We made it. We flew to Amsterdam Schiphol with our three suitcases and two cats. We had to drug the poor things so they wouldn’t fuss too much on the plane but apart from telling us how much they like plane travel with hisses, cries and the death howl, they were a dream. Apparently the 200 decibels of noise inside the chaos of Schiphol Airport/Train Hub woke the kitties from their peaceful drug-induced repose. Walking from the gate to the baggage claim and from the baggage claim to the shuttle office we zigged, zagged and sidestepped through a veritable forest of perky-eared, finger-pointing Dutch exclaiming, “Kat!”. Sigh. Yes, yes, the two little cat-looking mammals making cat-sounds are, indeed, cats.
Tired and weary (and only slightly irritable) from two hours in the airport at Las Palmas, five hours of plane travel and about two hours to get from the plane to the hotel, we checked in at our first home in Den Haag. It wasn’t so much a home as it was a pit stop. We had to stay at this particular hotel, one of the nicest in Den Haag, because it was the only one that allowed pets. Because we arrived on a Sunday, our original plan of leaving the cats at the cat hotel was foiled since they do not take drop-offs or pick-ups on Sundays.
It worked out quite well to be honest. The poor kitties were tired and disoriented, drugged and hungry. It was best that they were with us the first night so they could emerge out of their stupor in the company of their slaves.
The next morning we dropped them off at Kattenhotel Lorenzo in the Duinoord district of the city. Little did we know that our future home was right around the corner. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at a number of apartments in many areas of the city. Some good, most not what we were looking for or out of our price range. However, there was one that piqued our interest and immediately became the front runner.
We had to haggle some of the details of payment and furniture but our agent Rick from Verra Real Estate was great. They were able to negotiate with the landlady and iron out the details. We moved in on Friday and have been here since.
All in all it was a positive experience apartment hunting in Den Haag; it took us a week once we were on the ground but the three weeks of research and phone calls and emails to agents and prospective apartments was really what made the search easy. We came very prepared with a good idea of where we wanted to live from having read myriad forums and using Google Maps to take virtual tours of virtually the entire city.
The best part about this whole apartment searching adventure was that the work we did was fun, thus it did not feel like work. Amaia and I were excited to check the listings every couple of days to see the candidate apartments. I had a great time keeping an organized spreadsheet of the apartments with a column for each of our criteria. At night we would lie in bed talking about the pros and cons of one apartment versus another, Scheveningen versus Centrum, gas burners but no balcony versus private garden but carpeted. We did this for weeks until we both were on the same page as far as expectations go. Consequently, when we arrived at 205 Laan Van Meerdervoort, just around the corner from the cat hotel, we knew; and as I always say, when you know, you know.