Local Heart, Global Soul

July 17, 2019

Friesland, A Language And One Of The Islands…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition has a section where they have either a set of decorative fiberglass “klompen” (clogs) or apples.

In 2017 the clogs were the items out in force and the theme was “Dutch Provinces” and also featured some of the famous places in them.

This is the turn of the Province of “Fryslân” /Friesland (where the black and white Friesian dairy cows come from). Wikipedia tells us:

“Friesland, also historically known as Frisia, is a province of the Netherlands located in the northern part of the country.

It is situated west of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel, north of Flevoland, northeast of North Holland, and south of the Wadden Sea. In 2015, the province had a population of 646,092 and a total area of 5,100 km2 (2,000 sq mi).

The capital and seat of the provincial government is Leeuwarden (West Frisian: Ljouwert), a city with 91,817 inhabitants. The province is divided into 18 municipalities. The official languages of Friesland are West Frisian and Dutch.” An interesting fact is that the language of West Frisian is not a dialect of Dutch in any way but an actual separate language that has origins closer to English than to Dutch.It’s interesting in that on occasion when someone is speaking it on TV I find it easier to understand than Himself, even though he is 100 percent Dutch and Dutch is my second language. It all depends on how clearly they are speaking though, otherwise I need the Dutch subtitles just as much as Himself does.

“Amelân” / Ameland is a municipality and one of the West Frisian Islands off the north coast of the Netherlands. Consisting mostly of sand dunes, it is the third major island of the West Frisians. The whole island falls under one municipality, which carries the same name. The Wadden islands form the border between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea, which lies on the south side of the island chain. It had a population of 3,683 in 2017.

Wikipedia / Friesland / Province / The Netherlands

Wikipedia / Armeland / Island / Friesland / The Netherlands

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 16, 2019

Flevoland And Urk, The Sea Giveth And Taketh Away…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next set of deorative klompen (clogs) from the “provinces of the Netherlands” come from the Province of Flevoland.

Flevoland is the 12th and last province of the Netherlands, established on 1st January 1986, when the southern and eastern Flevopolders were merged into one provincial entity.

Located in the centre of the country, where the former Zuiderzee was, almost all of the land belonging to Flevoland was reclaimed only in the 1950s and 1960s.

The province has about 407,905 inhabitants (2016). Its capital is Lelystad and most populous city is Almere.

Within the province is the small village of Urk.

First mentioned in historical records of the 10th century, Urk was still on an island in the Almere, a lake that would later become part of the Zuiderzee.

In 1939, a dike from the mainland to Urk ended the town’s island status, just as the Afsluitdijk project was changing the salt water of the surrounding Zuiderzee to the less saline IJsselmeer.

Later in the 20th century, seabed areas surrounding Urk were reclaimed from the sea and became the Noordoostpolder.

The mainstay of the town’s economy has always been fishing, and the products of the sea coming in through Urk’s harbour continue to be exported widely, although today Urk’s fishing boats must travel greater distances to gather them than was required in most historical periods. Religious life has also traditionally been very important to Urk’s inhabitants, with active, conservative congregations of the Dutch Reformed denominations playing key roles in the life of the community.

Wikipedia / Flevoland / Provence / The Netherlands

Wikipedia / Urk / Provence Flevoland / The Netherlands

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 15, 2019

Drenthe, Quiet In The North Eastern Corner…

The Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition in 2017 also had a section where the beautiful clogs were on display just as they were in my previous visits in 2015 and 2016. These are large fiberglass “klompen‘ (clogs) and each year a new set are made and decorated around a theme. This year the theme is centered around the dutch Provinces. There is an information board that translates as: “Clog exhibition”, “This year we have commissioned painters Stijntje and Henrike Loedeman to paint 25 clogs on the theme: ‘Greetings from… ” Please do not touch these hand-painted clogs, so that future visitors can also enjoy them. Is your province represented?‘ Of course all twelve provinces are represented here, starting with “Drenthe“!

wikipedia tells me: “Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany (districts of Emsland and Bentheim, Lower Saxony) to the east. In January 2017, it had a population of 491,867 and a total area of 2,683 km2 (1,036 sq mi).

Drenthe is an official province since 1796. The capital and seat of the provincial government is Assen. Drenthe is a sparsely populated rural area, unlike many other parts of the Netherlands. Except for some industry in Assen and Emmen, the land in Drenthe is mainly used for agriculture.

Wikipedia / Drenthe / Province / The Netherlands

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 14, 2019

Stuff It !!!

Following yesterday’s post,  showing the struggle when packing suitcases, this piece from the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition show the next struggle: getting it all in the car. The information board reads: “Packing”, “Do we have everything we need? Clothes, tent, cooking utensils? Enough peanut butter and potatoes? Everyone in a good mood and we’re ready to go.”

The joke here is because Dutch people going abroad often taken their own peanut butter (because it’s the brand they love) and even stranger, they also take potatoes and an entire heap of other groceries because not only are they the brands or sorts they love, they are often far cheaper. In Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and quite a few other European countries groceries are more expensive, only in Spain, and parts of Portugal are they significantly cheaper. I’d be interested to hear if you ever take any of your own foodstuffs from your country or area with you when you go on holiday?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 13, 2019

Time To Pack It In!

I think that everyone at some time or other has experienced the scenario depicted in this next series of photographs. Packing suitcases is an art form sometimes. In my own case I tend to assume that the stuff that I am taking will fit in a suitcase one size smaller than what I really need. Even though I try hard to pack light, I always like to pack a few extra changes of clothes, because after all there is nothing worse than needing laundry facilities when you travel. If we are staying with friends or family then this isn’t an issue, but paying $3 to have a pair of socks washed or $6-8 for a shirt to be washed in a hotel, is ridiculous! and waaay too costly if you are traveling as a family of four.

Some hotels, such as the  Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa  on Sentosa Island in Singapore have laundry rooms for guests that contain washing machines and dryers, a massive boon for traveling families, but they are by far in the minority. The information text translates as: “Packing suitcases”, “Packing suitcases is an art. Will everything fit? And then your little one asks: “Can I take this one too?”. One look at that teddy-bear gives you the answer!

Our family certainly travel light when we compare our bags with other families at the baggage claim carousel at the airport, because at least we can fit everything on one trolley and don’t need two or three!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 12, 2019

Destination Living Room Dartboard!

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The sand sculptures in the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition VVV Tourist Office follow the theme of ‘Out and about in the Netherlands’ The text on the information board translates as: ‘Where to go?”, ‘There are many ways to choose a nice destination, travel guides or the internet, for instance. But some people like to go without making prior arrangements… Where to? A nice destination can be chosen in many ways, by reading travel guides or on the internet. Others prefer to just go and see where they end up…

This particular piece shows some of the humour evident in many of the other pieces, because they have a map on the wall and are using darts to choose their next holiday destination,…and in their living room with other family members in close vicinity no less! I mean even apart from damage to human beings, just think of the number of ways this could possibly go wrong!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 11, 2019

Taking Me Back To The Bus Stop…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As a born and bred Kiwi, and New Zealand having a lot of road for few people, I had rather a shock when I first saw the volume of traffic in Europe.

New Zealand is as big as the UK and the Netherlands combined but with a population of only four million people.

Just over one million of those live in the greater Auckland area, another million and a half live in the top half of the North Island.

The remaining million or so live in the lower North Island and all of the South Island. As a South Islander, nicknamed “Mainlanders” we are not used to even the traffic of Auckland.

Since New Zealand has space, things are often quite far apart and a car is pretty much a standard item in order to get around. The bus public transport system doesn’t have a vast pool of customers so is good, but limited.

That’s why it used to be possible to get your driver’s license at age 15 which I did as soon as my birthday arrived.

Then very soon afterwards the law was changed, the age raised to 16 with the additional introduction of a graded license system, first a Learner, Restricted and then Full license.

The Netherlands on the other hand has an amazing public transport system so it’s no surprise that many people don’t have a car.

Driving with trams and cycle-ways in the mix is another thing to get used to if you do have a car however, and the Dutch drivers license is notoriously difficult to get, with a 70% failure rate.

The 2017 Garderen Sand sculpture exhibition featured this aspect of society, with the information board translating as: “The bus”, “Don’t have a car? Take public transport. But don’t forget to check out...”

The checking out refers to the electronic method of payment, you need to scan your ticket/pass when you get into the bus or tram and then scan again when you leave. If you forget to scab out then you will be charged for more stops than you have used. it’s possible write in and complain but that takes time and quite a lot of effort with no guarantees of a refund.

I used buses and trams until I got pregnant with Kiwi Daughter, then we got a car. The main reason was that daycare provided by my employer was in a very inconvenience area from where we lived and I didn’t fancy a 1.5 to two hour journey each way due to terrible bus connections as I zig-zagged all over the city. We bit the bullet and bought a car which cut the journey to half an hour. Our car gets plenty of use, but it’s very expensive. No wonder many Dutch people in cities prefer to use public transport.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2019

Enquiring About The Local Area…

The sand sculptures in the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition VVV Tourist Office follow the theme of ‘Out and about in the Netherlands’ The text on the information board translates into English as: ‘The VVV (Tourist Office) is the right spot to find out about local highlights and landmarks worth visiting. The VVV Tourist Office of Garderen is located in windmill “De Hoop”.”  Tourist information offices are in all sorts of buildings of all styes and ages in the Netherlands, from new to centuries old. The VVV has information on everything from local tourist spots to cycling or walking routes. After all there is nothing better than asking the locals! In this case the parents are with their baby who is sitting in a boldercar, a kind of small wagon that can be pulled along by the parents. This means that small or tired children (or in some cases old dogs!) and other gear can be taken on walks, be it through the forest or with all the picnic gear to the beach.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 9, 2019

Parents Need A Sense of Humour…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The caption on the information board of this piece in the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition, read “Thuisblijvers‘ (people who stay at home). This is a piece that I don’t quite get. The parents are clearly having words with their son. He appears to be ignoring or not hearing them because he is turned way from them, looking at his laptop, and with headphones on.

His hand in the bag of snacks suggests he’s been there a long time and so the parents are probably berating him for being lazy. The little sister seems to have crept into the room and is hiding at the end of the sofa so that she can eavesdrop on the drama that’s unfolding.

Then Himself helped me with the text because I got stuck on a few pertinent words and word order so I couldn’t get it to make sense, thus all became clear. The text translates as: “Teenage son staying at home. Children grow up and one day they will no longer go with you on holiday. To be on the safe side, let us explain the rules to him once again….

ooooh savage! (but true, I’m laughing in sympathy for the parents and the kid in turn). Kiwi Daughter is finishing up with High School, she thinks that the worst is behind her as far as study is concerned. She has nooo idea. The idea that other kids in the house want to be kept up to speed with ‘drama” “sort of” rings a bell too (wink wink, nod nod). The creators of these sculptures (a) definitely have/had teenage kids, and (b) have an excellent sense of humour, the later being sorely needed when raising children!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 8, 2019

The Menu Consists Only Of Pancakes!

Filed under: ART — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

In this section of the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition we focus on something that visitors find rather fascinating when they arrive in the Netherlands. There are of course all sorts of cuisine’s represented in Dutch restaurants, but one is particularly “Dutch”. This is the pancake restaurant. The entire menu consists of different sorts of pancakes!

You can get sweet pancakes with chocolate syrup inside, pineapple, banana, cherry, basically all sorts of fruits or savoury ones with veggies or cheese. One massive favourite of the nation though is: a pancake with bacon inside, which is then slathered in ‘stroop’ (a syrup with it’s own particular taste). They are delicious! I’ve featured these before, so if you’d like to see real photographs of these pancakes you can look here: “Pancake With A Stroop And Bacon Twist…’

The information board text reads:  “Pancake restaurant”, “A pancake is a lovely treat during a day’s outing. With a full tummy, you enjoy the rest of a great day.”  What’s easy about this kind of menu is that there is something for everyone, and even picky eaters can be accommodated. Be warned, in many places the pancakes are massive and will flow over the sides of a large dinner plate, so bring your appetite!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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