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Category: The Netherlands

Looking back: May 2018

Looking back: May 2018

I can’t believe June is nearly over before I managed to write this post about May – oops!

May was a great month, with lots of nice weather. During the first weekend I made the most of the weather which you can read all about in a blog about that weekend. It involved mills along the river Rotte…

And a nice walk through the dunes to the beach πŸ™‚

I briefly went back to work, and then Jessica and I took the train to Brussels to visit CΓ©lia (and Ben) for two days. It was a really nice girls weekend in sunny Ukkel…

We went for a nice walk, and discovered that Ukkel, although part of Brussels, feels more like the countryside!

One of the reasons for our visit was to finally see the amazing flat that CΓ©lia and Ben have bought. It is just amazing, I couldn’t get enough of the views and the HUGE terrace. Here we are enjoying a wonderful dinner with Jerome, watching the sunset… Can’t wait to visit again!

When I came back, we went almost straight to my favourite food festival TREK, which is held in a park very close to our house. My favourite tractor-DJ was there again πŸ™‚

It was a lot of fun, I even took a ride in the swing carousel with the daughter of friends πŸ˜€ Unfortunately it was really busy as it was Ascension Day and the lines were really long, so we didn’t stay long in the end.

I finally spent an evening taking photos of Rotterdam by night, or more specifically the Erasmus bridge which was lit in white and green to commemorate the bombing of Rotterdam 78 years ago. More photos here πŸ™‚

Later that month, I finally submitted my paper again, which was a huge relief and called for celebrating with sushi πŸ˜€ We discovered a new place, which is now by far our favourite and so much better than all the other take-away places. For those in Rotterdam, it’s called Sushi CompanyΒ and we can really recommend the chef’s special πŸ™‚ Spoiler alert: the paper has now FINALLY been accepted and it’s even already published.

The next weekend, we went to another food truck festival with friends, this time next to de Kralingse Plas (Rrrollend Rotterdam). I have to say, I liked this festival even better than TREK, it was relaxed and the food was great.

It was the Pentecost weekend, and we spent almost the entire weekend putting laminate in our bedroom and hallway. We replaced a carpet that had been there for 15 years and it really improved the rooms. It was hard work though, especially the hallway which had NINE doors to go around, and was not straight (or level) in any way. On Monday we were finally done, and we went to Wageningen to visit Michiel’s mum, where we had lunch on the square in beautiful sunshine πŸ™‚

Later that week, I had my first media shift at work where I didn’t “ghost write”. We write forecasts for nearly all the papers in the Netherlands, and lots of them publish the forecast with a name and photo. I didn’t have a photo yet, so I always wrote under somebody else’s name. My parents sent me a picture of my story and photo in their local paper πŸ™‚ quite strange, but nice!

During the last week of May I had visitors from Norway not once but twice! First Matilda (a friend / former colleague from TromsΓΈ) came for a weekend. We spent one day in Wageningen and one day in Rotterdam, where we of course visited the cube houses, also from the inside this time (one is a museum).

I thought the museum could have been a lot better, but it was still fun to see a cube house from the inside!

Matilda left on Sunday afternoon, and not even 24 hours later Marie and PΓ₯l arrived. On the first day we explored Rotterdam, for me it was the second tour of Rotterdam in two days πŸ˜›

One of the things I love in Rotterdam: old meets new in so many ways…

The floating forest and the floating pavilion, I’m still trying to find a way to get a tour of this cool building!

The weather was amazing, even a little bit too warm – but then we would just stop for a refreshing drink somewhere πŸ˜‰

Back to the cube houses again…

The sign is a quote from the architect and it reads: “Living = Love… Love = the roof of the city”. Yeah I am not quite sure what it means either, but it sounds nice πŸ˜‰

PΓ₯l was interested in Erasmus, so we went to see his sculpture…

As well as this strange monument on the side of where he used to live (I believe…).

On our way back home (after a nice meal outside!) we picked up rental bikes from the train station for our bike trip the next day.

The next day we got up very early to catch the waterbus to Kinderdijk (the windmills). Unfortunately, one of the bikes we rented got a flat tire and we had to walk back to the train station to replace it, which meant we just missed our boat. Never mind, we took the next one and changed our route a little (not all of them stop at Kinderdijk). It was a beautiful sunny day and we had such a great time exploring the mills and the countryside.

Of course we had to be real tourists πŸ˜›

We bought tickets to visit the information centre and this included a visit to two mills. That was so much fun! Here Marie is testing the “bedstee” (box-bed inside the wall).

This was the mill we visited from the inside. Although it was a sunny day in May, there were hardly any other tourists. Not sure why, I have seen more people there on a cloudy day in November! Never mind, it was beautiful to have the place nearly to ourselves πŸ™‚

Marie on one of the small bridges…

And the small ferry with a lot of windmills.

Marie and PΓ₯l cycling at Kinderdijk πŸ™‚

We cycled all the way to Dordrecht, where we had a drink on the square and explored the beautiful old town a bit. Only a bit, because we knew that thunderstorms were on the way, and we wanted to get on the waterbus before they reached us. We just about managed that, while on the hour long trip to Rotterdam we were hit by a crazy storm with lightning, hail and very strong rain. Impressive!

The next day they were taking a plane back to Oslo but we still had some hours in the morning for a nice bike ride. I took them on my favourite bike ride along the river Rotte, which was as beautiful as it always is πŸ™‚

Especially seeing my favourite mill nicely decorated with flags! There were lots of rowing boats on the river that day. We actually visited the mill, which was open. We bought some really delicious jam πŸ™‚

And with that, May came to an end. I loved all the good weather and fun trips that month!

Rotterdam by Night: the Erasmusbrug

Rotterdam by Night: the Erasmusbrug

I’ve lived in Rotterdam for nearly a year now, and I kept thinking I should get some night shots of this beautiful city (even more beautiful at night!) some day soon. Well, it took me a while, but I finally spend a night taking photo of the beautiful Erasmus Bridge, nicknamed the Swan.

Funnily enough, the first photo I want to share does not have the Erasmus bridge in it πŸ˜‰ It shows the beautiful houses of Noordereiland (an island in the middle of the city, in the river Meuse), with another famous bridge behind it: de Hefbrug or de Hef, a vertical-lift bridge. It’s not in use anymore, but they kept it as it’s such an iconic part of the city.

But from now on I’ll focus on the Erasmus Bridge. It was built in 1996, which always surprises me as it looks so modern πŸ™‚ Behind it De Rotterdam, another Rotterdam icon by Rem Koolhaas. I love how old and new is often seen together in Rotterdam πŸ™‚

I waited until dusk, to take some photo of the Erasmus bridge lit up. This was on May 14, which is the (78th) anniversary of the bombing of Rotterdam during the second world war. Have a look at this articleΒ and the sobering photos of a completely flattened Rotterdam πŸ™ To commemorate this historical event, the bridge was lit in green and white, the colors of Rotterdam. I also love the colors of Boompjes, a building that holds events – they kept changing color!

On the shore there are many old wooden poles with numbers, which makes a nice background to contrast the modern architecture in the background.

Rotterdam, you’re so pretty!

Here you can see the green color of the bridge quite well. Every now and then, the bridge is lit for special occasions: in rainbow colors for the international day against homophobia, orange for King’s Day or red-white-blue for Liberation Day. So nice!

A last picture of the bridge and Rotterdam’s skyline, with a boat making light streaks.

I took photos from the same location all night, so I guess I should come back to explore some other locations around town – they are so many nice places around the river and from the Euromast for example πŸ™‚

A sunny weekend

A sunny weekend

May is spoiling us with lots of good weather, and last week I had three days off and really enjoyed the sunshine πŸ™‚ On Friday night I went for a bike ride along the river Rotte at sunset. It was May 4th, which is Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. At 20:00 there is 2 minutes silence to remember the victims of World War II, but also those who came after that. This is why the flag is flying half mast in the photo below.

A bit further along I passed Molen De Vier Winden (The Four Winds), with beautiful flowers (cow parsley and what I believe is called field mustard) in the foreground.

The setting sun was reflected in a window in the distance, it was a beautiful calm scene…

I cycled back on the opposite shore, where I passed De Prinsenmolen (the mill in the first photo) again.

The next day is Liberation Day, where we celebrate our freedom. There are lots of music festivals everywhere, but we decided to avoid the crowds and go for a walk. We went to a small nature area in the dunes near Wassenaar and Scheveningen, called Meijendel. We followed a walking route, but soon our path was blocked by a lot of horses πŸ˜€

The route took us to the sea, where we enjoyed a sunny lunch break. Look how many different colors the water has here…

There are large parts of the dunes area that you can’t walk in as they are protected and fragile. I would have loved to walk to these trees in the open sand area, but at least I got to see them from a viewpoint πŸ™‚

The path next to the sand dunes.

I love this time of year, when the green is so unbelievably bright and fresh!

We stopped at a bird hide where I saw this little grebe (dodaars) – what a cute bird!

We continued our walk back to the starting point, where there’s a restaurant and a big parking lot. It was nice to discover a new area!

On the Sunday the weather was still good, but we were a bit lazy πŸ˜‰ We did go for a bike ride though, to Schiedam. It’s a nearby town that I’ve been meaning to visit since forever, and it’s only about 7 km away πŸ˜€ I only had my phone with me, but I’d love to go back there to take more photos. It’s a beautiful town and it has SEVEN mills in the centre of the town, and they are the tallest in the world! There used to be 20 mills in the town, can you imagine??

Schiedam is famous for the production of jenever (Dutch gin). This is the jenever museum on one of the canals. Can’t believe it took me so long to visit Schiedam πŸ˜€

What a weekend πŸ™‚