22 mei 2018

20 mei 2018

A Smeerling farmhouse

A farmhouse and -barn in the rural village of Smeerling, seen on our hike today. This is the back, with lovely flowering Rhodondendrons along the path..

..and here seen from the frontside.

I'm linking to Tom's Barn Collective.

19 mei 2018

Nicolas Church inside

Following up on yesterday's post I have 2 photos that were taken inside the Nicolas Church in Oldenzijl. This is the view in the direction of the choir. The pulpit on the right side dates from 1768 and is in Rococo style.

I found this small window in a side wall. It's a so-called quatrefoil (vierpas in Dutch), a decorative element consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles of the same diameter. It is found in art, architecture, heraldry, and traditional Christian symbolism. The word quatrefoil means 'four leaves', referring specifically to a four-leaved clover, but applies in general to four-lobed shapes in various contexts. (from Wikipedia)

Another interesting detail from the Dutch Wikipedia site about the church is that they say that this quatrefoil probably served as a 'hagioscope' or 'squint', an architectural term for a small opening or tunnel at seated eye-level through the wall of a church, that enables a view for one or more worshippers in side-chapels, chantry chapels, or other parts of the church from which the high altar was not visible.
If you're interested check the link for hagioscope for more facts.

18 mei 2018

Nicolas Church in Oldenzijl

The beautiful Nicolas Church at the edge of  the village of Oldenzijl is partly Roman and partly Early Gothic, and was built in the 13th century. The original -separately standing- church tower was taken down in 1829. It's a protestant church now.

This photo shows that the church is standing on a 'terp', an artificial mound that provides safe ground during storms, high tides and sea or river flooding. In this region of the Netherlands a terp is called "wierde".

I will show you a view inside the church in tomorrow's post.

17 mei 2018


Wide views like these are typical for the province of Groningen. Our hiking route went over this cycling path.

On our way to the village of Oldenzijl we followed the "Baalkjepad".

16 mei 2018

What's in a name

In 2005 "Doodstil" was honoured to have the most beautiful village name in the Netherlands. It can be translated literally as 'dead-still' or 'mouse-still. Doodstil is a hamlet with about 100 inhabitants in the Groninger region Hogeland.

The name however relates most likely to a (man's) first name Doode or Doede, and 'til' is an old Dutch name for the 'bridge'. So 'Doodstil' means in fact 'Bridge of Doode', and it's a modest one too as you can see on the photo.

15 mei 2018

Zandeweer church

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the church in Zandeweer dates from the Middle Ages and was built in the 13th century.

There is a 15th century bell tower standing separate from the church. During WW2 the Germans took the 2 bells from the tower to melt them down, though when the war was over the bells were found unharmed.

View to the back of the church. Our hike continues..

14 mei 2018

Zandeweer main street

The Hoofdstraat (Main Street) in the village of Zandeweer. It's Sunday and quiet. We are walking towards the Middle Aged church that you see in the background.

13 mei 2018

A place to rest

Just outside the village of Zandeweer we passed this bench that has a two-dimensional image on it. A bit of googling later learned that it is one of five similar pieces that are called "rustpunten" ('places to rest"). All are in this region, and were made by Maree Blok and Bas Lugthart, two visual artists who live and work together. More is on their website HERE.

12 mei 2018


Photo taken last Sunday during our hike when we passed through the small and charming village of Zandeweer, in the Hogeland region of the province of Groningen.The mill in the background is called "Windlust" and is a corn mill from 1818.

I am linking to Weekend Reflections. Enjoy your weekend!

11 mei 2018

Witches and Walpurgis Night

On arrival in the Harz on April 27, we spotted witches on practically each corner of every street in the village where we stayed, Sankt Andreasberg. We soon learned that this had to do with witches and the celebration of 'Walpurgis Night' on April 30. It is the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess. She was hailed by the Christians of Germany for battling pest, rabies and whooping cough. She was also known to repel the effects of witchcraft.

According to 17th century German tradition, sorcerers and witches gathered on May Day eve on a Hexennacht or "Witches' Night". The Western Christian Church established the Feast of Saint Walpurga on the same night, believing that Saint Walpurga counteracted the evil magic.
In Germanic folklore, this witches' meeting took place on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz mountains. (info from Wikipedia)
Well, we thought it wise to stay as far away from the Brocken as we could on the night of April 30..

..though apparently some witches didn't go either as flying on a broomstick can be quite difficult :)

10 mei 2018

Between East and West

The former "inner German border", making Germany into an 'East' and a 'West', also divided the Harz region in two separate parts. At the actual spot of this border is now a memorial stone that commorates the reunification of Germany with the words "Deutschland wieder vereint" ('Germany united again').

Along the road near the city of Braunlage is a sign that says that: Here, Germany and Europe were separated until 2:30 pm on November 12, 1989".

And on both sides of the road the former patrol road is still visible -even though trees have grown into it by now-: two parallel lines of perforated concrete blocks that ran beside the border. Guards used this all-weather road to 'travel rapidly to the scene of an attempted crossing' (info from Wikipedia).

9 mei 2018


These guys from Leipzig call themselves "Ohrenpeyn" and this is their perfomance at the "Ritterfest"-event in the Wernigerode castle. Using traditional instruments they played music from the Middle Ages. Most of it was very rhythmical and nice to listen to, even though the band's name "Ohrenpeyn" sounds like the Dutch word "oorpijn" meaning earache ;)

It was obvious they enjoyed themselves on stage, and the public liked it too. You can find their website HERE (in German)

8 mei 2018

Doors and decorations

I always enjoy photographing doors and/or windows. Have a look at the decorations on and around the entrance here at no. 71..

..and here at no.1d.
Both photos were taken in the city of Wernigerode, Harz (Germany)

7 mei 2018


During our stay in the Harz region in Germany we visited the old city centre of Wernigerode, a wonderful place.

With its many colourful and half-timbered buildings it has the nickname "Bunte Stadt am Harz", which is German for "Colourful city in the Harz"

6 mei 2018

Bulb fields

We passed these tulip fields during our walking route in the Groninger region called ´Hogeland´, this is near the village of Uithuizen.

It was a glorious day for hiking with lots of sun and 25°C (77°F), and the end of a wonderful week. Back to work tomorrow! :)

5 mei 2018


This little one was enjoying the warmth of the Spring sun on the dike near Termunten. Photo credit to Henri.

I am linking to Saturday's Critters.