Friday, 22 July 2016

Castle gardens Arcen - kasteeltuinen Arcen

The castle of Arcen, in the background of this photo, was built in the 17th century by the dukes of Gelderland. The present castle was built on the remains of the former castle.
The castle in a state of decay and the grounds were sold to the Foundation The Limburg landscape and they turned it into a little paradise as you can see below.


Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint and soil and sky as canvas. Elizabeth Murry

Italian garden

How lovely is the silence of all growing things

There are four storks living here and soon there might be more :)

A wonderland of colours

Thailand fisherman house

Looks like a small terracotta army

Advise from a flamingo

Wade into life
Stand out in the crowd
spend time with your flock
find the right balance
show your true colour
Don't be afraid to get your feet wet
author unknown

Such beauty

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A bike tour in Holland

The best way to see Holland is by bike. We had a few bike rides and one day we biked 44 km We biked the following route :Wijchen - Ravenstein - Megen - Appeltern - Batenburg - Wijchen This took us a bit over 3 hours including a coffee, a walk and we had to wait for the ferry.

We started not far from the castle of Wijchen which is 14th century. In 1609 Emila, daughter of Prince Willem of Orange bought the castle and another important fact is that in 1991 we married in this castle.

We arrived in Ravenstein and biked alongside this beautiful pond

Ravenstein a little city with an old centre. Ravenstein was founded in 1360. To levy tolls for ships on the Meuse, vassal Walraven Van Valkenburg moved his castle to where Ravenstein is now  in 1355. A settlement grew around the castle of Walraven. Walraven is my maiden name but no I am not related :)

 When we arrived in Megen we came across another biker. A bakers boy with a basket full of bread.. This is the second statue as the first one was stolen.

This is a gate tower build in the 14th century which used to be part of the wall around Megen. It was used as a prison. Nowadays the storks live on top of it. We had a coffee opposite this tower.

We walked through the old town centre. People lived in this area since 2000 BC The celts and later the Romans lived here. Meginum was first mentioned in 721 as the capital of the county Megen.
Megen received town rights in 1357 and a fortress was built. Megen is well known for its two monasteries.
My mum always talked about "het broertje van Megen" or Bruurke of Megen (1868-1950), a brother who became well known because of his simple lifestyle.

Waiting for the ferry to cross the river Meuse

We biked through Batenburg and stopped at the ruin's of Castle Batenburg. This castle is from 527 AC and was destroyed in 1794 by the French troops. It still has its charms though.

This farmhouse is next to the ruin. You can see many beautiful farmhouses in batenburg

For centuries the farmers grounded their corn in the Batenburg mill

There is a pink bike when you come in and leave Batenburg. A bit of a challenge to get on this one. My brother  informed me that  pink bikes are placed everywhere on the route of the Giro d'italia. This is an annual bicycle race held in Italy , which passes through other countries as well.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Roman day at Orientalis

I went to Orientalis a museum not far from where I used to live and which you can read more about here together with my mum and hubby. There was a Roman day so good reason to check it out. The roman empire started 27 BC till 395 AD

There were lots of crafts being shown like this man weaving a basket

In the Roman city we bumped into a Roman, wearing a toga . All roman citizens were required to wear a toga

and this maiden was lucky to be carried around by the Roman lads

Nothing better than freshly baked bread from the oven

The Romans were in the first place powerful because of its army. They conquered Britain up to the middle East.

Time for a drink from a terracotta jug

The soldiers usually line up in a tight formation, called testudo formation (meaning tortoise)

Soldiers spend most of their time training for battles but also built roads, fords and aqueducts.

My husband found his mission. he is now on guard

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Oia on Santorini

Another place ticked off my bucket list. We went for 5 days to Oia, a town on the cliffs on Santorini, a Greek Island. It promised to be everything I imagined.
I think of Oia; of the robust raven-black and red caldera,  resting in deep blue water
A white washed garment is draped on its slopes, decorated with dots of cobalt blue,
At night time a veil of orange and red lays down on the shadows
The warm glow calming the mind and engulfing you in exotic dreams
I think of Oia;  Impeccable views of masterly carved cubes appear around the corner when strolling the narrow, whimsically winding, stone step path ways. A breeze stirs the air while sunbathing on the terrace of a tavern. The taste of red wine, the sound of crispy bread, biting in the smooth, ripe tasty Greek olives while drinking in magical Oia   

Fun facts of Santorini
  • The official name of Santorini is Thira
  • Ancient Greek Oia used to be where Kamari is now and was one of the harbours of Thera
  • The island sits on a caldera of a massive vulcano
  • In 1956 the island was destroyed by an earthquake 
  • Santorini is named after a small chapel of Santa Irene. It was given by venetian crusaders in the 13th century 
  • Because of the vulcanic nature of the island there are white, red and black beaches.
  • There are about 15000 people living on Santorini (census 2011) on about 73 km2
  • Santorini has a prominent wine and tomato industry

Oia is the most beautiful town and a paradise for photographers. So I had a fabulous time making these pictures.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Zuiderzee Museum or Southern Sea Museum in the North of the Netherlands

I always wanted to go to the Zuiderzee museum or Southern Sea  museum and so we did. The Zuiderzee was an inland sea in the northern part of Holland. It arose as a result of floods. In 1932 they build the afsluitdijk. The inner dike section was now called Ijsselmeer. When going to the parking for the Southern Sea museum you continue by boat which brings you to the museum. Along the way you see all these gorgeous sailing ships.

Enkhuizen is a place along the IJsselmeer It always used to be the centre of the herring fishery. Today it is a popular tourist destination also because of the Zuiderzee museum, which was founded in 1948.

 My brother in the Zuiderzee museum hanging the washing ;)
 Inside the houses volunteers demonstrate how life used to be and this lady is preparing a fish meal.
The Zuiderzee museum preserves the housing, customs, traditions and maritime of the people who lived around the Zuiderzee.
 Of course there were living  many fishermen along the Zuiderzee and you see nets everywhere.
De Gaper is a picture of a man, who has his mouth open or sticks  his tong out. In the past you would find it as a quality indicator outside a pharmacy. The mouth is open to take medicine. The characters sometimes have turbans which suggested that medicine was often of oriental origin.
 Some shops along the canal. On the left Corner you find a traditional bakery. it was opened in 1877 as a cake and pastry shop in Hoorn  and it was moved to the Zuiderzee museum in 1978.
Next door you find the "  Apotheek de Groote Gaper"  where you can find the above "Gapers"

 A warm cup of coffee and a nice view gets you back up your feet again.
On the way back another view of an amazing sailing ship.