The first thought that usually springs to mind when anyone mentions the word “Gouda” is “cheese“. Of course this Dutch city has more famous things to boast about too, but none can top cheese when it comes to recognition around the globe. Naturally too the “cheese theme” proliferates around the city, after all it’s a tourist town too, and one of the quirky ways that it’s been incorporated into everyday life is in the street decorations. Colourful rounds in the forms of cheese (the correct term for them is a “wheel” of cheese) are suspended over the streets and give a wonderful extension to the theme that is light hearted and whimsical. Some might even go as far as to say that they are also tasteful… but I assure you the real Gouda wheels are far tastier.
November 20, 2016
November 17, 2016
During the summer, Himself, Little Mr and I enjoyed a Sunday trip to Gouda. During our visit I came across a beautiful door that had a detailed and colorful coat of arms above it. The decoration is superb, the detail… literally right up my street. Naturally I got out my camera and got a few photographs.
November 14, 2016
I am slowly making a collection of statues and artworks around the Hague.
Ideally I’d make my collection extend all of all Netherlands or even Europe (hey, why not go large and say the whole world!) but time, funds and mobility are never all in the right quantities at the right time, nor could you possibly cover absolutely everything in one lifetime anyway.
In the mean time I photograph what I come across and slowly my small album grows.
This statue is located more or less on the corner of the Sportlaan and Ieplaan, on an area of deep grassy lawn that separates the several blocks of tower flats from the busy Sportlaan.
The piece that we have stopped to photograph is statue and artwork equally, being of the “modern art” variety, which is probably a polite way to say that I have no idea what the artist had in mind as actual “subject” when he / she bought this piece into being.
Maybe it is supposed to echo the buildings behind it, or maybe the trees that surround the perimeter of the grassed area, along the parts that edge the roads. As regular readers will know, I don’t usually rate modern, abstract, minimalist pieces anywhere near the top of my personal preferred choices of dream art work styles, but that doesn’t mean that I should leave them out of my photographic collection.
Art is subjective, and stained glass that makes me drool can (and does, in the case of my husband and children) leave others shaking their heads wondering what on earth I see in it, so my that reckoning, someone, somewhere, some time, will see this piece in real life, or as a photograph on this blog and instead of saying “Okaaaayy” with a quizzical expression on their faces like I did, they will say “Wow!” …and mean it in a good way. If everyone in the whole world liked exactly the same stuff, (With the exception of world peace) or had the same tastes then our planet would be a far less interesting and diverse place. Appreciation after all, is as unique as each and every one of us.
September 29, 2016
The next thing that I found to captivate my lens in Restaurant “La Grappa” in Stadtkyll, Germany is a beautiful old till / cash register. I adore old things like this, they are both wonderfully made and stunning to look at, What more does anyone need?
September 19, 2016
Whilst visiting Trier last summer we came across a fountain that was also a work of art in it’s own right.
It’s as much a statue as it is a fountain.
There is a central figure on top of the main column, clearly meant to be Saint Peter, because there is a large key hanging by his side.
There is then a row of cherubs lining the top tier, then the fountain beneath with the faces of putti spouting the water.
Beneath that there are female figures in various poses, and small lions that spout the second tier of water out of their mouths.
These lions are so small and dare I say it, slightly “un-lion-like” that I first mistook them for dogs, but once I figured out that they had manes, and took a second look I decided that they looked more like lions the more I looked.
There are various small busts and fruit decorations below the lions and also around the base of the fountain and a perfusion of gold leaf highlights means that all of the decoration sparkles in the sunlight.
The fountain itself is larger than you first think, and the main focal points of it stand mostly above head-height, plus there is the added obstacle of the ironwork fence around it so getting photographs is harder than it first looks.
I had an additional camera chip that had many more photographs of the cherubs and all of the details but somehow managed to mislay it, so these are the photographs from the end of another chip that I managed not to loose.
I am sure that many of the aspects of this fountain have been made with a specific meaning behind them, but I could not find any further information, and people were sitting on the seats at various points around the base so it wasn’t possible to see if there was a name or information plaque.
It’s a very unusual juxtaposition of figures, I’m trying to work out how the ladies at the bottom for in with the Saint (?) at the top, and where the cherubs fit into this already busy picture.
Still, this is a very distinctive and beautiful piece of sculpture and it definitely brightened my day to make it’s acquaintance.
September 17, 2016
As I mentioned in earlier posts, Trier as Germany’s oldest city is full of amazing architectural detail.
This is a photographic posts detailing some of the gems I spied during our visit…
(photograph © Kiwidutch)
September 12, 2016
On thing that is certain when visiting a city that has a long and ancient history: where there are beautiful buildings, there will be beautiful details. Nothing can be more true when speaking about Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Family Kiwidutch found more around us to look at than we could possibly take in on one visit so I can only present a fraction of what was present. This sneak peak will however give you an idea of what is on offer, so let’s zoom in and enjoy!
September 8, 2016
Arriving in Trier, Germany last summer, and navigating small streets in order to get as close as possible to the main city centre, I immediately see that many buildings in the city are adorned with religious decorations. Most of these are of statues of Christ on the Cross or of Mary with the infant Jesus. Others show figures in Romanesque form, or ones from scripture. These all attest to a strong Catholic influence on the city, and are beautiful objects, indeed miniature works of art in their own right. One of them was not miniature at all, in fact it was so large that it had to have netting and wire structure around it to avoid it becoming a nesting condominium for many of the local pigeons. Although almost all of the photographs were taken from the car as we moved towards the centre, it was a reminder that beautiful objects are often all around us and we just have to look around, and often up, to find them.
August 27, 2016
If ever you want to loose the rest of your family when out somewhere, then plodding around very slowly behind them on crutches is a very successful way to do it.
Himself and the kids are generally done and dusted with seeing all that there is to see long before I am a fraction of the way around a place or exhibition and our visit to Burg Satvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany, was no exception.
I did not have a mobile phone with me since at the time I did not own one then (shock horror! in this day and age I know) but I knew where the car was so made my way there to wait for the rest of the family to turn up.
There was a wide, low wall in the shade by the car opposite ours, and since my walking comes at the price of pain, I quickly decide that sitting with my leg and foot up would be a wise idea.
I took more pain relief and sat waiting, and waiting, and waiting. About half an hour later I was wondering where on earth they were, and debating going back into the castle grounds to look for them, a thought that I was not encouraging at all. Fortunately, whilst I was sitting thinking of ways to contact them, they turned up behind me, not via the main entrance to the parking area but via a small path at the end of it.
Apparently they had been waiting for me for some forty minutes and the kids, growing restless with waiting, had naturally looked for something to do.
They had been creative with a metal grate used to keep the steps in a non-slip state in wet weather. Little patches of moss had grown in the squares of the grate and the kids has removed some of these in order to generate some artistic creations.
I was dragged up the path to see their endeavours and admire their artworks.
Himself explained that Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr had begun to have multiple “brother and sister moments” in the latter half of the day, so he separated them on the steps, Little Mr and Guest completing one set of faces together and Kiwi Daughter doing her own thing on the opposite side.
Whatever their mood had been with one another, harmony had apparently been restored with separation because three little green smiley faces beamed out at me from the steps.
Whilst I’d been waiting earlier I had already been taking photographs of the Tudor style buildings nearby, so I added the buildings up this path and then, as usual, was last to make it back to the car.
The low, wide wall in the next photograph was my welcome waiting point. Little did I know that the rest of the family and our guest were just a few metres away up the path behind me…
Some photographs insist on turning themselves around, no matter how many times I turn them back…
August 25, 2016
Around Burg Satvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany and in and around the Restaurant Kreuzritter inside it’s grounds, are many ornamental features. Everything ranging from cute to creepy, from quirky to classical styles are represented so there is a favourite to please all tastes. Enjoy!