31 augustus 2016

Winking frog

A frog winks at you from this house at no. 8, somewhere in the centre of Leeuwarden.

30 augustus 2016

Zandvoort water tower

The water tower at the Thorbeckestraat in Zandvoort is 48 m high and was built around 1950. The tower had an active role in the water supply until 1997. Its designer is the architect J. Zietsma.
A fire in 2001 destroyed a lot of the interior, at that time a restaurant was located in the upper part. Since then the water tower has been closed and its future remains uncertain; due to a huge maintenance backlog it will cost a lot of money to give it a new destination..

29 augustus 2016

Zutphen mural

A nice monochrome mural in the centre of the old city of Zutphen...

...picturing, by the look of it, the quay wall and a view on the river IJssel. Zutphen is located at the (in past times strategic) point where the river IJssel is joined by the Berkel.
The IJssel is the branch of the Rhine in the provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel. The Romans knew the river as Isala.

I'm linking to Monday Mural.

28 augustus 2016

Ter Apel Monastery (3)

Two more views from inside the Ter Apel Monastery, where I passed this window with its, well kind of, mysterious and romantic look...

...and then had a look in the vaulted supplies cellar. Nowadays a number of very special ´Crosier Beers´ ('Kruisheren-bieren') as well as wines can be tasted here and brought home as a souvenir.

27 augustus 2016

Ter Apel Monastery (2)

This is in one of the wings of the Ter Apel Monastery. Even after several renovations (note the central heating on the right wall underneath the windows) it's not hard to imagine that this has existed for centuries. As the monastery is located along the ancient trade route from Münster to Groningen, passing travelers and pilgrims once found a place of hospitality and dedication here.

I chose B&W for the first photo, though very much liked the kind of mint-green that this part of the arched ceiling was painted in.

26 augustus 2016

Ter Apel Monastery

The ´Klooster Ter Apel´ or Ter Apel Monastery is a former monastery in the village of Ter Apel, in the northeastern Dutch province of Groningen. It´s the only remaining rural monastery from the Middle Ages in the Netherlands. The convent buildings house a museum for monastery and church history and for religious art, as well as 2 contemporary art galleries. The former lay church still functions as a reformed church.

A detail from the other side. I visited the monastery this morning and also took some photos inside, so more will follow in the coming days.

25 augustus 2016

Lavender carpet

I'm sitting on a bench inside De Buitenplaats Museum in Eelde here, while my nose is "experiencing" the carpet of lavender leaves in front of me. Dutch artist Herman de Vries (1931) created this piece by using 54 kg of lavender. Imagine that! The intention is that visitors will have a 'sensory perception'. Well to be honest I could have sat here for hours, it was really really good.

The lavender carpet is part of the exhibition "Into Nature", which can be viewed throughout the province of Drenthe during the Summer: 40 works by national and international known artists are shown on 17 different places.

24 augustus 2016


Keramiekmuseum Princessehof (Princessehof Museum of Ceramics) in Leeuwarden owns a big collection of teapots in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Like the elegant one above, nicely painted and shaped more or less like a handbag..

..and then there's this orange and green duck! :)  The last one is not really 'my' thing though I thought it was special enough to photograph.
Click HERE to see a few more special-shaped teapots that I posted on this blog earlier.

23 augustus 2016

Sprongstraat, Zutphen

I visited Zutphen recently, an old town in the Dutch province of Gelderland on the eastern bank of the river IJssel. This is a view of the Sprongstraat.

22 augustus 2016

Mural Henk Kamp

This mural picturing Henk Kamp (1952) is at the Ruiterskwartier in Leeuwarden. Kamp is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD); he is the current Minister of Economic Affairs. The mural is meant to be a protest against the natural gas extraction in the north of the Netherlands. This process leads to about 50 earthquakes a year, causing damage to people's homes and other buildings. The most severe earthquake was in 2012 with 3.6 on the Richter scale.
The mural is signed by 'LJvanT' which stands for L.J. van Tuinen, a local (street) artist. You can find him on Facebook HERE.

I'm linking to Monday Mural

21 augustus 2016

Casino reflection

The casino in Zandvoort is located at the Badhuisplein and is having a grand view at the North Sea. This photo shows the glass facade and was taken at 9 pm; clouds had gathered above land though as you can see in the reflection it was still sunny at the beach behind us.

I'm linking to Weekend Reflections. Happy Sunday!

20 augustus 2016


This is the gate to the Boshuisengasthuis at the Jacobijnerkerkhof in Leeuwarden. The gasthuis (lit: 'guest house') was founded in 1652 by Anna van Eysinga (1594-1655). In the Middle Ages a gasthuis served as a kind of hospice.

In Dutch language we would also call this a 'hofje': a courtyard with almshouses around it. A 'hofje' provided housing for elderly people (mostly women). They were privately funded, and served as a form of social security. They are usually built in a U-shape with a yard or garden in the middle, and a gate as entrance.

Here in the Boshuisengasthuis, passers-by are friendly invited to walk through the gate and have a look inside, though are kindly asked not to peek into the windows...

19 augustus 2016

Zandvoort love locks

Love locks along the boulevard in Zandvoort, with the North Sea in the background..

Apparently this small part of the km-long fence was especially prepared for the love padlocks with a concrete mesh, we didn't see them on the rest of the fence.

I'm linking to Good Fences.

18 augustus 2016

Straw baler

The farmer who owns the land behind our house was making straw bales this afternoon. Being able to watch this is one of the (many) nice things of living in the country!
Two extra smaller wheels were placed in front of his tractor to flatten the rows a bit..

..then the straw was led into the machine on a sort of conveyor-belt, and in no time neat rectangular packages like this one appeared.

17 augustus 2016

Beach huts

Zandvoort has a popular bathing beach, and walking along the boulevard we passed these beach huts located just below the dunes in two long rows. They seem quite spacious and luxury with the solar panels on the roofs!

16 augustus 2016

Washed ashore

There was hardly a better way to start the week yesterday morning than with a long walk on the beach underneath the blue Summer sky. It was low tide and we found loads of these Atlantic jackknife clams, in Dutch known as 'zwaardschedes' or 'scheermessen'.

15 augustus 2016

Walk on the beach

We spent the past 2 days at the Dutch North Sea coast, in Zandvoort. After dinner last night we enjoyed a walk in the evening sun. Clouds came in from the sea but fortunately they just passed, without rain.

On  the beach we saw a lady busy creating a sand castle.

13 augustus 2016

Ferry reflection

Standing on the upper deck of the Stenaline ferry to Göteborg, we slowly passed this huge cruise ship just after leaving the quay of Kiel harbour in Germany. As you can see, all huts there had large windows and their own balconies, in which we saw our ferry reflect as we passed.
Photo taken last July.

I´m linking to Weekend Reflections.

12 augustus 2016

The Four Pelicans

Located at the Tweebaksmarkt in Leeuwarden is the smallest, in Jugendstil style built, theatre in Europe. It was built in 1903-1904 to house an insurance-office named "Utrecht"; since 2013 it's a theatre for small concerts, cabaret, lectures, exhibitions and workshops.

There is a remarkable sculpture on the roof made by Dutch sculptor Joseph Mendes da Costa (1863-1939), picturing 4 pelicans. The pelican symbols the insurance occupation, as the animal feeds her offspring with her own blood if necessary   -so their site explains. But to be honest I'm a bit lost there! Googling a bit further I learned that in early Christianity the pelican symbolised mother-love: pelicans were pictured with their chest pecked open by themselves, so their offspring could be fed with blood.
Hmm, I still do not see a clear link with the insurance trade... how about you?

11 augustus 2016


This gate used to be the entrance of the former 'Stadsweeshuys' ('City Orphanage') at the Jacobijnerkerkhof in Leeuwarden. Opened in 1676, thousands of orphans as well as children from poor families grew up here until it closed in 1953. Nowadays the Natuurmuseum Fryslan (Frisian Nature Museum) is located here.
But ehm ..wait! If you look carefully.. is that a bird sitting there???

It is a blue stork reading a book! :)

10 augustus 2016

Manhole cover sign

Remarkable signs in the St Jacobsstraat in Leeuwarden: 7 manhole covers that direct the way to Santiago de Compostela. The St Jacobsstraat is part of the well-known pilgrimage route leading to the shrine of the apostle St James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Each manhole cover has the words "CAMPUS STELLAE" -referring to Santiago de Compostela- and each pictures a shell referring to a part of the human body. The photo above shows the first cover with a whelk ("wulk" in Dutch), which stands for the Pilgrim's feet on the shell-path that will lead him to Santiago de Compostela.

I'm linking to signs, signs.

9 augustus 2016

Leeuwarden canals

Walking around the old city centre of Leeuwarden means crossing a number of canals ..

.. and I can´t remember seeing a single bridge without these abundantly blooming petunias! Just lovely.

I´m linking to Seasons.

8 augustus 2016

Leeuwarden mural

I found this mural of a jester on a building in the Ipe Brouwerssteeg in the centre of Leeuwarden.

A jester, court jester, or fool was historically an entertainer. In medieval times jesters entertained in a wide variety of skills: principal ones included songs, music, and storytelling; additional ones included acrobatics, juggling, telling jokes, and magic. (from Wikipedia)

The mural wasn't signed and unfortunately I haven't been able to trace who made it. I like it a lot though!

It's my contribution today to Monday Mural.

7 augustus 2016

Books books books!

It´s the first Sunday of August which means the annual book fair in Deventer! There were 878 market stalls in total this year with mostly second hand books in any genre that you can possibly think of.

Though the day started sunny it became cloudy soon, however with temperatures of about 20°C (68°F) it was perfect to spend some hours here.
And with a catch of 5 books we have enough to read in the coming weeks :)

6 augustus 2016

Land of Plenty

This is "Luilekkerland" ('Land of Plenty'), a street in the city of Leeuwarden with small houses built in the 17th century for the poor. The people who once lived there did not have to pay for the houses (the church did), and they got food for free, plus a small allowance. Having food without paying for it most likely explains why the street is called Luilekkerland.
Photo taken earlier today during a city-walk, I had a nice day out with my mom :). Happy weekend!

4 augustus 2016

Coffee, money and happiness

Restaurant owners need to be creative these days if they want to attract customers..

The first photo was taken in Stockholm last month, the other one was taken in (a wet!) Groningen yesterday.

3 augustus 2016

Two dogs by Joost van den Toorn

Two images taken in the Groninger Museum earlier today, from the exhibition "Something to believe in" with works by Dutch sculptor Joost van den Toorn (1954). Both are bronze dogs, the first is called "Black Dog"..

..and this is the "Atomic Dog". I thought both looked very sweet.
Van den Toorn's works are often caricatural, he combines old symbols with modern imagery.

2 augustus 2016

The Art of Banksy in Amsterdam (2)

As said in yesterday's post I'm showing you 2 more works from Banksy that I saw recently at the current exhibition in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. "The 'Barcode Leopard' from 2003 was first displayed in Banksy's breakthrough 2002 exhibiton "Existencilism". It has become one of his most renowned and sold works. Ironically, the barcode serves as a cage, from which the wild feline emerges feral; licking the wounds it bears from the illegal tiger trade. However, one could also surmise that the tiger represents all of us, confined behind the bars of the jail of savage consumerism."

This is the "Flower Thrower", also from 2003. The text next to the image says: "The Banksy image that I liked best is that of a protester poised to throw a bouquet of flowers. It communicates the intense energy, passion, and focus of those engaged in 'the resistance' while also conveying the methods to be used such as art, humor, and general transcendence" (Journalist Gregory Johnson)

1 augustus 2016

The Art of Banksy in Amsterdam (1)

I recently visited the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam that currently has 'The Art of Banksy'-exhibition. From the info at the exhibition: "Nobody knows who is Banksy, yet everybody knows who he is. He is probably the most famous yet the most mysterious graffiti artist this world has seen. In 2010, Time Magazine selected the British artist for its list of the world's 100 most influential people among the company of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga." This display of a car is at the entrance.

 "Girl and Balloon" from 2003 is among his best-known pieces. "Evocative and affectionate at first look. Girl With A Balloon throws the viewer off-balance after the first impression of compassion wears off: Has the girl released the balloon, having given up on love long lost, fulfilling one entrance into the symbolic order that is society or has she lost grip of it, doomed to desperately seek that one feeling that is a human beings' primary need?"
Not really familiar yet with the works of Banksy, I was quite impressed with what I saw at the exhibition and read about him. Another post tomorrow.