wandering around. We were able to walk around the Nieuw Kerk. Like many churches in the Netherlands, this is a gorgeous old building used for exhibitions or other community events, but not church. The Hague is a city which is busily reinventing itself, so there is no end of building going on. It has a very iconistic skyline.
Caro and I had a fun evening in Katwijk. Some months ago I started writing to a dutch woman, online, as she and her husband were on a cross-USA trip in an RV. We were able to visit her home on the evening of their weekly "quilt bee". It is such fun to meet in person, folks who had previously been modern-day pen pals. Oh the worlds that quilting has opened up for us. Such a fun adventure.
Last evening we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Bij Mauce, with our friends Dieuwke and Willem, as well as Caro and Rob and dog Mies. Non-service dogs in restaurants are fairly common. This morning will likely be our last breakfast with CNN International. Interesting the things that will be different in a week, including no more cats.
Caro and I have planned sewing adventures for the next six days, before I fly home. You will likely hear from me again before then.