The Hague Temple
The Hague, Netherlands
Our time in Europe was coming to an end. We had just finished teaching English in Russia for four months, which we really loved and enjoyed the experience. Everyone was ready to go home in our group but us. We had planned to stay an extra two weeks after the end of the semester and travel Europe, and that is exactly what we did.
Because of temple schedules and price of flights, we first started off by flying to Brussels from Moscow. Neither one of us knew much about Belgium, or what to do there, other then they have good chocolate and great waffles! When we got there we went to the Grand Place of Brussels, and found a delicious, white chocolate covered waffle. We then walked to the bus station where we spent the night on some benches until 3:00 in the morning, which is when we caught our bus. Buses are generally the cheapest way to travel, and we did what we could to take overnight buses to save money on hotels (It is a little more miserable though).
We took the bus to The Hague, which is a nice city in The Netherlands, another country which we didn't know much about. We got a train and went to a small town called Zoetermeer, just outside of The Hague, where The Hague Netherlands Temple was located.
Before planning on going to this temple I didn't even know it was there. Many people don't, which is a shame. It's in a beautiful area and it's a wonderful temple. From the train station we walked along a small canal to the temple. People were riding bikes everywhere, everything was bright and green, and the people were friendly; It was a great area!
We got to the temple and were so excited. It was a bright, sunny day, which was a little blessing, considering the weather the area had been having.
The temple grounds are very pretty, being surrounded by lots of grass and many flowers. There is a small fountain in front of the temple, with a little bridge crossing over it. We were early, so we took pictures, had a little snack and sat on the grass. The schedule of the temple is odd and the sessions are not everyday. This is partially why we had to come to this temple first.
The Hague Temple used to be a church building, and was converted into a temple. It looks somewhat like a smaller temple like many of the small ones built around 2000, but it had its own uniqueness. The spire of the temple has pretty stained glass in it, and the front door is made of copper and is massive.
We met the temple president outside the temple, who got there early to open it up. He told us of some of its history and how a year earlier the temple didn't have any grounds, but now the grounds were larger and beautiful. It was fun to meet the temple president, and somehow we often get to in many temples.
We went inside and were greeted by so many kind members. We did a session, and in one of the rooms there was a mural, which is common, but this one had small windmills in the distance. It's neat to see how the temples usually make their murals look like the area in which the temple is built. Windmills of course are common in The Netherlands, and so it was neat to see them in the landscape mural.
We were the witness couple, which is always fun, and the session was done in Dutch. We had a great session, and loved going through The Hague Temple.
Afterwards we walked across a small bridge next to the temple and walked through a touristy street. It was a fun area, and we very much enjoyed it.
We then went to Amsterdam by train, and enjoyed the day there. We went to Zaandam Schans, where there are old windmills that were built a few hundreds years ago. We couldn't go to the Netherlands without seeing windmills! There was also a cheese and mustard shop where we got some free, delicious samples.
The Netherlands is beautiful, and the temple was as well. Many people haven't even heard of The Hague temple, and we hope more people hear about it and will go especially when in the area. If ever visiting Amsterdam it is maybe an hour away on a beautiful train ride, and completely worth it. We loved the Netherlands!