Aug trip 2014
We are aboard ANA flight to Frankfurt, my first time to be on board ANA. Interesting to realise that this flight do not offer amenities for long flight, even a pair of sock as in the old days with other flights. A hand written note is placed inside lavatory that m is night self help snacks n drinks are available in the back of cabin if needed. Very handy way to do it so as to not disturb those who are asleep. It was quite unexpected to see food trays and dishes on the floor as I was in the back cabin, helping myself with drinks and snacks. Not sure what to expect but thought meal related utensils should never on the floor. Hmm ……. have not quite seen that scene on a Cathay flight, thank goodness.
As we were waiting at Haneda airport, am thrilled to find 1-2 more restaurants that I would love to try out in next opportunity there. All the more surprised to see Setagaya ramen restaurant there too, one of my favourite.
Have not really met Kim for probably 20+ and even that was a short bumped into when we happened to be in hometown in the same day. To be spending time together was some 30+ years back. Wow……..we have aged by 3 decades !! We will going to museum together, as admiring the Girl with A Pearl Earring painting by Vermeer. Visit Den Haag, Delft and possibly Leiden. Then move on to celebrate 70th big day with a friend in Frankfurt.
We managed to make arrangement with Kim about our flight status so that she needs not wait unnecessarily at airport for us. Kim picked us up, somehow got her lost parking ticket re-traced for payment purpose. What a high tech service in use. It was very impressive too of how self check-in kiosk and self baggage tagging counter were put into work. Certainly save time and manpower.
Very difficult to drive in Den Haag, as we saw it. There are the trams lanes, cyclists lanes and roads, seemingly all intercross. At times, car accessibility is blocked, especially at certain hours of the days. I wonder GPS guiding will be liked.
We visited Kim’s apartment. Nice, quiet neighbourhood, mainly of foreigners from Turksih. In Holland, many Morrocans, Arabs, apparently are localised though a good portion of them kept to their culture and language tightly.
We went on to meet with her best friend who insisted on treating us to a better than in HK Tim sum. It did turn out delicious. We enjoyed the rare chatting at travel destination.
We headed to Mauritshius Museum, and the gentleman as entrance seemed racist, picking my unclosed bag as too big and needed baggage concierge ! Yet, another lady with similar bag size was not pointed. Grrghh…… My not-genki camera is testing my patience every time I tried to turn it on. Hopefully will find a nice replacement camera. We spent the afternoon enjoying the parliament, which is close to the museum. Such magnificent paintings, great collection. At Prince William’s Museum, a few collections were on loan from Rijskemuseum, to my delight.
Then we visited the coastline of Holland, had gorgeous seafood at Simonis. A very busy restaurant. Almost self service though the staff will offer to bring your order to table, if the dish is too big. Orders placed, then find a table and wait for order number to be called. If only our stomach could store all the dishes on offer. Certainly very tempting.
The next day, we went on our own to antique market, about 10 minutes walk from Mercure Den Haag Centre Hotel. such gorgeous day to walk. Lots of antique books, accessories, house decors and a few paintings.
Kim and Tong came to pick us for Delft visit, about 25 minutes drive from Dan Haag. There are the new and old churches, where kings and queens are buried. Heroes are rested there also. I climbed the church tower on my own as no one else is interested. Wow….. it took 40 minutes for up n down the ancient stairs. “heh……… heh….. heh…..” was my breathing when I got back down. Just about to begin church visit, Kim caught me, “where are you going ?”. “To the church.”, I replied. After that, everyone was laughing that they didn’t think I would be climbing the tower !!
The pottery visit was wonderful n the explanation, very clear. It was located by the canal, with beautifully lined houses, of the old n newer renovated structure.
As we walked on in the Delft town, looking for a table at a local cafe near the old church, a lady was very kind to comment to us we should try the appletaart offered by the cafe where we were waiting for a table. It turned to be REALLY good, indeed.
We chose steak place for dinner after the day’s travel. Wonderful, cosy restaurant, it was. As the sky would not darkened until 2000 hour, we took the chance to see the ICJ – International Court of Justice. If only we had time for a little tour inside in her opening hours.
We visited Leiden n I finally get to meet my pen friend. Such beautiful town, I must say. It was beautiful weather too. We had a light lunch at a cafe by the canal. A tried fruity beer from Belgium while I tried goat cheese with Workkorn bun. Finally got to see a moolen upfront. Apparently the caretaker actually lives in one, even training a successor, who is usually a family member too.
We managed to stop by Frankfurt office, got to meet up with a long time friend n his wife…..he was single then, some 20+ years already. Had great dinner by the river, even trying German tonkatsu.
The next day, we took a walk to Dorinth Hotel, it was about 10 minutes in fantastic weather. The duty free outlet has a nice layout. Good that we made it on Saturday as shops are closed on Sunday. Crowd was just nice too. We enjoyed the day n headed back to take a quick nap as we anticipated a late night for the celebration. it was certainly a wonderful time indeed, also meeting friends who had gathered, including the ladies who had visited Kyoto n Tokyo in June. They called us as greetings n that we’all meet in August.
The party was well planned n great entertainment was fabulous. We all had a good laugh n most danced to the good old tunes of Abba later. We haven’t danced for more than 25+ years, there were tunes of twist, waltz and tango, if you could. The hotel certainly served delicious food also. There was the ice cream cakes at 0000 hour !! It was really good but I just could not stuff it in anymore. We ‘gave up’ at around 0130 hour.
Flight back seemed more uncomfortable than going. Snacks were not of my choice as I realised from going flight. Bought a German sausage n bread near waiting gate B48, prior to boarding. However, food was not as good as when taken fresh, I must say.