Local Heart, Global Soul

February 28, 2014

For Me, A Knippenbruggen Really IS A Bridge Too Far…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years on crutches has produced in me a bit of a split personality: On one hand I’m determined to get out and about whenever I can because  otherwise I would go stir crazy sitting inside all the time and on the other I’ve become super cautious, fearing any activity or action that could extend my exiting physical damage or add it it in any way.

I’ve lost count of how many activities my family have done without me,  I’ve stayed at home whilst they have taken the tent and gone camping for the weekend, gone to the beach for a paddle,  or cycling and walking.

My outings necessitate the use of our car and there are limits to the distances I can walk from it once we are out.

Generally what happens is I walk as much as I can because I want to make the most of being “out” , usually that involves over-doing it a bit because I’m determined to make the most of my outing and then I  suffer the consequences for days afterwards as my foot and back complain about the extended exercise I have subjected them to.

Usually it’s worth it, It gives me some family life outside the four walls of home, but there are many situations when we are out where I need to put on the brakes and say “whoa… maybe not”.

This was one such occasion: I wanted to go and investigate the beautiful gardens on the other side of the canals,  so gingerly negotiate the humped-backed bridge to do so. Hmmm, I reach the top of the bridge, it’s steeper than I anticipated and because of the rain, slipperier too.

Alarm bells start to ring. I’m not even going to try to continue down the other side, it’s way too risky and not only that, how on earth an I going to get back down again?  Himself is a little way ahead of me but luckily Little Mr. has been sprinting around the French garden I have just taken photographs of.

I send him off to fetch Himself and hold the handrail very tight whilst I await rescue. Himself approaches laughing and then looks dismayed when he sees where I’m perched. “Don’t move” he orders worried, (err, as if I was about to start dancing on the handrail or something?). Between his steadying firm arm and the handrail I slowly descend and am soon back on the flat ground again feeling very relieved.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is an information board that tells me:

Hump-backed bridges known as “kippenbruggen” and flat bridges known as “kwakels” span drainage channels and canals, giving access to the land beyond.

On the other side of the canal lies the “over-garden”, elegant gardens often designed in the French style belonging to wealthy merchants wishing to protect the view from their house.

Clearly the “knippenbruggen” were built for able-bodied souls.

Less able folks like me would have to have had assistance, take their chances or taken the long way around via the flat bridges.

Annoyingly I only have one decent photograph of the “knippenbruggen” I was on, in hindsight I maybe should have tried to get a side on view to show just how steep it was. Mind you, to do that I would have had to get rather closer to the canal edge, it’s been raining, the ground was soft and slippery…   so on second thoughts  …maybe not. I think that the “blauwe reiger” (blue heron) fishing for his dinner close by probably agrees.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

3 Comments »

  1. It looks like a pretty place. I wasn’t until I was looking at the photos for a second time that I realised that what I thought were green paths were actually canals! I know the bridges should have been a clue … Doh!

    Comment by Elaine - I used to be indecisive — February 28, 2014 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

    • There are fast growing algae that can cover a whole canal in just a few days (especially in summer months) and many a dog, small child and some adults have been fooled into thinking that it’s solid ground, getting very wet when they try to walk on it. Dutch people know it well of course, A few Japanese tourists trying to get one extra photograph have been less fortunate.

      Comment by kiwidutch — February 28, 2014 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

      • It’s probably quite funny to watch someone when they discover it isn;t actually a path – not so funny if you happen to be the person getting soaked though!

        Comment by Elaine - I used to be indecisive — March 1, 2014 @ 10:41 am | Reply


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