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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™‚

Looking back: March 2018

Looking back: March 2018

Early in March, we had a second viewing of the house in Arkel. After a weekend of brainstorming, we decided to buy it. We almost got it, we got very far in the negotiating process, but in the end the seller surprised everyone (including the estate agent) by selling it directly to someone else. It was so disappointing, it still makes me sad. We got so close! Oh well, chin up and we’ll keep looking!

That weekend I also went to a winter bird excursion to Ackerdijkse Plassen, a nearby nature reserve.

We spent the next weekend in Haarlem, but since Michiel had a work meeting in Leiden on Friday afternoon, I came with him and walked around Leiden for a couple of hours. I took a lot of photos and plan to spend them on my blog soon! Here’s one photo taken at the Burcht πŸ™‚

We spent a great weekend in Haarlem, Michiel’s sister and her boyfriend joined as well. This is where I grew up, so I showed everyone around Haarlem on Saturday. The weather was a bit grey, but it was a really nice day.

A cat in front of the former prison in Haarlem, which we would visit on an excursion the next day!

Our actual reason for visiting Haarlem was my birthday present by Bart and Kaya: a dinner trip around the world in 5 courses. The menu was AMAZING and the evening was wonderful – what a great birthday present!!

On Sunday we went on an excursion to the former prison in Haarlem, it was housed in a round building. Our guide talked a LOT but finally we did reach the room that we came to see, and that was really impressive… More photos on my blog soon!

I then spent a busy week at work, where I started at 06:30 every day. That meant I didn’t do much else that week, although we did find time for a dinner with my parents and a visit to the theatre to see Fiddler on the Roof with Thomas Acda. Very nice!

On Saturday our friend Katharina and her boyfriend Joris came to visit us (from Brussels/Antwerp). We showed them around Rotterdam on a VERY cold day. The temperature was just below zero, but it was very windy which made it feel like -15!

We finished the afternoon with beer and cider in Fenix Food Factury πŸ™‚ We went home early, because I had to pack for a two week holiday…

I spent the last two weeks of March in Norway. My friend Nicole, who lives in Seattle, always wanted to visit me while I lived in TromsΓΈ. She never got the chance until now (only 3 years after I moved from TromsΓΈ πŸ˜‰ ), and I decided going back to Norway for holidays would be fun.

We had an amazing trip! Our first stop was Svalbard, the real Arctic, and as Nicole put it: the closest to the North Pole we’d ever get!

We had such a great time there. It was my third visit, but I’m still as amazed by this area every time I visit. We went dog sledding and we went on a long snow scooter trip to the east coast. So beautiful! I hope to publish a blog post about Svalbard soon πŸ™‚

Our next stop was TromsΓΈ, where we got to see the northern lights in all its glory already on our first night!

We also spent a few days on the island Senja, in a DNT cabin… there was so much snow, and it kept snowing all week.

Finally we had a day in Oslo before we both flew back home. Nicole visited her family-in-law, while I spent a wonderful day catching up with friends in the spring sunshine. The highlight of the day was sharing a wonderful sauna experience with Teresa – with this view!

And with that, March came to an end. What a wonderful month! πŸ™‚