31 maart 2016

The chalk board wall

"Have a seat! Start each day with a grateful heart" was one of many sayings on the chalk board wall inside..

..De Kippenhal, a cozy restaurant in the centre of Haarlem where we enjoyed lunch a few weeks ago. The wall is on the right here.

30 maart 2016


On the pavement in the city centre of Haarlem. It can't be much of a surprise where this sign leads to! :)

Linking to signs, signs.

29 maart 2016

The Falcon and The Drafting Compass

This colourful relief of a falcon at 84 Bakenessergracht in Haarlem is a replica of the original stone dating from 1726.

Besides the falcon there used to be a second relief picturing a drafting compass ("passer" in Dutch) above this narrow gate known as "Passerspoort" ("Drafting Compass Gate"). However note the sign of a drafting compass in the opening above the falcon! During the 16th and 17th century one of Haarlem's best known beer breweries called "De Passer en De Valk" ("The Drafting Compass and The Falcon") was located here.

28 maart 2016

The Maya exhibition in Assen

Sunday a week ago we visited "The Maya - Rulers of the Rainforest" exhibition, currently in the Drents Museum in Assen. It is a fascinating exhibition telling about the the Maya's high civilisation, the mysterious world of their gods, and their knowledge of the universe.

Among the objects displayed are beautiful jade ornaments, large and small sculptures, and pottery. The photo shows the upper part of an exceptionally large incense burner in Teotihuacan style, proving the influence of the Central-Mexican metropolis Teotihuacan on the Mayas.
More about the exhibition HERE.

26 maart 2016

The former brewery's relief stone

These beautifully restored houses at the Bakenessergracht in Haarlem date from the 17th century. The building in the middle of the photo, with the relief stone between the two windows, used to be a brewery until the 19th century.

The gold coloured relief pictures 2 crowned acorns. It is a copy of a relief originally dating from the 17th century named 'TWEE GECROONDE AECKERS'  (or in more modern Dutch ´Twee Gekroonde Eikels´), which was the name of the brewery.

25 maart 2016


I just went into our garden on this chilly and wet Good Friday to take a photo from the magnolia. Ready to bloom obviously though waiting a few more days..

Happy Easter!

I'm linking to Floral Friday Fotos.

24 maart 2016

A home and a bench

Photo taken on our way from the Haarlem city centre to the train station.

23 maart 2016

Wine merchant´s sign

Wine merchant Okhuysen in the city centre of Haarlem...

..attracted my attention with this sign!

Linking to Lesley´s signs, signs.

22 maart 2016

Norg and De Hoop

This is a photo from Sunday a week ago, taken during a hike near the village of Norg with a view on a mill named 'De Hoop' ('The Hope'). Built in 1857 it was originally a barley mill. In 1878 De Hoop was converted to a corn mill; during WW2 it was needed to to produce flour to feed the people of Norg.
After several owners and restorations, the mill turned for the last time on 24 August 1996. A year later the Drenthe Mills Society bought De Hoop, and they restored it to full working order again in 2000. The sails are quite special, in fact this is the only windmill in the Netherlands fitted with so-called Bilau sails.

I'm linking to St Germain's Blog and Seasons.

21 maart 2016

Ghost mural

A fading ghost mural saying "C.V. Woninginrichting P.P.W. Randoe" and "Randoe is stijl" on a wall at the Gierstraat in Haarlem. Searching for more information I found several old newspaper clippings from the 1940s and 1950s that contained adds by Randoe, who was a home furnisher.
"C.V." stands for "Commanditaire Vennootschap" (Limited partnership business entity) I think?

Participating in Monday Mural.

20 maart 2016

Round and round

If you stand in the entrance hall of the Teylers Museum, don't forget to look up..  or you will miss this excellent view!

Happy Sunday :)

19 maart 2016

Teylers Museum paintings

Both views are from inside the Teylers Museum in Haarlem; above is in one of the two 'painting galleries', showing a collection of works from the Dutch Romantic School and the later Hague and Amsterdam Schools. Note how the light comes in through the glass ceiling.

The exhibition Real Winters, with 19th century Dutch paintings, shows the joys of skating and sledding in the freezing cold, with refreshment stalls dotted around the ice. The painting on the left is from Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) and is titled 'Wintergezicht met schaatsers' (Winter view with skaters'). I really enjoyed these typically Dutch Winter views.

Have a nice weekend!

18 maart 2016

Teylers Museum Oval Room

The main reason for our trip to Haarlem last Saturday was a visit to the Teylers Museum, an art, natural history and science museum. Established in 1778, it was originally founded as a centre for contemporary art and science. The museum was named after Pieter Teyler van der Hulst (1702-1778), a wealthy cloth merchant and banker of Scottish descent.
The historic centre of the museum is the neoclassical Oval Room that you see here.

The Oval Room was designed for research and study, and was opened in 1784. Scientific experiments would be conducted here, public demonstrations held, and books, drawings and prints viewed by the public. A showcase in the centre displays a mineralogical collection from the 18th century.
The upper gallery, which unfortunately wasn't open for the public when we were there, has 12 built-in bookcases. The windows in the ceiling were meant to let in the maximum amount of light.

17 maart 2016

The white dog

On our way from the Haarlem train station to the Teyler Museum we found this relief stone at the Bakenessergracht no 36. It pictures a dog and an inkwell, and it is located in an unusual spot: near the ground on a wall next to a few steps that lead to an entrance door. I tried to find out what it means and why it was placed here, but all I read was "no one knows exactly where the stone comes from and why it was put here, but it surely wasn't in 1863".
So, unfortunately I can't tell what it is exactly and why, but at least we know what it's not.. ;)

16 maart 2016


These crowns can be found on both sides of the Koningsstraat (King´s Street) in Haarlem, so you won´t forget where you are.

I´m linking to signs, signs.

15 maart 2016

Little Thumb and the Ogre

Pharmacy A.J. van der Pigge at the Gierstraat in Haarlem was opened in 1849. Above the entrance is a so called and traditional ´gaper´, a stone or wooden head indicating that the building is a pharmacy, I have showed you several more on this blog before. And just to remind you: 'Gaper' literally means 'yawner'; the figure is always displayed with an open mouth, and sometimes you can see a pill he has taken resting on his tongue. In fact he wasn't yawning, but opening his mouth to take medicine.


´Little Thumb and the Ogre´
While building the V&D department store in 1930 - 1934
this premises was the only one left to stay from all the
original buildings on this spot.
A well know example of a shop keeper
who refused to give up.

Next to the pharmacy used to be a V&D department store. When V&D came here in the 1930s, a lot of other small shops were forced to go away so the department store could take up the space. Pharmacy Van Der Pigge refused to leave, and in the end was allowed to stay.
This text is on the outside wall of the pharmacy and it got quite a different meaning recently...  Just a month ago V&D (a chain of large department stores in the Netherlands) went bankrupt, and over 10,000 people in 62 Dutch cities lost their jobs. All V&D department stores were closed. Pharmacy A.J. van der Pigge is still open for business...

I'm linking to St Germain's Blog and Seasons.

14 maart 2016

Monday mural

A nice and nostalgic looking mural in B&W, spotted on a wall in the Gierstraat in the centre of Haarlem.

I'm linking to Monday Mural.

13 maart 2016

Visit to Haarlem

My mom amd I visited the city of Haarlem and the Teylers museum yesterday, so that is what I will be posting from the coming week :)  This view is from the Gravestenenbrug and the houses across the river Spaarne. The white draw-bridge for pedestrians and cyclists was built around the 13th century.

11 maart 2016

Skywatch Friday

Windmills and dark skies at the north coast of Groningen, seen during our hike last Sunday. We were lucky to have no rain though as it just passed us.

I´m linking to Skywatch Friday.

10 maart 2016

Water pump station Cremer

The coat of arms of the Oldambt Water Board (in Dutch: Waterschap Oldambt) is on the facade of the Cremer water pump station in Termunterzijl, at the north coast of Groningen. The station dates from 1930/1931 and was constructed by hydraulic engineer Pieter Geert Cremer.

The station was able to pump water from the Oldambt area to the sea, no matter the water level outside of the dike. Since 2002 it is a museum, however still fully operational and in case of a calamity the water pump station can be used.
Each Sunday afternoon the museum is open for visitors, I will show some photos from the inside later.

9 maart 2016

Punt van Reide

Following up on the previous post these are a few more photos taken near the peninsula Punt van Reide, on the other side of the dike at the Dollard Bay.

In the north of the province of Groningen the ground is not sand, but clay. After a rainy period a path like this one is very slippery! Here we are walking towards a birdwatching hut.

8 maart 2016


Softly waving in a chilly winter breeze: reed near the Punt van Reide ('Tip of Reide'), a small peninsula near Termunten. Photo taken last Sunday.

I'm linking to SEASONS at St Germain's blog.

7 maart 2016


..or Z? Up to you :)
View from the dike near Termunten over the Dollard Bay, yesterday afternoon. The windmills across the bay are in Germany. So this is literally the edge of the Netherlands!

6 maart 2016

Termunten church

This is the Dutch Reformed Ursus Church in Termunten, a village in the north east of the Netherlands at the Dollard Bay which is part of the Wadden Sea. The church dates back from the 13th century and was most likely dedicated to the Militairy Saint (or Warrior Saint) Ursus of Solothurn.

The Ursus church was much bigger once, until the 16th century the building was a so called cruciform church (in Dutch: 'kruiskerk'). When you look at the first photo, parts of the those walls can still be seen. In that same century the monastery next to the church was burned down and then demolished.

I'm linking to Inspired Sunday.

4 maart 2016

Sunday sun

Another shot from last Sunday morning, taken at the ´Schapenveld´, a nature area near Odoorn.

3 maart 2016

Borger square

A photo taken last Sunday morning standing on the new square in Borger, a village not so far from where we live. In the background is the Dutch Reformed Church.

2 maart 2016

Tenerife beach art

A large metal sculpture at the promenade along the beaches of Costa Adeje and Playa de las Américas, in the south of Tenerife.

It is a nice object to photograph from different angles, but I am rather curious what J.L. Salvador -the artist who created it- had in mind!

1 maart 2016

Road or river?

It wasn´t ALL sun at Tenerife, well most of the time.. but we also had snow (high in the mountains) and a heavy rainstorm one morning that caused the streets in Puerto de la Cruz to overflow with water! I took this photo through the windshield of our rental car.