Down time and Welcome Dinner

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The Dutch Arabian Racing Committee (DARC) had made the gift to Conference attendees of the canal tour.  The morning rain had turned to a promise of sun by noon and even though I had photos to download, the canal trip was calling.  I wanted to hear more about the town and the  purpose of the canals, most built in the 1800’s before the roads of the town. Once the means of commerce and transport, the waterways today are more for a quiet view than for business.

The one tricky part is that the bridges are quite low…and we all had to duck our heads when going under them.  Reggie was a great tour guide, pointing out newly built or being built architectural wonders, points of history such as the fact that many of the canals had been filled in during the 19th Century after they had become contaminated from sewage.  We passed charming narrow Dutch homes, many 150 years old.  The most popular housing so many years ago was on the water, and we saw homes of many Dutch painters of the era. who lived here in the late 1800’s. Also pointed out was the one-time home of the infamous dancer and spy, Mata Hari, who lived in the Hague in 1915 before going to Paris.

The dinner at the 13th Century Duivenvoorde Castle was an extravagant affair and a welcome to 14 UAE Ambassadors as well as Conference guests. We enjoyed a beverage on the patio before the evening’s change of weather forced us inside.

We were ushered into what was once the ballroom.  White was the theme as white candles were nestled into foot long candelabra which centered the white cloth covered tables, festive with multiple containers of white flowers.

We were able to relax and talk to our peers while tasting tender as butter tuna sashimi through fragrant lobster soup into melting tournados of beef with béarnaise sauce and on to the finalé, velvet creme brulée.  We were back at the Hilton by midnight, and I still had photos to download.

Thanks for stopping by.


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