Two of the many sculptures of craftsmen on Saint John's cathedral in Den Bosch, The Netherlands

Climbing Saint John’s Cathedral in Den Bosch

Saint John’s Cathedral in Den Bosch, officially known as the Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist, is one of the largest and most beautiful churches in the Netherlands. This summer, it is possible to climb Saint John’s Cathedral. Of course, travel companion A. and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. Brabantine Gothic Saint John’s Cathedral is considered the pinnacle of Brabantine Gothic architecture. Construction of the church took place over a span of three centuries starting from 1220. In the five centuries that followed, the maintenance and restoration of the monument have been a continuous point of attention.… Read More

Grafisch voorstel voor een betere verdeling over het jaar van de nationale feestdagen in Nederland

The Great National Holiday Shift

The national holidays in the Netherlands tend to cluster somewhat together. And some of those holidays have little meaning for most of the population. But any proposal for change leads to emotional discussions. It seems like an unsolvable dilemma. Or is there a creative answer to the question? Yes, I think there is…. Holidays In the Netherlands, we have the following national holidays, in order of appearance: New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, King’s Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost Sunday and Pentecost Monday and two days of Christmas. Additionally, Liberation Day is a day off for some people. Cluster… Read More

Meerrijk, the center of the suburb Meerhoven in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, seen from the adjacent Meerland Park

Meerrijk, Eindhoven, 17 years later

In 2006, while working at VHP, I was involved in the design competition for Meerrijk, the central area of the Meerhoven suburb in Eindhoven. In the following years, I provided regular support in the development of the public space, the parking garage, and one of the five building blocks. Now, nearly two decades later, Meerrijk is almost completed. It’s time to take a look at how it has become. Artist impressions Did my artist impressions back then contribute to winning the competition? It would stroke my vanity, but that seems unlikely; they might have played a minor role at best.… Read More

Het dal van de Rur in Monschau, Duitsland met aan een zijde een rij traditionele vakwerkhuizen

Return to Monschau: The Haus on Holzmarkt

Monschau is without a doubt one of the most beautiful towns within a radius of 200 kilometers from Rotterdam. I wrongly ignored it for decades. But recently I was there again, as a man on a mission. Day trips In the seventies, as a teenager, I visited Monschau, Germany a few times, on day trips from our holiday addresses in South Limburg or the slightly more easterly Heimbach. After that I ignored the town on the Rur for decades, busy as I was visiting India, Indonesia and Iceland, among others. But at the end of May I was in town… Read More

Walking path along the Noorder Canal in Rotterdam with the highway and the old Hofplein viaduct

The Rotterdam Ringroad Hiking Trail

Where other cities have a ringroad, Rotterdam has the Ruit, which literally means the Diamond. The A20, A16, A15 and A4 together form a diamond-shaped road network that has led car traffic around the city since the 1960s. But would it also be a nice route to walk? No, not over the hard shoulder of course, but over hiking trails in the immediate vicinity of the highways? Dream Believe it or not, the idea for the Rotterdam Ringroad Hike came to me in a dream. I dreamed that there was a long-distance hiking trail that followed the Ruit. It seemed… Read More

Reddish brown highlands with patches of snow and a hut for hikers near Hraftinusker in Iceland

Laugavegur, Iceland’s best hiking trail

In July 2023 it will be fifteen years ago that travel companion A. and I hiked the Laugavegur trail, according to many the most beautiful long-distance hiking route in Iceland. That’s a good reason to write a blogpost about that epic journey. Illustrated with photos taken with the simple IXUS850 camera that I had back then. It actually made quite nice pictures, but in the alien landscape between Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk that is not too difficult. July 28, 2008: Landmannalaugar – Hraftinusker (10.3 kilometers) In the days before our hiking adventure there is a heat wave in Reykjavik. In Iceland… Read More

The Nieuwe Maas river in Rotterdam with onder other side Zalmhaven tower and some lower buildings and a piece of Erasmus Bridge in the blue hour on a morning in January

Blue Mondays in January

The third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday. According to some scientists Blue Monday is the most depressing day of the year. It is cold and gloomy and the alarm rings well before sunrise. Christmas is long ago, the holidays are far away. And the new year’s resolutions turn out not to last. Although it is clear by now that Blue Monday was a fabrication for an advertising campaign, there is of course a grain of truth in it. I myself have tried to give it a positive spin this year. The blue hour This blog has a… Read More

Acht verschillende schilderijen van een kat met een gitaar in de stijl van Picasso en Kandiski, gemaakt met AI Stable Diffusion

Artificial intelligence: threat or opportunity?

Artificial intelligence, we’ve seen it coming for years. And in recent months there has been a kind of breakthrough. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) appears to be able to write texts and create works of art. But how good are these systems actually? And do they represent a threat or an opportunity for human creatives? Illusion It happened many times before: people losing their jobs because computers do their work better and faster. But until recently, writers, artists and other creatives could cherish the illusion that this wouldn’t happen to them. Progress However, progress cannot be stopped. High school students already have… Read More

Reflection, with considerable distortions, in the facade of the Depot building in Rotterdma, taken from the Podium on the roof of the New Institute

Countdown: the best photos of 2022

It’s time again for my annual review with the most beautiful photos of 2022. Since 2016 I’ve been compiling these top 10s with the best photos of the year. The best photos I’ve taken myself, that is. Or at least the photos with the most interesting stories to tell. Also this year I cannot escape the long and painful selection process. The longlist contains about 200 photos, of which 190 must be abandoned within sight of the harbour. Anyway, with the deadline, New Year’s Eve, approaching rapidly, I present here my photographic annual overview for 2022. 10 – Rear View… Read More

World map in rainbow colors based on the elevations on our planet

A World Map in Rainbow Colors

The rainbow world map I present in this blog post is a direct result of the World Cup in Qatar. A tournament that quickly degenerated into a statement contest. That was of course mainly the fault of Fifa, which banned “political” expressions such as the OneLove band under penalty of a yellow card. And of the organizing committee that banned every piece of textile with rainbow colors from the stadiums. Rainbow flags It’s quite logical that rainbows have always appealed to people’s imagination. It is a beautiful yet harmless natural phenomenon that is also somewhat rare and fleeting. Over the… Read More