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From Scheveningen

Early autumn on The Hague road to Scheveningen

The other day, it was still August, I was on my way to my favourite summer bike path: the Scheveningseweg. When I got there I was  amazed that the trees already showed some signs of autumn. The colours made me smile, but I wondered if it was an early autumn on The Hague road to Scheveningen. Today, the 1st of September, on the official day of metereological fall, I found some answers.

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How to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen 2017

Great that you’re coming to the International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen. To get to Scheveningen is quite easy, but I would recommend you to prepare your trip as this popular festival expects tens of thousands of visitors. Here are some tips on how to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen.

Best way to get to the Firework festival Scheveningen is by bike
Best way to get to the Firework festival Scheveningen is by bike

Cycling to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen

Of course, as a bike fan I would suggest to come by bike. Your journey to the Scheveningen beach won’t be any longer than usual, you don’t depend on bus or tram schedules and you can easily leave the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen. Finding a parking spot for your bike can be difficult though, so even when you come by bike, come a bit earlier. If you’re looking for a bike parking check biesieklette.   If you’re not from The Hague you can also rent a bike at Biesieklette. These are the rental locations:

  • Grote Markt (Laan 9)
  • Driehoekjes (Grote Halstraat 9)
  • Spuiplein (onder het stadhuis)
  • Anna van Buerenstraat (achter het Centraal Station)
  • Zeeman Grote Markstraat
  • Rabbijn Maarsenplein
  • Du Nord Keizerstraatpark & bike in Fireworks Festival Scheveningen

 

 

Park & Bike

Coming by car is a real hassle and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. If you do want to come by car, check https://bksparking.nl/ for available parking spot in the area of the International Fireworks Festival.  If you really want to take the car to Scheveningen beach I suggest to use this website . This is a special Park & Ride system as you book a parking spot in advance ánd can add public transport,  taxi service or a rental bike . Do make sure that you reserve a bike at least one  day in advance as this is quite a popular service.

Want to use public transport to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen?
Want to use public transport to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen?

Fireworks Festival Scheveningen: just a tramride away

The last option to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen is to come by tram. At the servicedesks in The Hague Centraal Station and Hollands Spoor they sell €4.00 event tickets which is valid for both ways. You can take tram 1 and 11 from and to railway station The Hague Hollands Spoor or tram 9 from The Hague Centraal railway station. Bus 21, 22 and 23 have several stops in The Hague city centre.  Check for more information ( in Dutch) HTM or 9292.nl

General information on how to get to beach resort Scheveningen can be found on this website.  The  fireworks festival Scheveningen takes place on 11,12, 18 & 19 August 2017. More information on the festival itself can be found here

The Hague Horse Drawn Carriage Ride in a Day Tour

The kids were exhausted. On the way back to their hotel in The Hague they just fell asleep. It didn’t seem to matter that they were doing something unusual. The The Hague horse drawn carriage ride, the cherry on the cake of the whole tour, passed unnoticed. Did we do too much on this one day tour The Hague area?

The Jewish American family during the dune walk
The Jewish American family during the dune walk

In retrospective I think it may have been too much, the schedule packed with activities in the The Hague dunes, the Scheveningen beach and harbour.  But, I really can’t help it:  I’m a big fan of alternative tours and showing cities and their surroundings from a different perspective.  I do know that things don’t always go the way you planned. Well, that’s for sure!  I had planned a tramride to Delft and a short Delft city tour. Then I found out the tram didn’t go all the way to Delft and it was raining cats and dogs.  One of the participants texted me with the question if they could visit the Escher museum. Slightly relieved, I proposed they visited the museum instead of going to Delft, which wouldn’t be that much fun anyway if my favourite tram wasn’t running.

At noon I met the participants, a Jewish American family who instead of doing a traditional celebration for the bar mitswa of their daughter/ niece went on a Europe trip.  After having visited three European countries, they were now visiting the Netherlands for 5 days.

View point lake The Hague dunes day tour Netherlands

Fortunately the tram to the Scheveningen beach ran on a normal schedule. I brought the family to  beach restaurant De Waterreus, where they had a fantastic sea food lunch and service was perfect.

When the sky cleared we rented bikes and made our way to the Dunea information centre , which is located in the midst of the The Hague dunes. The park ranger stood in front of the centre waiting for us. The walk we made with him through the dunes was amazing. From a land full of potatoes he took us to a foresty area and whispered that we might be able to see the wild horses that were grazing in this valley full of maythorns ( hence the name Meijendel). The eyes of the youngest participant lit up. When she spotted them she was extatic. The funny thing was that the horses followed her as if they were on a magic spell.

Wild horses Meijendel dunes Hague area-veritasvisit

 

While she was still enjoying the attention of the wild horses, we climbed up the hill to get the most spectacular view overlooking a big lake with in the background the skyline of beach resort Scheveningen.

Amazing view on The Hague skyline from Meijendel dunes
Amazing view on the skyline of beach resort Scheveningen from Meijendel dunes
The park ranger explaining where Hague's drinking water comes from
The park ranger explaining where Hague’s drinking water comes from

It was at this point the park ranger explained how the dune water was extracted and used for distribution of drinking water to thousands of households in The Hague region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enchanted by the dune walk we returned to our bikes and cycled to the horse and wagon. The Hague horse drawn carriage ride back was, like I said, a quiet one. Only the youngest participant still chatted excitingly about the wild horses. The route was beautiful though and we had a lot of spectators. Everyone stopped to see the horse drawn carriage wagon pass by.

The day tour The Hague area was quite an adventure. And to be honest, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

The Hague horse drawn carriage ride is the end of our day tour The Hague area
The Hague horse drawn carriage ride is the end of our day tour The Hague area

 

How a small café by the harbour became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Challenge

It wasn’t supposed to get all the attention, but somehow it did. A small café by the harbour became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Challenge. This is how it happened.

Flags Flag Day Scheveningen-veritasvisit

Celebration of the Dutch New Herring

The new herring catch of the season calls for a typical Dutch celebration. A typical Dutch celebration calls for a challenge by Verita’s Visit. So there we were, me and a bunch of international minded people, at the harbour of Scheveningen with just one mission: find out what Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen was all about and if it was more than Dutch new herring.

King William and Madonna at Vlaggetjesdag

The participants had no idea what to expect, there were question marks all over their faces when we met at the Scheveningen library. As there was some drizzle outside that was expected to turn into heavy rainfall, we headed inside for a short introduction. The given information could be used during the challenge.  King William, Madonna, the painter Mesdag and of course the Dutch herring, also known as Hollandse Nieuwe  all dropped by in this introduction.

 

the go with the flow festival challenge

Exactly at the moment the rain stopped, the participants, now divided in teams, were off to the first location in the Scheveningen harbour where they had to answer a question and complete a creative challenge. Now, finding your way in a local festival is quite a challenge by itself, so at first all teams were a bit lost.  By the time they had done two or three challenges they got the hang of it. They somehow realized the best thing to do was to just go with the flow, dive into the festivities and have fun.

Enjoy the local atmosphere and get social with a local

The best thing on local festivals like Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen is the atmosphere, everyone is relaxed and it’s easy to make contact with locals or visitors.  Just like in the Leidens Ontzet Treasure Hunt  the participants of the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Challenge had to step out of their comfort zone and get social with a local.

Sharing Experiences during Herring & Corenwijn tasting

At the end of the Scheveningen Vlaggetjesdag challenge we all gathered at Restaurant de Dagvisser. In this small café by the harbour we tasted 4 exquisite herring dishes with 4 types of Corenwijn. All teams shared their experiences there. When I asked them why they all had chosen the song ‘Het kleine café aan de haven’ for one of the challenges they all responded in unison: “Because it was the shortest!”

Tasting Dutch Herring & Corenwijn
Tasting Dutch Herring & Corenwijn in a small café in the harbour ( actually a restaurant 😉 )

Small cafe by the harbour of Scheveningen

Athough they were all enjoyed, it was not the Hollandse Nieuwe,  the fishers’ boats, the stands demonstrating the local crafts or the men and women in traditional clothing, it was a small café by the harbour that became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Challenge edition 2016.

Female net repairer Scheveningen-veritasvisit

From Buisjesdag to Vlaggetjesdag: Herring festivals in Holland

When it comes to herring festivals in Holland Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen, in English known as Flag Day, is the first one that comes to mind. On Facebook I posed the facts & fiction question:

Vlaggetjesdag is only celebrated in the sea side resort Scheveningen

In the last fact & fiction you could read that the Vlaggetjesdag was held on Pentecost, preferably the Monday. Most probably our national herring day dates back  many centuries, but  it was mentioned for the first time in 1787 in a local newspaper referring to Buisjesdag in Vlaardingen.

Buisjesdag  in Vlaardingen was the precursor of Vlaggetjesdag.  A buis was the type of ship used for fishing in the 18th century. Fishers’wives & their children would pray in the Grote Kerk Vlaardingen for a safe return of the men & a good herring catch. Afterwards women and children stood on the shore waving their husbands and fathers goodbye while the the buizen  sailed off.

In the early days, Vlaardingen was the centre of the herring fishing and the start of many of the traditions you can now still see on Vlaggetjesdag. I will explain why Vlaardingen was thé port for herring in the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour.


The name of Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen first appeared in the media in 1947. But, it was just one of the many herring festivals in Holland. Other ports at the North Sea coastline such as IJmuiden and Katwijk had their own Flag days.  Vlaggetjesdag took over the concept of Buisjesdag, but was celebrated on a different day. Plus, although many traditions have  its intention changed.

Nowadays, many herring festivals in Holland have changed their focus. IJmuiden celebrates the fishing industry with the Havenfestival  and the fishers’town of Urk, Flevoland organises the Visserijdagen

 

The Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour is an interactive way to get connected with locals, meet new people, experience a typical Dutch celebration, hear the  facts about Scheveningen port & its history, taste herring ( or any oher Scheveningen speciality), see  the port in a different way ( which will never be the same after this tour 😉 ). Want to join us? Read more and sign up here  Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour 

 

 

#LordHerrings