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After many years, we finally had some real winter again. With a week of a strong northeastern wind, resulting in some serious freezing, and some 15-20cm of snow, it was really cold. Even during the day temperatures were well below zero.
All resulted in “Elfstedentocht fever” again, but with Covid still running wild, our government rightfully so decided that it was irresponsible to organize it - even though it was almost 25 years since the last race.
We had a very changing spring this year, with some rain, some days with a lot if sun, and apparently this helped a lot for our garden. The fig tree is bearing so much fruits, it is impossible to keep up eating them. So, we are making fig jam, fig chutney, fig liqueur… And even then there are figs left. Today we al of a sudden saw so many Atalanta butterflies coming into our garden - and we had not seen this many butterflies in years.
Seeing the riots in Minneapolis on the news, makes me sad. I have been to Minneapolis more than a dozen times, have great memories of being there, and have friends there. People in Minneapolis are friendly, helpful, and definitely not the people I see on the news today, throwing bricks at police stations, and looting shops. I understand people are angry, but why start destroying public properties? Our friends tell us, they have seen many more cars with WI-license plates in the neighbourhood… they live close to the epicentre of the riots.
Watching the news… It is shocking to see such a magnificent structure in Paris, being slowly eaten by fire… The Paris fire department is powerless to do anything, and can only try to control the fire, and limit the damage. So sad. Last time we visited Paris was in April 2011 - eight years and a week ago… Walking around the centre of Paris, all this history… Another huge blow for Paris and the French to deal with.
This past weekend giants were roaming Leeuwarden, in the north… A dog of 3 meters, a little girl of over 5 meters, and a diver of 11 meters tall… As a project of Jean-Luc Courcoult, the Giants of Royal de Luxe are a spectacular show, this time visiting the Netherlands. Very impressive to see how the volunteers were making these giants move through the streets…
The diver (1/250s, f/3.
End of June, harbour in Oudeschild on Texel… A lonely glove near the docks…
Over a week ago, we had a weekend off on Texel, one of the islands laying from east to west to the north of the Netherlands. It was so nice to be back here again, after such a long time. During the evening we were on the beach near the lighthouse, and tried to catch the beams of lights as they turned and turned across the landscape. In the end we ended up with some decent shots, with this one being one of the best ones.
Last spring we spend a long weekend in Zeeland, on the southwest coast. Beautiful weather, all weekend, and we had lots of fun with friends and family. Of course we had to show our friends from abroad the Delta Works, and the longest bridge in the Netherlands, the Zeeland Bridge.
Short trip to Rotterdam today, and a walk to the (recent, 2014) new Market Hall. The building covers a large number of stalls with all sorts of great food, restaurants and office buildings and appartments. From the outside it looks like a captiral U upside down, and does not look that spectacular.
But if you are not there for some shopping, or some food, you must take a look at the inside: it has a large beautiful artwork by Arno Coenen, called ‘Horn of Plenty’ printed on the aluminum panels that make up the inside of the hall.
Chautauqua Institute is a small village on the west side of Chautauqua Lake. It started as an educational center, founded in the 1870’s. Every summer you can attend courses in the arts, music, religion, and other general topics. You can access the grounds and use the public beaches and parks. These days many of the houses were privately owned and lots of them were for sale. I would not want to live there with many tourists walking around all summer…
Driving North from Chautauqua Lake, we headed for Westfield, a small little town just next to Lake Erie - we had read that there would be a large farmers and artisan market.
So after a little drive on the 394, we ended up in downtown Westfield - it was not that large a city, so we could not miss it. Next to the band stand, close to the church, we found about 15 small stalls with fruits, local wines, Amish cookies and pies, jewellery, etc.
While staying on Cape Cod, our friend T. took us all the way to the tip of the Cape, to Provincetown, or P-town, as it is also called by locals. A town known for its beaches, harbour and artists, but it looked like everything was happening just along one long street with loads of shops, restaurants and bars, where you could get anything from souvenirs, paintings, jewellery, antiques, hand-painted clothes, great fruity smoothies(!
I have been playing a bit with some more photo’s from Valencia, especially from the area around the Hemisferic and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. I went there twice, one time during an afternoon, with a little overcast, and the next day at the end of the afternoon until sunset… With every minute passing, the light changed and the views became more interesting. And it was also interesting to see, that the longer I waited the less tourists were there, and only the photographers remained :-).
Another city trip… This time, accompanying AM for a conference in Valencia. T. and D. joined us as well, so while the girls are attending the conference, we get to hike around the city.
And what a great city it is! Old architecture and very new architecture nicely mixed. Good food, wines, and of course very nice weather - just one day with clouds and some rain. So there was plenty of time to fully explore the city.
Back in 2012 we traveled down-under. Sydney is such a great city, we felt right at home there… Friendly people, good restaurants, and an evening at the local comedy club I will never forget - so much fun. We spent some time in the city and afterwards drove towards the Blue Mountains, for some great hikes, and then along the coast up North, and back through other parts of New South Wales.