Tuesday 16 August 2011

Wassenaar revisited

Grain mill the "Windlust"
 Right now we're in The Netherlands. On Monday we drove up here to spend a few days visiting friends and to sort out a bit of 'corv√©' as our neighbour, Alexandra calls it--bits and pieces of family related business.

Today we were in Wassenaar. We used to live here when we taught at the International School of The Hague. It is a village which used to be quite rural but is now just a hop, skip and jump away from The Hague and Leiden. This means it is a highly sought after location for many expats who need to live within easy commuting distance.

We loved living in Wassenaar because it has never lost its village feel and still has a nice mix of restaurant/cafes and independent shops.

Langstraat looking east
 The "Windlust" a 'classic' Dutch windmill, was used to mill grain, not pump water. It is the centre of the village and is a listed historic building. The ground floor houses a little studio and art gallery. When we lived in Wassenaar very occasionally one of the bakeries sold bread which was made with flour milled in the Windlust. This was quite a special event and the loaves sold out incredibly quickly.

typical old houses by the church
 The main street, the "Langstraat" is pedestrianised and runs west- east. Once upon a time it was a street lined with houses some of which had very smart facades. Now almost all are shops or little boutiques and if you look up you can still see the original windows and gables.

The 17th century white house in the photo on the left was once the library and is now a small YMCA. Not a bad place for a backpacker to spend a night.


ladybird said...

What a lovely town! And how I would like to taste some of the bread made with flour from that windmill. Btw, will you be passing through Brussels on your way back ... any chance of you stopping by? :) Martine

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - the bread was great. Helaas niet.. :-( we are driving via Maastricht, Boullion & Reims.

But next time perhaps? It would be nice to meet for real. :-)

Jean said...

What a lovely old town.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean it is still, at heart, a lovely village and we throughly enjoyed living there. We hadn't visited for a while and it was good to be there again :-)

Craig said...

It looks beautiful guys. I have a very soft spot for the Netherlands. I always feel very comfortable there - I guess it's the warmth of the people.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Craig - it is :-). people are great--the whole place is just SO crowded. [It's one of the most densely populated places in the world.]