29 april 2017

Westerbork Memorial Centre

We recently visited the Westerbork Memorial Center ('Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork'), that tells about everything that happened in the nearby World War II refugee, detention and transit 'camp Westerbork'. The camp's function during the Second World War was to assemble Romani and Dutch Jews for transport to Nazi extermination camps and other concentration camps.

A great amount of photos, letters and postcards, all kinds of documents as well as old film fragments are exhibited and shown. So very impressive, all that happened back then is really beyond comprehension. The museum was built in 1983 on private initiative and with financial support from the Dutch government. The original camp grounds are also part of the Center and accessible for the public, more about that in the coming days.

28 april 2017

Zandhazenbrug

On our way to and back from the North Sea coast, earlier this month, we crossed the new Zandhazenbrug near the town of Muiderberg. The name of the bridge refers to an old nickname of the residents of Muiderberg, apparently they were called 'zandhazen' (lit: 'sand hares'), a name soldiers in the army sometimes get.
The bridge is a railway bridge with a span length of 255 m, and is in use since August 2016. It is part of the Weesp-Lelystad railway, known as the Flevolijn.

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday.

27 april 2017

King's Day

Today is King's Day in the Netherlands, or 'Koningsdag' in Dutch, on which we celebrate the birthday of our King Willem-Alexander. He turned 50 years old today. 

TIt's a national holiday and the whole of the Netherlands colours orange, literally so here on Buienradar, a popular weather radar site. And even though we can't do without an umbrella today and with about 11°C it's rather chilly, but it's a festive day!

26 april 2017

The forest that failed

Last Sunday when we were near the villages of Westerbork/Hooghalen we passed this square area where -apparently- all trees had been cut, and thought nothing special about it until we saw the sign saying 'Mislukt bos' or 'The Forest that failed'. Staatsbosbeheer (a Dutch government organisation for forestry and the management of nature reserves) explains and tells about the planting of the lodgepole pine (Pinus Contorta) 50 years ago on this spot.

Common to the US and Canada, the pines unfortunately didn't do well here in the Netherlands. When some ditches in the area were closed in order to save a nearby vulnerable wet heather field, the forest became wetter. The trees were cut down then and now all is left to nature to 'spontaneously' create an area with whatever else will grow.

I'm linking to signs, signs.


25 april 2017

Westerbork observatory

Near the village of Westerbork, about 30 min drive from our home, is this row of 14 antennas with a diameter of 25 meters each, and together they form one big (HUGE is a better word) telescope. Four of them are movable along 2 rail tracks. They are operated by ASTRON, the Dutch foundation for astronomy research. The telescopes are often combined with other ones around the world to perform certain observations.
Officially called the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT), it is commonly known as 'sterrenwacht Westerbork' ('Westerbork observatory').

24 april 2017

Noordwijk aan Zee lighthouse

The lighthouse on the photo, located along the Wilhelmina Boulevard in Noordwijk aan Zee, was built in 1921. The first mention of a lighthouse on this spot dates from 1444, and in that time the light was lit only when fishermen were active at sea. The current tower has 6 floors and a staircase with 108 steps. Visitors are not allowed inside.

Zooming in we saw a very pretty weather vane!

23 april 2017

Garden center

One of the bigger local garden centers had open house today. Always nice to have a look around.

We spotted some walnut trees (here in front) and were 'happy' to see them here without leaves and/or any sign of life as well. Exactly like the one in our garden, so no worries anymore about that  haha :)

22 april 2017

Keukenhof #7

One of the sculptures on the grounds of the Keukenhof Spring garden is this beautiful piece named "Najade". It is made from Corton steel, known for its rust-like appearance.


The sculptor is Jack van Iwaarden de Vreede (1962). When I googled for the name "Najade" I found that it has several meanings, one of them is a Greek water nymph. Isn´t it lovely?

21 april 2017

Lost and found

 A 'vindboom' or 'found items-tree' between the Queen Wilhelmina boulevard and the dunes of Noordwijk aan Zee.

It's mostly sneakers and flip flops as you can see ;) I like the initiative but wouldn't recommend to hang any valuable found items there..

20 april 2017

Noordwijk aan Zee

View from the dunes into Noordwijk aan Zee. The town was founded around 1200 as a fishing village. During the 19th century tourism replaced fishing as its primary income.


Nowadays it is a popular resort town with over a million overnight stays per year.

19 april 2017

Walk of Space

Since September 2013 the town of Noordwijk has a "Walk of Space", consisting of a number of tiles in the pavement of the Queen Wilhelmina Boulevard. With this they try to draw attention to space travel in general and their connection with it through the Space Expo: the town's permanent space exhibition which is also the visitor's center for ESA in the Netherlands.
The photo above shows the imprint of an original moonboot by Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut who stayed inside the space ship Challenger for 7 days back in 1985.

Another one I'd like to show you is a handprint from André Kuipers, another Dutch astronaut who turned into a true national celebrity in 2011/2012 after he was selected for a 6 month mission to contribute to the International Space Station (ISS) project. The launch into space as well as his return to earth were broadcasted live on television, and there was lot of media attention for his stay inside the space station where he did all kinds of experiments and tests. Because of his enthusiasm the reports from space were a great pleasure to watch.

I'm linking to signs, signs.

18 april 2017

At the North Sea coast

Before we visited the Keukenhof Monday a week ago we spent a day at the North Sea coast at Noordwijk aan Zee. The weather was more than perfect to be at the beach, it was warm and sunny and it felt like Summer; lots of people were sunbathing and some even went swimming in the sea. This photo was made when the tide was getting high; of course the sand castles that were built earlier had to be reinforced!

I'm linking to All Seasons.

17 april 2017

Monday Mural

Watching the artist at work on a boarding fence surrounding a building site at the market square in Emmen.

I'm linking to Monday Mural.

15 april 2017

Keukenhof #5

This mirror-like screen hung semi-circular from the tree branches down, creating a peculiar reflection as the ground is now down ánd up. Photo taken at the Keukenhof flower park last Monday.
Happy Easter!

I'm linking to Weekend Reflections.

14 april 2017

Bulb fields

The Keukenhof and the nearby village of Lisse are located in the so-called 'Bulb Region' ('Bollenstreek' in Dutch), in the west part of the Netherlands. Floriculture, the processing of bulbs for export, and other activities in the floral industry are major economic activities in this area.

When the bulb fields are in bloom it is one of our country's most visited tourist attractions. These 2 photos were taken from a viewing platform at the edge of the Keukenhof.

I'm linking to Floral Friday Fotos.

13 april 2017

Keukenhof #4

On the grounds of the Keukenhof several pavilions have flower shows. This is a flower arrangement with Gerberas inside the Orange-Nassau Pavilion..

..and here we are at the Orchid show in the Beatrix Pavilion.

12 april 2017

Keukenhof #3

I can't imagine the effort it takes for the gardeners at the Keukenhof to keep the many flower beds as neat as they were when we were there. Here the daffodils are tidied, watched by a growing number of people..

..and this man was putting iron sticks at each single hyacinth to keep it standing straight.
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