USA Field Hockey

Nov 03 Michelle Kasold- "Peace Palace"

Nov. 03, 2010, 11:16 a.m. (ET)

Peace Palace

So I have been here about 2 months now and I have seen quite a bit. I've been to a few cities, but find myself in neighboring Den Haag at least a few times a week. As the third biggest city in Holland though, there was still much to be discovered. And as much as I had already ventured through the city, I had yet to be a true tourist and go to the palaces, museums, etc. I decided to do so on Saturday.

It was a lovely day, the sun was shining (which can be rare!) and I had no where I needed to be. I started the day by sleeping in and watching a little EHL on TV. It was the second weekend for first round games and they were being played in Spain. After this I met up with some of my teammates and some other hockey girls from New Zealand for a pancake lunch. I have never seen so many choices for pancakes! There were at least 100! Pancakes here though are not the same as we have in the US. Their pancakes are much thinner, more similar to crepes. They are delicious though! I got mine with fruit, whipped cream, and syrup! After our bellies were full, Kim and I headed out to explore Den Haag. As we rode away from the center of town, we just picked randomly where to turn. 

We found our way to the harbor, checking out where all the boats were from and how they compared to ones we'd seen in the US. We then stopped by the Peace Palace, which was closed, but still a beautiful sight to see. Right outside the palace is the eternal peace flame. It was created in 1999, along with 6 others on 5 continents to be a symbol of peace, unity, freedom, and celebration. What I found really neat about the actual monument was that there is a circle path around the flame which contains a stone from every country. Besides the unique design and wide collection of stones, it showed all the countries commitment to the peace flames purpose.

To find out more on the World Peace Flame organization: visit http://www.worldpeaceflame.org/

Although I still have more to see in Den Haag, including the MC Escher museum and Maduordam (mini Holland), this was definitely the coolest thing I have seen so far!

Peace Palace:

Peace Palace, Kasold
About the World Peace Flame:

About the Peace Flame, Kasold
Me and the World Peace Flame:

Peace Flame, Kasold 

Halloween

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! It is one of my favorite holiday's and I was a bit sad that I missed it since they don't celebrate it over here. I thought about celebrating it anyways and dressing up, but I think I would have gotten quite a few stares... okay a whole lot of stares... if I did that!

Coincidentally though, there is an American school right down the road from where I live. So there were a couple streets nearby that had houses that were decorated with pumpkins, cobwebs, ghouls and ghosts! This came as a surprise to me as I rode my bike past these houses. It put a big smile on my face though! This also meant there would be at least a few people celebrating the holiday!

Halloween was on Sunday this year, but the families here decided to celebrate/take the kids trick-or-treating on Saturday night instead. As I returned to Wassenaar from a day of adventuring around Den Haag, I saw all the kids already out in their costumes! I decided to stop by Kim's house since she lives on that street and the family she lives with was also celebrating and giving out candy. It almost seemed like home with all of the little trick-or-treaters in their cute little costumes! By far the best part of the night though was when the Prince and Princess came by with their two daughters to celebrate the festivities! That was unexpected, but very cool that the children can do everyday things and enjoy themselves without being bothered. And it was really awesome for me to see them right there at our doorstep!

Although I miss Halloween in the states, especially picking out costumes, it's not necessarily so bad that I missed it... because now I won't get sick off of candy!! I hope everyone had a great Halloween though... I've seen some great pictures and awesome costumes from back home! Looks like all my friends had fun this year!

 

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