31 oktober 2014

On woodchips..

I still have some more photos from the Woudagemaal pumping station to show you, but today a picture that I took around this time last year. As we have a small wood-chipper to reduce branches to smaller pieces, there was a 'field' of two or three m2 of woodchips in the back of our garden. And to our big surprise within a week these mushrooms appeared there, apparently out of nothing.. They didn't last very long but it was a lovely sight. :)

30 oktober 2014

A picture from pictures

A 'photo' of the Woudagemaal made from hundreds very small photos was displayed on one of the walls of the visitor centre.

29 oktober 2014

The offices in the Woudagemaal

The Woudagemaal pumping station building was designed by architect H.P. Berlage in Amsterdam School style. This expressionist architectural style was very popular in the Netherlands during the years 1910-1930. The 2 offices inside the building have been renovated but are exactly like they were built 96 years ago.

Old-fashioned light switches at the wall, very nostalgic! I remember those switches from the house of my grandparents in the 1970s..

28 oktober 2014

Turning, turning

I enjoyed photographing inside the pumping station building of the Woudagemaal and to focus on details..

27 oktober 2014

Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal

Yesterday we visited the ir. D.F. Woudagemaal in Lemmer, the largest steam-driven pumping station in the world still in use. Opened in 1920 by Queen Wilhelmina, even today the monumental pumping station ensures that the people in the province of Friesland keep their feet dry during high water.

We joined a guided tour (the man on the photo was our guide) through the building. Here, over 4 million litres of water per minute can be pumped from the Friesian 'boezem' (drainage pool) into the IJsselmeer.
Since 1998 the Woudagemaal is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as 'a highlight of the Dutch hydraulic engineering', as it shows in a special manner how man controls nature by steam power.
More photos to follow!

26 oktober 2014


A few of you mentioned the sculpture on the photo from the Sint-Stevenskerk in Nijmegen that I posted last Friday. It's not an angel or a gargoyle, but it pictures the devil "Moenen" from the story Mariken van Nieuwmeghen, a late medieval Dutch text from the early 16th century. Moenen seduces Mariken to travel to Antwerp with him, where they stay together for 7 years and lead a wild and lawless life. When Mariken comes to her senses, Moenen tries to kill her but he doesn't succeed. Eventually Mariken's sins are forgiven.

The stone sculpture was made by sculpturor Piet Killaars in 1968. Note that Moenen is sitting with his back to the church!

25 oktober 2014

From the archives #38

Rome, Italy (2009)

The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine mountains and flowing 406 km (252 miles) through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. A popular name for the river is flavus ('the blond') in reference to the yellowish colour of its water. It is the main water course of the city of Rome, that was founded on its eastern banks in 753 BC.
This photo was taken 5 years ago in November in bright Autumn sunlight, viewing one of the many bridges that take you into the heart of the city.

Linking to Weekend Reflections.

24 oktober 2014

In an alley

This Summer I visited Nijmegen, and made these photos in an alley with steps that lead to the 13th century Sint-Stevenskerk. It is the largest church in the city and built on a small hill named the Hundisburg.

In the alley I spotted this cat (with a head like a skunk?) painted on the wall left of the steps. On a previous visit I photographed a mural of an orange cat on the same wall, to see it click HERE.

23 oktober 2014

After the storm

There was a strong gale earlier this week, the first storm of this Autumn with force 9 at the North Sea coast in the north of our country. After the worst was over, this path in Bad Nieuweschans seemed to have a carpet of leaves.

22 oktober 2014

Golden Fleece

Back to our Summer holiday in the U.K. once more with a photo we took in York. According to their site, The Golden Fleece is York´s most hunted pub, thus one of England´s most haunted sites, AND the oldest inn in the centre of York!

Another interesting fact that I found when I googled on ´Golden Fleece´was that in Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is that of the gold-hair winged ram, and the fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship. However this is just one of many interpretations and myths..

Linking to signs, signs.

21 oktober 2014

Schiermonnikoog village

Some houses in the (one and only) village of the island Schiermonnikoog.

The earliest mention of Schiermonnikoog in writing dates from October 1440. The island's first known owners were the monks of Claercamp Abbey, a Cistercian monastery near Dokkum, on the mainland. "Monnik" means "monk", "schier" is an archaic word meaning "grey", referring to the colour of the monks' habits, and "oog" translates as "island". So the name "Schiermonnikoog" can be translated as Grey Monk Island.

20 oktober 2014


The reflection of clouds in the Waddensea in the late afternoon, seen from Schiermonnikoog, as we walked to the ferry that would bring us back to Lauwersoog on the mainland. On the left you can see a glimpse of the harbour in the distance.

19 oktober 2014

Signs of Autumn

Earlier today we were cycling near the village of Smeerling (in the south of the province Groningen) and found these beauties next to the road.

18 oktober 2014

From the archives #37

Helsinki, Finland (2006)
The Finnish National Theatre was founded in 1872 and it is the oldest Finnish-language professional theatre in Finland. The building on the photo hosts the National Theatre and was completed in 1902, It was designed by Onni Tarjanne in the National Romantic style, inspired by romantic nationalism. The statue in front is the Finnish national romantic writer Aleksis Kivi. The theatre is located on the northern side of the Helsinki Central Railway Station Square.
We haven't been inside, but I would love to have a further look there!

17 oktober 2014

Ready for winter

I bet they wished they hadn´t "closed" their beach restaurant for the winter, in this lovely weather last Sunday on Schiermonnikoog.

This is how it looked like in May:

16 oktober 2014

The 'wooden' shoe bicycle

Following up on yesterday's post about bicycles for rent on Schiermonnikoog, this one was parked in front of the rental office and ready for action. Enough space for two children in the eye-catching yellow ´wooden´ shoe..

15 oktober 2014

Bicycles for rent

Schiermonnikoog is very popular when it comes to cycling. Many tourists come for a day, or a few days, and rent a bicycle on the island. One of the places where you can go for a bicycle is ´Schierfiets´ in the village. When you enter the street there is a nice sign, and ..

.. they have a similar sign on the front wall of their office. And don´t worry, you won´t have to ride an old fashioned model like this one!

For more signs go to signs, signs.

14 oktober 2014

The white lighthouse

Schiermonnikoog used to have 2 lighthouses, and both were built in 1853. The white one on the picture (also known as the south tower) is located on a high spot in the village. When the other one (the north tower) was installed with a rotating lense in 1911 it wasn't necessary anymore for the island to have 2 lighthouses for landmarks. From 1950 until 1992 it was then in use as a water tower. Nowadays Telecom Services use it for their antennas.

I posted a photo of the red lighthouse (the north tower) a while ago, if you would like to see it click HERE.

13 oktober 2014


Looking at the many footprints you would expect a crowded beach! But there were only a few people, as you can see, even though the weather on Schiermonnikoog was beautiful yesterday. Not that we minded that there wasn't a crowd, to be honest.. :)

12 oktober 2014

Barnacle geese

We had a very nice time hiking on Schiermonnikoog today. Sun and no wind made it feel very comfortable on the island. This photo was taken from the dike which is also the connection from the ferry to the village. Barnacle geese were landing and flying up from the grass fields all the time.

11 oktober 2014

From the archives #36

Rome, Italy (2009)

These are the Spanish Steps in Rome with the fountain Fontana della Barcaccia in front. The 135 steps date from the 18th century, and they climb the steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and the French church Trinità dei Monti at the top. It's obviously a very popular place for tourists to gather. Even though there is a French church at the top and the steps were paid for by the French, the name 'Spanish Steps' was chosen because of the Spanish embassy that was located here in the 17th century.
This photo was taken on a warm and sunny day in November.

10 oktober 2014

Soestdijk Palace watermill

The Soestdijk Palace watermill was built in 1680 and is one of the oldest in the Netherlands. It is located in the park behind Soestdijk Palace (which was the home of King Willem-Alexander's grandparents for many years).
Originally it was a combination of water tower and wind-watermill, and there was a grain mill in the tower as well. The water inside the water tower was meant for 2 fountains in the gardens, and with the power the mill created the water was then able to 'reach' the fountains.

Nowadays the Palace shop can be found inside the large round tower. The entrance to the shop however, is clearly a mix of (very) old and new!

9 oktober 2014

Glass lady

Nice art from the collection of Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen.

8 oktober 2014

City Walls Trail

We very much enjoyed the walk on York's city walls, last August!

For more signs around the world go to signs, signs.

7 oktober 2014

Autumn leaves

During the Autumn many villages have these square ´baskets´, as the one here on the front left in the village of Nieuw Buinen, that people can freely use to put in the fallen leaves from their gardens.

6 oktober 2014


The elegant entrance of a B&B in the historical centre of Bourtange.

5 oktober 2014

Bicycle bells

Pretty bicycle bells for sale in a display window in Egmond aan Zee. I like the one with the cow best, which one do you like?

Have a nice Sunday!

4 oktober 2014

From the archives #35

Finland (2005)

The 12 km long Pieni Karhunkierros trail -Finnish for 'Little Bear Ring'- in Oulanka National Park starts in Juuma and follows the river Kitkajoki. The trail is the little sibling of the 80 km Karhunkierros, a famous hiking route in north eastern Finland.
Here is one of the three (long!) suspension bridges that we passed.

For more reflections around the world go to Weekend Reflections.

3 oktober 2014

A bicycle from the war

Certainly not a typical item you would expect to see on an Autumn Fair, but this ´baker´s bicycle from the war´ (according to the label) was for sale in Bourtange. When people say 'the war' it is generally WW2 they are referring to. And note that its tires are solid!

2 oktober 2014


The sculpture named 'De Steenzetter' (someone who places the stones during the process of building a dike) was placed halfway the Afsluitdijk on its 50th anniversary. Sculpturor Ineke van Dijk (1940) created this sculpture after she had watched men doing this work; they stood in this unconvenient pose all day, holding and moving the heavy stones until they fitted.

1 oktober 2014

Honey bees in danger

Another insect related post, but a very different one than yesterday. Since a few weeks prohibitory signs like these suddenly appeared. They have to do with 'American Foulbrood' ('Amerikaans Vuilbroed' in Dutch), which is the most serious disease for honey bees and caused by a spore-forming bacteria, specific to honey bees. The disease is highly contagious (fortunately people can not be infected!) and it will weaken and in most cases kill a honey bee colony.
To prevent the disease from spreading further, it is now forbidden to transport bees in an area several km around the spot where the disease has been discovered. This picture was taken in the town of Stadskanaal, but they can be found in a larger area in the north of the Netherlands...

Linking to signs, signs.