30 april 2015

A tasty souvenir

From a variety of locally made products that the Dwingelderveld N.P. visitor centre had for sale, we chose this jar of delicious preserves to take home with us. "Brummels" by the way is the dialect word for "bramen", and means "blackberries" in English. Yummy! :)

29 april 2015

Switch off your mobile phones

This warning sign along a sandy path in the centre of the Dwingelderveld National Park told us to switch off our mobile phones as we were entering the interference-free zone of the nearby Dwingeloo radio telescope...

...which we passed later that day. The "Dwingeloo Radio Observatory" is a single-dish radio telescope with a diameter of 25 m. Completed in 1956 it was the largest radio telescope in the world at that time, and was operational in an official capacity until the year 2000. Nowadays the telescope is a Dutch heritage monument, and is still used for projects by amateur astronomers and radio amateurs.

I'm linking to signs, signs.

28 april 2015

27 april 2015

Dwingelderveld N.P.

April 27 is a national holiday in the Netherlands as we celebrate the birthday of our King Willem Alexander, who turned 48 years old today (which makes him exactly 10 days younger than me :) !). Because of the beautiful weather we decided to spend this year's King's Day in the Dwingelderveld National Park and walk one of the trails there.

The N.P. is located in the province of Drenthe and was founded in 1991. It covers about 37 km² (14 sq miles), and is the largest wet heathland of Western-Europe.

26 april 2015

Start of a pacifier tree?

Seeing 3 baby pacifiers hanging on a tree close to the village of Gees last Sunday really made me wonder. But okay, this was near a parking place; somebody found them and hung them there?
I googled and found out that apparently in Denmark and Sweden it's a tradition to hang baby pacifiers on a tree when toddlers turn 3 years old.
And in the Danish amusement park Legoland there is a tree which branches are filled with baby pacifiers that were found. I also read about a similar tree in a German zoo.

25 april 2015

From the archives #61

Canada (2012)
During our trip through British Columbia and Alberta we passed the spot where in 1885 the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed. A monument was placed to remember this historical moment.

Nice to tell is that in the years 1923-1926 my grandfather was in Canada and actually made this journey by train. Hoping to be able to start a new life there, he travelled by train from the east all the way to the west coast and Vancouver Island in the end. Some of the letters that he wrote home have been kept until today, giving us a detailed insight of where he went and what he did, and how life was in the days of cowboys and Indians.

Have a nice weekend! :)

24 april 2015

Bridge art

Vrouwenpoortsbrug, Leeuwarden. I happened to pass here on the other side of the street when the bridge opened, and when I spotted the colourful down side I just managed to take a photo before the bridge closed again. I looked it up online and found out that it is a 5x10 metres (about 16x33 feet) canvas by local artist Bonny Dijkstra. Dijkstra called it a 'feast of colours' and gave this piece of art to 'his city' without wanting anything in return. His only goal was to make the city of Leeuwarden a bit nicer.

23 april 2015

Glass passageway

Sophialaan, Leeuwarden. Going on foot from the Central Station to the city centre. Halfway on the left is the Leeuwarden Tourist Information Centre.

22 april 2015

Shoe Factory

This elegant sign is from the ´De schoenenfabriek´ ('The Shoe Factory'), a shoe-shop in the centre of Groningen. Across the street is the Der Aa-kerk, a gothic medieval church.

I'm linking to signs, signs.

21 april 2015


 I can't see you I can't see you I can't see you...

..Oh there you are!  :)

Two more photos from last Sunday where we passed a nature area near Gees; the path went through a field and forest where a large group of these Scottish cattle was walking. This young (?) one was on its own on this particular spot.

20 april 2015

With a litte imagination..

.. these 4 trees could be the feet and toes of dinosaurs, or the arms and fingers of giants... I photographed them yesterday in the small village of Gees, in Drenthe.
What can you make of them?

19 april 2015


Sun, blue skies, a breeze: the weather is great here..
A picture taken in our garden yesterday afternoon.

18 april 2015

Quack quack..

Waagplein, Leeuwarden. While this lady was absorbed in her book, two ducks came from the nearby canal and approached her. They watched her -quack quack- waited for a while -quack quack-, came as close as they thought safe, quack quacked again softly to get her attention, but despite all their efforts she didn't look up and so that black bag that she was leaning on wasn't probably filled with bread after all..

Have a great weekend! :) 

17 april 2015

Museum island

I'm standing on a footbridge here with the Groninger Museum on my right. The museum buildings are located on an island that connects the Central Station with the city centre. As you can see it's a colourful area, with a bright blue concrete walkway and blue fences. The photo with the stand up paddlers that I showed you yesterday was also taken from this spot, looking over the water to my right.

I'm linking to Good Fences.

16 april 2015

Supping in Groningen

 Stand up paddle surfers, or 'SUPPERS', in the canals of Groningen this afternoon.

A bit tired? Cold feet? Or maybe he just stopped to enjoy the Spring sun..

15 april 2015

Haren train station

Only 6 minutes from Groningen Central Station is this small train station in Haren. Each half hour you can hop on a train here, heading north for Groningen, or you can travel south to the city of Zwolle.

14 april 2015

Wemeltje Kruit

This statue honours Wemeltje Kruit (1887-1963), a lady who was widely known because she spent her life going door-to-door selling goods that she carried on her bicycle. Whenever she travelled to another village she appeared in the local church on Sunday morning, so people knew she would be coming that following week.
Wemeltje Kruit lived in Gasselte; first in a caravan and later in a small house near a campsite. After her death the house became a holiday-home. The statue at the Kerkstraat was created by Bert Kiewiet, and pictures her alongside her bicycle as many people knew here.

13 april 2015

At the exhibition

I'm still not very comfortable doing it, however I am going to try to photograph people more often as I admire my fellow photo-bloggers who do, and do it easily..
This is from a while ago, at the Groninger Museum.

12 april 2015

The little white church

'Het witte kerkje' ('The little white church') in Gasselte dates from the 13th century. Gasselte, a village in the province of Drenthe, has always had 2 parts: the Grotenend (north-east of the church) and the Lutkenend (west of the church). In the Grotenend were the larger farms of the rich and influential families, while the rest of the villagers and craftsmen lived at the Lutkenend. The church was literally in the middle.

11 april 2015

From the archives #60

Rome, Italy (2009)
This horse was standing patiently in front of the Panthéon as his boss was waiting for tourists to take them for a carriage tour through the city.

Have a nice weekend! :)

10 april 2015

Witches' broom

I photographed these witches' brooms ('heksenbezem' in Dutch) against a blue sky on Easter Sunday near the village of Norg. These dense masses of shootgrows, resembling a broom or a bird's nest, are a disease or deformity where the natural structure of the plant or tree is changed.

I am linking to Skywatch Friday.

9 april 2015

Groningen Central Station

Seen from across the water of the Zuiderhaven. On the right is the white horse sculpture ('t Peerd van ome Loeks) that I showed you earlier this week.

8 april 2015

Sign for fresh fish

This plaque called 'De Klok' ('The Clock', or maybe better 'The Bell'?) at Tussen Beide Markten near the Vismarkt (Fish Market) in the city of Groningen was replaced here in 1929 but originally dates from the 17th century. According to tradition, a bell was rang on this spot as a sign to let everyone know that fresh fish from Zoutkamp had arrived.

Linking to signs, signs.

7 april 2015

Peerd van Ome Loeks

This white concrete sculpture in front of the Groningen Central Station is called 't Peerd van Ome Loeks, local dialect for Het paard van oom Lucas, or Uncle Lucas' Horse in English. It is regarded as one of Groningens symbols, that got its name from a local folk song with the same title. The sculpture was created by Jan de Baat in 1959.

Strangely enough it isn't really clear who 'uncle Lucas' was, and/or who invented the song. Most likely it was named after Lukas (Loeks) van Hemmen, who owned a pub as well as his own stables. After his famous racing horse Appelon died and the horse butcher came to collect the dead animal, some boys apparently sang the words: 't Peerd van Ome Loeks is dood' ('Uncle Lucas' horse is dead')

6 april 2015

Protest mural

Shop owners in the Gelkingestraat in Groningen had had more than enough of buses 'just' rumbling down their narrow street after the busstop had been removed. So last Autumn they asked local painter Suzanne Postel to express their feelings in a mural. This resulted in a kind of protest-painting showing 2 figures: one person holding back a bus, and another one pushing away a bus (Qbuzz is the name of the local bus company). In between are the names of the shops.

Linking to Monday Mural.

5 april 2015

Fresh OJ

Delicious and healthy. What can you wish more?
You can get it here on the market in Groningen. Hope you have a nice Easter!

4 april 2015

Open-air piano

Like a number of other Dutch cities did before, Groningen also joined the 'open-air piano project': a piano in a public place like a train station here, and anyone who wants to play can do so.

While waiting for my train yesterday afternoon I enjoyed listening to this girl!

3 april 2015


At the annual Good Friday flower market in Groningen.
Happy Easter!

2 april 2015

Spring sun

The Spring sun just outside Bruges' historical centre, a year ago. A tiny bench and really large trees! ;)

1 april 2015

Let's ride!

This bronze sculpture at the Walplein in Bruges was created by Jef Claerhout (1937), and pictures an image from Greek mythology with the winged divine stallion Pegasus. An inscription at the bottom says: "Zeus, Leda, Prometheus and Pegasus visit Bruges". Lots of motion here, don't you think so?