Tagged: landscape

Graphic image of South-Holland as a piece of copper with on in the most beautiful mountains and hills of the province

Mountaineering in Holland: the Highest Peaks

What? Mountains in Holland? Are there any? Yes, because although our country is, understandably, not very popular with mountaineers, there are places that really stand out above the surrounding landscape. Which seems to me the most accurate definition of a mountain. In the far southeast of the Netherlands, in the province of Limburg, there are peaks like the Vaalserberg, which reaches a staggering 321 metres. But as you may know, the name Holland, often mistakenly used for the whole country, only refers to two provinces in the west. In this blogpost I limit the scope further down to the province… Read More

Park bench along the footpath on the Promenade in Münster, Germany

Münster: the Promenade and the River Aa

At the end of July I spent a few days in Münster with traveling companion I.. It was the result of a glance at the map: Münster appeared to be closer to Rotterdam than Groningen. And yet we had never been there. A good reason to take a look. We found a nice, relaxed town, with lots of Kneipen and Biergarten. With old and new architecture and also with lots of greenery. Most noticable were the Promenade and the river Münstersche Aa. Cycling City Münster has a little bit over 300,000 inhabitants and is therefore about the same size as… Read More

View from a cableway gondola at the Floriade expo in Almere, The Nethelrands, including the Floating Forest

Floriade Horticulture Exhibition in Almere

The Floriade of 2022 in Almere will not go down in history as the most successful edition. The visitor numbers are disappointing and the budget gap is approaching 100 million. When all Almere’s aldermen resigned for that reason at the end of June, it was even feared that the world horticulture exhibition would have to end prematurely. Criticism At the opening, there was also quite a bit of criticism about the character of the exhibition itself. It would all be a bit meager. Due to covid19, a number of participating countries had dropped out. Work was still in full swing… Read More

The church in the village of Slenaken, province of Limburg, The Netherlands, seen through the trees in a hilly landscape

The Gulpener Beerhike

This third walk from the yet to be published booklet The Best Beer Walks in the Benelux is set in Southern Limburg, that beautiful and very unDutch-looking part of the Netherlands. It is as if our country has tried to dig deep into Central Europe in order to get its fair share of hills and half-timbered houses. As a side result, also a few interesting beers were dragged within the national borders. The map can, as always be zoomed and panned; click here for a larger version. History The history of Limburg is fascinating. In fact, the province could just… Read More

Sunset and golden hour at Myvatn (mosquito lake) in North Iceland

Spring in Iceland – a good time to travel?

After two trips to Iceland in the summer and two in the winter, traveling companion A. and I decided to give it a try in the spring. The period was more or less dictated by the Dutch May holidays, which this year largely fell in April. For nearly three weeks we traveled through the land of ice and fire. And the question is, of course, if it’s a good idea, travelling in Iceland in springtime. Spoiler: yes, although… This was our itinerary. Red=airplane, purple=bus, orange=car, blue=boat, green=walking boots. Click here for a larger version Catkins If you go to Iceland… Read More

Swamp with bushes, historic agricultural relict and modern wind turbines on the Dutch nature island of Tiengemeten

Return to Tiengemeten

One of the best outings in the wider area of ​​Rotterdam is a trip to Tiengemeten. A place that you can only reach by boat has something attractive by definition. It is not a coincidence that world traveller Floortje Dessing, when she couldn’t go to the ends of the earth for a while due to the pandemic, immediately traveled to Tiengemeten. Excavators My first vist to Tiengemeten was on a Sunday in December 2006. The transformation from farmland to nature reserve was in full swing at that time. Road plates lay over muddy plains, excavators were on weekend mode, surveyors’… Read More

Brienenoord Island in Rotterdam, the Netherlands with tidal nature and trees in autumn colors on a sunny day in October

The Transformation of Brienenoord Island

There are few cities with a nature island within their borders. Both in the Netherlands and abroad I don’t know many examples. Rotterdam does have one. Okay, not really in the middle of the city, but well within the municipal boundaries and even (largely) within the Ringroad. We are of course talking about Brienenoord (pronounce breen-a north), separated from the rest of the city by a river channel named Zuiddiepje (which translates as Little Southern Deep) Van Brienen The island is 1400 meters long and about 200 meters at its widest point. It has been around since the early 19th… Read More

Dramatic sky over a farm under spectacular lighting conditions in the polder along the IJssel river near Zwolle, The Netherlands

The wet and chilly summer of 2021

The summer of 2021 was a soaking wet exception to the sweltering and bone-dry summers of recent years. Tropical days were scarce; rain showers were anything but; at least in the Netherlands and the direct neighbours. Looking back According to the meteorologists, summer ends on August 31; according to the astronomers it goes on for three weeks more. So at the time of writing, September 3, we are in a kind of twilight zone, a transition phase. Autumn is in the air, most summer flowers have finished blooming, the first trees are starting to change colour. It’s time to look… Read More

Pavement tile on Dutch railway platform asking to keep 1,5 metre, or vijf tiles, distance, because of covid-19

Eighteen Corona Hikes in the South Wing

Before the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, traveling companion A. and I were quite regularly hiking all over the Netherlands. But then, in March 2020, public transport was suddenly declared “for strictly necessary journeys only”. For a while we dutifully adhered to that rule. But at a certain point it started to feel uncomfortable. Car owners merrily drove all over the place, but consciously carless people like us, suddenly saw our environment limited to a radius of a few kilometers around our own homes. And since A. lives in Leiden and I live in Rotterdam, joint walks were prohibited according… Read More

Digital painting of a street in downtown Reykjavik, with colorful houses, shops and bars and in the background the famous Hallgrímskirkja

Impressions of Iceland Revisited

The landscapes and towns of Iceland are rewarding subjects for photographs, but they also inspire other forms of art. After four trips I have a hard drive full of pictures of the island of ice and fire. Thousands of photos, but also a growing collection of what I call digital paintings, for lack of a better term. This week it’s been two years since I was in Iceland, together with travel companion A; I wrote this blog post about it back then. It was great to see our beloved Reykjavik again but frankly speaking: the weather could have been better.… Read More