Browsed by
Tag: Rotterdam

A cold morning at de Kralingse Plas

A cold morning at de Kralingse Plas

This morning I had to take my car to the garage, and I decided to cycle back from there. It was about 12 km, and halfway I passed de Kralingse Plas, a beautiful lake surrounded by forest. It’s one of my favourite places in Rotterdam. It was a cold morning and the boardwalk by the lake was covered in frost…

I had the place nearly to myself, with the exception of a couple of very sporty people πŸ™‚

There were lots of birds on the lake, and as always – a great view of Rotterdam’s skyline in the distance.

I wish I had brought my telezoom with me – next time! But even without it, I managed to get some nice photos of the birds.

I loved how this coot created its own circles in the water…

And later I saw a coot checking out its own reflection in the “mirror” πŸ˜‰

The sun came out…

Beautiful willow at the start of the boardwalk!

Another photo of the willow, seen from the other side, with the skyline of Rotterdam in the background.

My bike parked by the lake πŸ™‚

When I cycled home, I noticed an area near the shore of the lake that I hadn’t been to before. It turned out to be a true hidden gem – it’s called Heemtuin, and it felt like discovering a secret garden. Lots of boardwalks…

With Mr Grey Heron guarding the entrance to the boardwalk!

There is another long boardwalk in this garden, really nice!

Panorama of the beautiful view…

I then discovered an area filled with snowdrops – or so I thought. When I came closer I noticed the flowers were bigger than snowdrops and had a different shape. A man working in the garden came to talk to me and he told me they are called “Lenteklokje” orΒ Spring Snowflake in English – what a beautiful name! And what a beautiful flower…

There were snowdrops too, they are so elegant and pretty… πŸ™‚

Another photo of the snowdrops…

Beautiful view from this bench by the water… Although it’s cold in the Netherlands right now, you can still see and feel that spring is not far away πŸ™‚

Very nice views over de Kralingse Plas…

There are 2 sheds/cabins in the garden, the one on the left looked really cosy inside.

I’ll have to come back to this secret garden when nature has woken up a bit more! I’m also planning to try some bird photography next time I visit the lake πŸ™‚

Looking back: December 2017

Looking back: December 2017

My blog has been neglected for too long, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to do something about this! One thing I want to start is a monthly overview of what has happened last month – where I can also share the small things (a photo or something that has happened) that otherwise would never make it to my blog. Here’s the first episode: December 2017…

The first weekend of December we went to our favourite sushi restaurant in Rotterdam: Itami. We’re testing out all the other good sushi restaurants in the city, but we keep having to conclude that nobody is better than Itami! It was a wonderful night with wonderful food πŸ™‚

The next morning we had brunch at the Euromast, a famous observation tower in Rotterdam. This was a gift from Michiel’s sister, and we booked it some weeks earlier. The view from the restaurant is amazing, but we were very unlucky with the weather: thick fog! We thought it was quite funny though, especially since I’m a meteorologist πŸ˜‰

While shopping for presents, I looked for the Prague Lonely Planet in Donner, my favourite bookshop in Rotterdam. Lonely Planet bought one of my photos, of a lunch I had with my sister in Prague. It was fun to find it in both guides (the pocket one and the larger one). I sell photos through Getty, so they end up all kinds of places, but Lonely Planet is probably the most exciting place for me!

Later that week we went for a very special dinner: a 6 course meal at Michelin star restaurant FG Food Labs. It was truly amazing – very original, beautiful (and sometimes fun!) presentation, fantastic food. I loved that they had a “BOB” version of their wine package. BOB is what we (in the Netherlands) call the person who doesn’t drink so he/she can drive. I’m not sure it would have been safe for me to drive after 6 half glasses, but I always find a full glass of wine with each course too much, and this was a nice solution! This restaurant is only 15 minutes from where we live, so no need for a car or even a bike. Here are some of the dishes we had that night…

On the first day with snow, we drove to the small village of Asperen to look at a house that was for sale there. I love this area, and the snow made it even prettier! I completely fell in love with the house, but Michiel didn’t. It was also only the first house we’ve looked at, and we need to think about what we really want and where we would like to live. We’re not in any hurry though, so we’re taking our time to work this out.

That night we drove through the snow to Amsterdam, where we watched Alison Moyet perform to a sold out Paradiso – it was fantastic! I love her voice, and the concert was amazing.

The next day we celebrated Sinterklaas with my family (we were 14 people in total) at our place. There was a huge pile of presents, and it was a really fun afternoon!

One of the gifts I got was this book about 111 places in Rotterdam that you should see – I’m looking forward to discovering all of them!

The next day it snowed, and snowed, and snowed! Until it looked like this…. (not the best photo quality, but it shows how much snow we had!).

Unfortunately all the snow rained away before I had a chance to go out and get some good photos. A few days later I went to Den Haag (the Hague) to visit the Escher museum (for the second time!) and Panorama Mesdag. You can read more about that day here.

The weekend of 16-17 December we stayed in a cabin in Reeuwijk, where Michiel’s sister lives with her boyfriend. It was a busy weekend, with 3 birthday celebrations and a lot of time in the car. I wish I could have taken more photos that weekend, because the weather was frosty, and the snow showers made for some fantastic clouds. I did take this panorama by the shores of the lake near our cabin πŸ™‚

That evening we went to the birthday party of Jessica and Sander. The dresscode was these crazy Christmas jumpers…

And the birthday couple themselves, in very “special” Christmas jumpers (look carefully)…

The next day we took the scenic route to another birthday party, and stopped in some places where we might want to live. For example Montfoort, where this photo was taken…

It was my birthday on the 20th of December and I had already bought myself a gift months ago: I needed to use up some British Airways airmiles, and I booked a hotel room at nhow RotterdamΒ with a nice view. What I didn’t know, is that Michiel secretly upgraded this room to the Rem Koolhaas suite, and got them to decorate it really nicely for my birthday! Wow!

There was even a message on the mirror for me πŸ™‚

We enjoyed a nice drink in the hotel bar…

And then tried another sushi restaurant, this time Azura. Very nice sushi, but still not the same service and taste as at Itami πŸ˜‰

The suite had a fantastic view towards the Erasmus bridge and the river, but (theme of the month!) it was very foggy and the view in the photo below was the best we got that night (the next morning we couldn’t even see the bridge at all!)

Two days later I threw a big birthday party for about 25 guests. It was really nice, and I was pleasantly surprised how many people actually came in the busy days before Christmas, some travelling very far! It was a great night πŸ™‚

We spent Christmas in Wageningen with Michiel’s family, where we had a very nice tapas style dinner. The next day we stayed at home, and went for a walk in Rotterdam. I loved seeing Christmas trees in the middle of one of the canals!

We walked outside the city and found some very Dutch skies and landscapes πŸ™‚

Michiel had to work between Christmas and New Year, but I joined Jessica, Sander and family for a couple of days in Vaals in the south of the Netherlands. It was close to the highest point of the Netherlands and the three-country-border between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. We actually had snow again over there, and we had a great time going for walks, visiting the Christmas market in Maastricht, bowling, and playing boardgames. I will write a blog about our days there soon, so here I will just share one photo of all of us at the three-country-border point πŸ™‚

During the last weekend of 2017, my two nieces Mare and Lena came to stay with us. We went to the zoo in Rotterdam (Blijdorp), which was lots of fun.

The rest of the time was spent making endless drawings, eating pancakes and refusing to go to sleep πŸ˜‰ It was so much fun to have them visit, and I hope they come again soon!

We spent New Year’s Eve at home with just the two of us – a quiet cosy evening with lasagne and nice drinks, watching the fireworks from our living room. Happy New Year everyone!! May 2018 be filled with love, health, family and lots of adventures πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this monthly overview, I plan to continue them from now on!

Like a painting: windmills along the Rotte

Like a painting: windmills along the Rotte

It’s been very quiet on this blog! We recently got back from a month in Australia, so I have plenty of photos to share. However, we’ve been really busy, and I have another exciting trip coming up, so posts about Australia will have to wait a bit. In the meantime, I’d like to share some photos taken on a recent bike trip close to home. All the photos were taken within 1 hour, on a 10 km bike trip. I may be living in a big city, but it’s really not very difficult to get out of the city and see some beautiful scenery – even if you just have an hour to spare! πŸ™‚

Within 10 minutes from home, I reach the edge of the city, and am greeted by this view from the shores of the river Rotte…

Continuing my trip, I reach the first windmill on my route. This is De Prinsenmolen (Mill of the Prince), built in 1648. The evening light was really pretty and the views looked like a painting…

The same mill seen from a little further along the route (looking back). The jetty is private, but I guess the ducks don’t care about that! Near the opposite shore you can see a rowing boat that comes from the nearby rowing club. Must have been a beautiful evening for being on the water!

I continue my trip to the second mill on my route: Molen de Vier Winden (Mill of the Four Winds). I usually cycle right underneath it and never had a very good view of it – nice to see it from the opposite side of the river!

The light was now becoming truly spectacular and I almost had to pinch myself that his was real. What an evening… A coot passed closeby, some rowing boats passed, the clouds reflected in the river…

I took a panorama because I wanted to include everything: the mill, the houses, the boat on the jetty, the church in the distance and the beautiful tree. I borrowed the jetty of a house that was being worked on. I thought the owner might not like me on his jetty (quite a few have “private” signs on them, although not this one), but he came out to ask if I had been able to get some good photos and that it was such a beautiful evening. How nice!

I continued a bit further, but the sunset was now becoming so spectacular that I didn’t get far. I took a panorama looking in the opposite direction as the one above…

And another photo of the sunset, with quite spectacular beams!

After that, I put my photo gear away and cycled the 5 km back to home. A mini trip like this can still be so rewarding!