Once a year our school went to a park. And I lived in Den Haag, a big city to Dutch standards, and we lived in a working-class neighborhood. Our school outing when I was 10 and 11 was Drievliet. Drievliet was nothing more than a playground. Nothing less either. With swings, rockers, trampolines and a merry-go-round. Long wooden benches where we would sit and eat the sandwiches we took from home. The school provided lemonade and the bus would take us “home”. Where, yes we would duck so all the parents waiting for the bus would think the bus was empty.
I remember that I bought a postcard, probably one like this one, and put a stamp on it I got from home. I and would send the postcard to my mother and father so they would know I was away…
Drievliet is old. The house was in the middle between The Hague and Delft and this estate was already mentioned in 1611, at the point where three rivers crossed. Drie is Dutch for Three.
De Vliet to Leiden to your left, de Delftse Vliet to the right and in front of us the Haagvliet. The house is probably built in 1625 and was mentioned in a property settlement in 1682. The house a country seat for many years in this quiet row of country seats along the river.
In 1938 is was bought by a new owner who transformed the house into a café, a tea garden and a playground. In 1951 the first tourist attraction was added and many more followed.
Nowadays more thrill rides have been added as the family park was modernized. The park is on my way to work with the bike and I stopped last week to take a picture:
The house is now no longer a part of Drievliet. It is a Chinese restaurant called The Chinese Wall and as you can see nothing in it makes you think of the daughter of Johan van Gogh who got it from her father when she married Arnout van Beaumont. I know the restaurant well, because it was the favourite restaurant of my mother in law. They have this all-you-can-eat-buffets that are so popular in Holland. A Chinese restaurant is (I don’t know how it is in your county) in the Netherlands the place to be if you are with a large group of people for an affordable price. So I have been there quite some times.
Strange how a place can change in one’s life. First a playground in schooldays, a restaurant in family days and now a resting point in my bike ride from home to work and vice versa. But it still looks lovely to me.