Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rent a Swan

A picture from the local 'Rent a Swan' business. The only thing I could see you rent a swan for would be a posh wedding, probably it makes money.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yes Yes!

It's a bit of track but I post it anyway. Today I have run the 10 km 'canal run' of Utrecht. I have been training for two months. And to he honest, I had to concur something in me this morning, I was actually nervous but I did it! In one hour, I ran it with my sister and a mate from school (I am the tallest of the two)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We are walking on the 'trekpad' literally 'pull path' or towing path, it used to be used by horses to pull canal boats. In Holland they used mainly horses. In Russia it were usaully people Illa Repin made the most famous painting of Russia on this, 'The Wolga thugs'.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


We are leaving the mill and moving on, into the Dutch landscape, which is flat and very cultivated. I will do some posts on it. It was a lovely day for a walk!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Climbing up

It takes some effort to reach the top.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Inside the Windmill

Until 1910 millers used to live inside the mill. A tiny little living space not much larger than the average children room. By 1910 a social law against poor living conditions was passed and the white house you’ve seen on the previous post was build.

The same window from the outside.

I think it must have been very cozy, when having no children but with a bunch of kids it must have been quite unpleasant.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I live (like many other Dutch people) in a polder, from Wikipedia:

A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes, that forms an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually-operated devices. There are three types of polder:
Land reclaimed from a body of water, such as a lake or the sea bed.
Flood plains separated from the sea or river by a dike.
Marshes separated from the surrounding water by a dike and consequently drained.

The type of polder I live used to be marsh land. Around 1300-1400 this area was colonized. This means dikes had to be build and canals dug. First they relied on draining methods of the Romans but somebody invented the windmill! The wind mill you see is from 1400, the basement. It got destroyed in a war in 1600 and was rebuild directly afterwards.

Now a days the draining is done automatically, but at times the ‘Ministry of Water State’ asks to the mill to join in. There is more heavy rain then there used to be. In fact the mill would be sufficient for this polder because it is strong and capable of transmitting large quantities of water.

Mills are now usually run by volunteers. The mills themselves are kept by the state, they cost a fortune but are considered valuable landmarks. Holland is so stuffed with old stuff, if you like history it is worth a study. It would take a life time to learn about it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Polder

This morning I have made a walk of 20 km through the Dutch country side, a polder (I will explain what it is). Today was a great sunny day and I made a lot of shots of two windmills we seen. So the coming days you will join the trip. Tomorrow I will do a posting on the windmill you see in the back of the picture.

Friday, September 18, 2009


At the spot where they are building something new I met a cat! It seemed to be badly in need of some attention so I stopped and gave a bit.

Enjoy your weekend all!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Something new

Something new is being build just around the corner. At the location of the previous St. Joseph school, I think an apartment complex is being build. There is still a lot of building going on. Since there are no new orders to build, the predictions are that when these are finished a lot of people from the building sector will get unemployed.

On the other hand, Holland always have been a country with a lot of bustle and diligence. I don't think things will stop. Unless the bank provide loans of course.. I think that is the issue.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Yesterday it was Prinsjesdag, the day the parliament presents it's plans for the coming year, this year was extra interesting... what will the governement do to handle the crisis.

From Wikipedia:
Prinsjesdag (Day of the Princes) is the day on which the reigning monarch of the Netherlands (currently Queen Beatrix) addresses a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives in the Ridderzaal or Hall of Knights in The Hague. The Throne Speech ( Troonrede) sets out the main features of government policy for the coming parliamentary session.

The occasion is prescribed by the constitution, article 65 of which states:
A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government shall be given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Houses of the States-General that shall be held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.

The queen arrives in the Golden Coach, a gift of a century ago by the people of Amsterdam.

It's a day where the queen is central, she is the head of state and head of government.

It's the one day of the year that the queen sits literally on the throne.

The main players of government sit in the audience today, dark faces. We are approaching heavy weather. However Holland is said to be healthy enough to survive the crisis.

Unfortunately I didn't made the pictures... :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I live close to a supermarket since it is in the centre of town, the pedestrian area in front of my flat is also used for the truck to deliver foods. Somebody parked his car at that spot, so the truck had to manoeuvre to park. We followed it from the balcony... Things do happen in Woerden!

Monday, September 14, 2009

On a Sunday

On a Sunday all is peacfull, calm and quiet in Woerden centre (I took this shot yesterday).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New harvest of apples

The new apples have arrived! We have a local apple farm, which sells apples at the local market. The new harvest is very rich and tasty! I am a great fan of apples, it is mainly my breakfast with other fruits.
I don't know if it is cientifically true, but I stick to one apple a day keeps the docter away. It's true that I hardly visit the man.. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Street in front

A shot of the street in front of my house, despite of my previous posting it is actually getting warm and sunny again!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autumn shot

A shot of the Catholic church in the centre of Woerden. Autumn is really coming, although we have nice weather this week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The son of friends of mine got a puppy, everybody had to see and hold it...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Polish House

This is a house just in the street besides my house. It is called the Polish house. There is nothing Polish to the house itself. But it is inhabited by Polish people. All though the crisis starts to take it's toll more and more, there are still a lot of Polish people around. And some of them live in this house. When you pass by you hear Polish sounds and different food smells.
Of all immigrants and foreign workers the Polish are the ones you hardly notice. I think they really just come to work quietly and leave quietly.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


What are they looking at?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Arty bottles

I like this arty bottles!

Friday, September 4, 2009


When cycling I passed by the local golf club. Farming is not really interesting anymore for farmers. There are so many regulations, taxes and hindrance from the government and the E.U. that many try to find other ways of making a living. So you see more and more golf clubs coming in to existence. Golf used to be an exclusive way to spend your free time, now it is becoming more and more accessible for 'normal' people.

About the accident of yesterday, nobody was hurt. A man was looking bewildered at this car. Must be an odd experience....
I am always impressed with how things organised in Holland. Within 5 min the police and firemen were there, the highway blocked and 5 min more everything was gone as if nothing had happened.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


From my work I saw an accident, well only after I noticed the smoke, somebody’s care 'spontaneously' ignited. I never seen a car on fire before. You actually kept hearing small 'explosions'.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Back in the Dutch landscape. I took this picture when cycling, if you look good you see that I am cycling on a dike.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My last post on Spain

This is one of a Spanish goody, Cafe con Leche with a bun, how I will miss this...

I will return to good old Woerden again. My holiday starts to sink away as the normal routine is back again..