Local Heart, Global Soul

July 4, 2016

Excited Squeals Of Recognition…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer I got permission to travel from my employer (because I am now on medical leave from work) and wanting a literal change of scene, and desiring a few new culinary experiences, we booked the Landal Wirfttal holiday park in Germany.

The weather however was not exceptionally co-operative and the downpours in Germany drove us a short distance away into Luxemburg since even a little way south the weather was substantially better.

When starting out Himself had said that it would be a good idea to drive south and see where the road took us, but after crossing the Luxemburg border and thinking that I recognised a few landmarks around us I suddenly had a sense of déjà vous, and  a sneaky suspicion where we were going.

I grinned at Himself and he grinned back, realising now that I knew where we were headed. Little Mr had a little neighbourhood friend come on this holiday as well, she is not as well travelled as our children so when we suddenly rounded a corner and a large castle on hill was revealed, one kid looked puzzled whilst the other two let out excited squeals of recognition: We were back in Vianden.
We first spied this castle when on tour with our Singaporean friend Velveteen back in 2012 and were lucky enough to have hit upon a medieval re-enactment weekend and a very special chance experience indeed. Links to those posts are at the bottom of this post. In the meantime our kids are excitedly filling in the details of their previous trip to our guest, and Himself and I see from this just how deep an impression travel makes on children and how many memories come flooding back once the right visual clues are given.

(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)

Previous Vianden Posts, Velveteen trip:
Inside The Castle Walls…
When You Live A Long Way Up, Some Things Are A Long Way Down…
There’s Nothing Like Dressing Up For the Occasion…
Eyeing Up The Beautiful Brews…
Dancing The Night Away: Medieval Style…
The Magic Of A Most Bewitching Bird…
The Second Market Is Quite Literally Buzzing…
Taking the Scenic Route Through A Very Scenic Town…
Hotel Belle-Vue: With Beautiful Views Indeed…
Fine Dining Well Suited For The Ravenous…
The Magic Of A Castle In the MoonLight (Well, Floodlights At Least)
A Delicious Breakfast, But Two Of Us Had Pizza And Bread Making On The Brain…
Decorations In Wood, Turrets, Towers, … And A Cable Car!
A Massive Surprise On A Hill At Vianden…

March 9, 2016

Heading Into Rotterdam, The Tower Excites The Troops…

The next morning after our first night at “De Vremde Vogel” we and our friends decide to have a day out in Rotterdam. We make our way into the city and the kids catch sight of the Euro Mast. It generates excitement in the back seat as we get closer and we see a mixture of building styles as your journey progresses…

(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)

(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)

May 18, 2015

Ely To Cité Europe In Record Time, Then Onwards To Home…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch travelled to England in 2013 for a family wedding.

It was a long weekend in May and apart from a disastrous cloudburst just the the bride and groom left the church, we have for the most part had beautiful weather.

The rest of the family, taking the ferry from Harrich to the Hoek van Holland have a short car ride and then a long crossing on the boat.

We, having opted for the channel tunnel have a lot of driving but a crossing that only takes thirty five minutes as opposed to the eight hours plus on the boat.

The children have asked about a possible breakfast at the Little Chef that’s almost next door to the hotel and we figure that if we are there when the doors open in the morning then we can have a quick breakfast and get onto the road in time to get to our channel crossing appointment.

As it was, traffic was lighter than we expected and we got to Folkstone over an hour earlier than we expected. We made our way to the channel tunnel and instead of having to wait, were told that there was space if we wanted to catch an earlier train.

We did, and on the French side we had time to pop in to the Cité Europe shopping centre close the channel tunnel entrance on the Calais  side of the channel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the French side it’s also clear to see the measures that have had to have been made to stop illegal immigrants from attempting to stow away on or underneath trucks, trains and other vehicles about to make the crossing to the United Kingdom.

Exceedingly tall fences surround the Cité shopping mall and for kilometres around the train areas.

It follows the road for quite some distance  before we see open fields again.

Annoyingly we come up against one of the downsides (or upsides, depending on how you look it it) to France: weekend shopping hours have not been embraced so on this long weekend almost all of the shops in this gigantic mall are closed. I was hoping to pick up a cured ham but we are out of luck, we make our way down to find the gates leading into the supermarket are well and truly closed.

We can at least make a toilet stop and after that it’s back on the road and back to The Hague. The kids are tired and after a while squabbling and getting comfortable in the back seats, they fall asleep and a quiet peace reigns in the car as the kilometres glide by.

It’s dusk by the time we turn into our own street and it’s been a long day on the road, but the way has been smooth and the traffic easy, and we are safely home to our own beds.  It’s been a wedding to remember, and a lot of kilometres in a weekend but worth it for a special family occasion.

(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)

Interesting decoration around the restaurants…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

calais way home 1m (Small)

Cité Europe

 

November 21, 2014

Cité Europe… In Europe, But Not Actually A City…

Filed under: Calais — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The previous times we have travelled through the channel tunnel at Calais from England en route to the Netherlands, we have found ourselves for one reason or another, making the return journey on a Sunday.

That has one disappointing down-side: most shops in France (and Belgium too) are shut on Sundays and in some areas you would be hard pressed to find even a bakery open.

That’s annoying if you are a Foodie wanting to stock up on a few of your favourite French supplies on the way home.

Therefore I was delighted to find that our summer of 2013 trip ended with a Friday booking back through the channel tunnel and finally we could stop off at the place I’d been dying to visit: Cité Europe.

Cité Europe is a huge shopping centre just a stone’s throw away from the channel tunnel in Calais. They have clothes and all the regular stops you would find in a large out-of-town shopping centre, but it’s the supermarket I’m interested in with things like tins of Confit de Canard, dried hams and of course wine (for himself because (a) I drink very little wine anyway and because (b) I’ve been completely tee-total since my 2010 accident.

Alcohol and strong pain medications don’t mix but since I drank so rarely before the accident it’s not something that I miss. Himself however, enjoys a glass of red wine so he enjoys a French supermarket as much as I do. Goodies await, we go inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter and I find a funny and ingenious graphic on the wall of the ladies lavatories to indicate what this hook is for…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr would have gladly taken this home with us, if he could have…( even though it’s as big as he is!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Grocery shopping done, we are on our way…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

June 8, 2011

Flying Low into High Excitement…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are driving home from our French lunch when all of a sudden the excitement meter in our kids started to climb off the scale…  squeals and shrieks start being emitted from the back seat.

The cause?

A low flying helicopter skimming the trees only one paddock away…

…from the passenger seat I swing the camera around to take a few shots, lucky shot I think, but as we round the corner the noise escalates in the back as the kids spot it again, because this time its coming directly towards us.

We, talking this small French country road start to play a game of cat and mouse with the helicopter, it swings close to us, then away, it circles and we see it  ten or thirty seconds later again, the kids are now going ballistic in the back, pressed up to their respective side windows waving madly.

I keep shooting photographs of the helicopter whilst Himself and I wonder what on earth the pilot is doing, there is a  some sort of pattern to the  flying but we can’t quite make out what.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All of a sudden after some kilometers of playing the car-copter game, all of  our kids dreams come true when  the route of the helicopter converges with our stretch of road, the pilot dips extra low alongside us and we can clearly see  him inside laughing and waving back at us,  our kids arms are almost falling off as they wave frantically back, and the shrieks of excitement in the back seat are now deafening.

About twenty seconds later the chopper starts to head to the right  over the rows of vines whilst our road takes us left.

Little Mr. is literally bouncing in his seat with the joy all the rest of the way back to the gîte for having waved to  a pilot  in real helicopter and having him wave back.

Later on in the week we tell another one of our French friends what happened and showed them the photos, they laugh as they recognise the “ERDF” on the side of the chopper and know what’s going on immediately.

ERDF  stands for “Électricité Réseau Distribution France” and these helicopters are  how one of France’s biggest electricity suppliers checks its network of  power lines and electric power pylons for maintainence purposes.

So merci beaucoup ERDF, two of your staff made our kids day a very very memorable one indeed… just with a grin and a wave. Bravo!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 7, 2019

I’m Right! … Actually Maybe Not!

Our house has been undergoing a massive renovation this year, so we have taken the chance to do a massive Spring Clean in slow stages around all of the work. It’s been a slow process because we had no idea just how much “stuff”we had accumulated, and  the bewilderment of how many parts of toys were sperad out in so many different areas of the house. (I’m not even sure how some bits got into so totally unrealated boxes in the first place… we have toy goblins who make mischief it seems). Christmas Tree decorations also suffered this fate, so when a little bix of Christmas bits turned up, I recognised a small stained glass orgament that I bought as part of a set in New Zealand.

Kiwi Daughter immediately exclaimed: “Ooooh THAT, I remember that one! I made that so long ago when one time we had to go to one of those School Holiday programe thing that Little Mr and I both hated.” (Himself and I both had to work at the time, so the kids had to an organised childcare programme for the week – tears and drama galore from them both, they HATED it with a vengence, so we did it twice from sheer necessity and then never again).

I tried to tell her that: “No… this angel was one I bought in New Zealand.” She disagreed vermently, this was the one she made. Ok, kid, have it your way. Vindication came about ten minutes later then there was an excited: “Hey! Look at Thi….  …Ohhh”. Silence, Then an explosion of giggles. She had something in her hand that she didn’t want to show me. Eventually when she could mange to talk she showed me what was wrapped in tissue paper in her hand, and said: “uhhh, actually THIS is the one I made in that horrible school holiday programme” Then more laughter. I think that for you, photographs will explain more than words ever could…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I must note though: if there was a fire in the house, it’s Kiwi Daughters ornament I would save in a nano second, the other one, beautiful as it is, would not even get a second glance. One may be professional and expensive, the other is the real treasure and priceless.

September 17, 2019

The Training Never Stops…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve been joining Himself and Little Mr sometimes as they visit as many of the Zuid Holland (South Holland/Province) as possible. On this occasion we are looking around the Maasvlakte. Little Mr’s sharp eyes spied this before anyone else: a fire brigade training area close to the beach and near the outer edge of the reclaimed land. I have learned from my son that there is a fire department vehicle that is like a big truck that has a flatbed back. Close to the cab area is a very strong winch and hook. In Dutch it’s called a “haakarmbak” so literally a “hook-arm-container”. The idea is that instead of having four or five specialist vehicles and equipment, that they have various large containers filled with the specialist equipment, these are distributed and stored in various fire stations around the area. When one of these containers is needed it is quickly winched onto the back of the flatbed of the truck and they drive away to the call out with the one they need. There are containers completely filled with extra hoses, another with everything needed in case of a chemical attack, all sorts of things. Several of the containers are here in the training area, and additional things that my son knows all about in detail, but about which I don’t have a clue. He is excited about this “find”… and it’s a beautiful day to share his enthusiasm.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 11, 2019

Beach Patrol…

During our tour of some of the fire stations around the Maasvlakte, Little Mr let out an excited exclamation having spotted vehicles from the Reddingsbrigade (beach rescue/lifeguards) doing an early morning Beach patrol. It was a Saturday, and the weather very warm so we were a little surprised to see so comparatively few people enjoying the beaches. We wondered if kids sports teams, swimming lessons, or parents working may have something to do with it.

Maybe some of the other beaches were just quicker and easier to get to, and of course many people go away from cities or abroad for the summer holidays. Although we saw, plenty of other people as we toured around the roads were empty and it seems like the beaches were too. Still nice to know that the Lifeguard service were keeping a good eye on things in the area.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 9, 2019

When Not Washing Up The Pots Is A Good Thing…

Visiting the Garderen Sand Sculpture Exhibition 2017, I found a selection of decorative pots, jars, bottles and the like to photograph and include in my artistic reference and inspiration files. Age, dust, chips and dents are all part of the charm of these pieces and so doing the washing up, cleaning or repairing them would certainly be detrimental in these instances. Cleaning up would be wiping away the character that comes with dusty bottles and lamps so I’m delighted to see that these have been presented in their “as is” state.

I also love that these are all a break from the endless stream of plastic goods, since most of them were made before the “plastic explosion” took place. I hope that we can be inspired to return to more products that use less plastic for the sake of our planet, these were made to last and we need to return to that ideology more too. If only that could be managed despite the constant battle of companies to incite the people of the world towards rampant consumerism.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 21, 2019

Stumped On Two, A-Ha Moment At Last…

These pieces from the competition section of the Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition have me stumped, or at least the first two do and after a second look I figured out the third. It’s funny that this last one should have been so difficult for me at first but it’s because the items in the front are not spherical so for some reason I got it stuck into my mind that they were shields, when the image on them should have told me that they were in fact marbles. I got there in the end! (…after an “a-ha” moment whilst sorting the photographs – you may imagine my facepalm when that happened!)

(Number 28)  MEMORY / Thomas and Friends . No idea what this is other than the fact that the pictures are from Thomas The Tank Engine series… A Big Thank you to reader Marie-Jacqueline who found the title to this one!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Number 29) Mount Rushmore. Some sort of Mount Rushmore here? Then it dawned on me that maybe these represent the same person at different stages of life? or am I completely off-track and it’s a generational thing? Neither idea brings me closer to an answer of what the game is called however… yet another piece of sluthing from reader Marie-Jacqueline

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Number 30) Yeah “Duh”, not shields after all, but of course they are Marbles! Should I have maybe rather entitled this post “Almost lost my marbles?”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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