Still in The Hague.
Had to skip writing yesterday because I was running on 4.5 hours of sleep and just couldn’t pull it together. Sometimes changing hotel rooms every few days catches up with you.
Great fun yesterday as we checked out the M.C. Escher museum here in Den Haag. I’ve been a big fan of Escher since childhood, so I was surprised to find a number of prints and sketches I’d never seen before. The whole first floor of the museum is dedicated to his earlier work, before he started with all the imaginary mindscapes.
We spent about 2.5 hours in the museum altogether, moving up through the second floor, filled with the impossible etchings we’re more familiar with, to the 3rd floor, which showcases some other artists and gives Escher enthusiasts an opportunity to play with optical illusions and take fun photos.
We had actually reached the Escher museum before it opened at 11, so we walked to the Peace Palace while we waited. I don’t really have anything glib to say about the home of international courts and the venue of warcrimes trials, but we’re glad we took the time to see it. Our tour guide (wikipedia) told us that the original design was to have the doors open in times of peace, and closed in times of war. Which made me wonder how they get in the building.
Later in the evening, we caught a movie Kathryn had to cover. The theater here was comfortable and had reserved seating, making it better than every mass-market theater in the United States, but on par with most other countries. Vincent from Pulp Fiction would be happy to know that they still serve beer in the theaters in the Netherlands, but that, too, is true of pretty much the whole planet except for the US (Alamo Drafthouse and its brethren excepted). Tickets were 10.50 Euro each, and amazingly, the concession prices were designed for actual humans – we bought a water for 2.50, but there were all manner of popcorn and snacks for around 3 bucks.
We’re really liking The Hague, and it looks like we’ll spend the rest of the weekend here before we start driving on Sunday. I’m so excited for this road trip, though we’re starting to figure out that there won’t be all that much driving involved; going from The Hague, all the way through Belgium to Lille, France takes fewer miles than driving from Houston to Austin.
Photos are the view leaving the Escher museum and one of Escher’s early works. Sorry for the terribly framed photo, apparently I’m bad at both photography and WordPress.