Local Heart, Global Soul

December 18, 2017

The Love Affair With The Bicycle Continues Into The Weekend…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next village we ended up at during our driving tour was called Ulicoten.

Probably in no small part due to the flatness of the landscape, weekend cycling for recreation is a very popular sport in this part of the world.

Some people pack a thermos of coffee and a picnic lunch and take a leisurely tour, but racing bike groups are also very popular indeed.

The Tour de France and Giro d’Italia have a massive following in the Netherlands and there are plenty of (it appears to be mainly men) who don lycra in the weekends and speed through the countryside in packs.

Sometimes small roads are closed off as various groups race one another, during this afternoon’s car trip we easily saw six or seven of these groups.

Some are small, maybe ten members, others are groups of forty or fifty but the bigger groups are usually tailed out into a long string, the faster bunch at the front and several smaller groups trailing within a kilometer behind. One thing is for certain, let no one ever tell you that the Dutch ever get sick of their bikes or that they are only used for the daily commute.

(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)

December 16, 2017

Loveren’s Famous Door Ticked Off The List…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After a few wrong turns into small roads, Himself and I find ourselves in the small village that we have been looking for.

It’s still one of the “enclaves” but is one of the plots of land that is outside Baarle Nassau / Baarle-Hertog.

The main reason we are here is to find the an image that we have seen on many of the postcards around Baarle.

It is a door that has the border going through it but this one is quite a lovely building in it’s own right.

We felt that since we were so close to Baarle we just had to tick it off our list and see it for ourselves.

For some reason this house in the enclave of Loveren has two separate house numbers, but it’s possible that it might be for efficiency when it comes to postal delivery.

But probably knowing the history of this place, a more complicated reason because nothing seems simple where it comes to border divisions in this part of the world.

(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)

December 11, 2017

Architectural Detail All Over Town…

Himself and I continue our car tour of the area around Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog. I take lots of photographs for my “architectural detail” archive files.

(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)

December 10, 2017

Charm, Character And Differences…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During our driving tour around the district of Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, I spotted quite a few interesting looking churches.

Traffic in some areas prevented us pulling over so that I could get some more agreeable compositions, so I did my best from out of the window.

A strange sort of canopy adorned the bottom section of one of the town churches, I can’t quite make out if it’s temporary and there whilst renovations are done or if it’s been added to the tower as a permanent safety measure (falling bits??).

It certainly makes for an interesting and memorable feature.

The brickwork and styles of the churches I saw were many and varied: the steeples different and each with a charm and character of their own.

(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)

December 9, 2017

Lazy Sight-seeing Around The District…

After doing a small “tour” of Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog with the wheelchair, it was time to take a rest and take a look around the district by car. The weather was also rather threatening so it was nice to sit comfortably and sight-see in comfort, (read “lazily”)…

(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)

December 8, 2017

Oh, And Just A Little Mayonnaise Please…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Any New Zealander will tell you that when you want something to put onto fries, nothing beats good old “Watties” (brand) tomato sauce.

Not just any tomato sauce, it has to be Watties.

You can taste the difference of substitutes a kilometre away, and the absence of it in Europe is the reason I would rather eat fries with just a little salt than anything else.

Ask any born and bred Dutch person though and you will get the answer for their preferred topping in a nano-second: mayonnaise. In fact for many Dutch, anything except mayonnaise is almost unthinkable.

After a busy morning touring Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, Himself suggested some fries for lunch.

He was hungry, after all all I have to do is sit in the wheelchair and take photographs, he’s the one doing the pushing.

After twenty-three years of marriage I know he’s a big fan of mayonnaise but nothing quite prepared me for the sight that greeted me when he exited the shop with this. I was about to say “this monstrosity” but since we were sharing and I was getting the mayo-free ones from the bottom I thought I better not make too much fuss over how gross I thought this looked. Needless to say ALL of the mayonnaise was for him. Good thing he’s in training for a marathon, you’d need to after a lunch like this.

December 7, 2017

Two Grand Houses…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Early this year Himself and I took a weekend away for two and came to visit Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog in the south of the Netherlands.

After finding several former railways buildings and the “Het Bels Lijntje” (The Belgian Line), a former railway line turned cycle path, we continue a little further on, seeing an interesting building ahead.

Actually there are two, opposite each other, one has an information plaque that says:

Pastoor de Katerstraat’, “dit neo-renaissance woonhuis is gebouwd in 1915” (This neo-renaissance residential home was built in 1915).

The other building I had a strange idea that it had been a doctors residence, but now looking through my notes I can’t quite see how I came to that conclusion.

Never one to be missing a photo opportunity when it comes to architectural detail, I try and zoom in.

(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)

Further up the same street… (we didn’t go further, this was the outermost point we managed in this direction).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 6, 2017

Long Straights And Gentle Curves…

Following my posts of the past two days here is the “Het Bels Lijntje” (The Belgian Line) in Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, a former railway line. These days it’s been converted into a long cycle route by the same name. For this reason it will be full of long straights and wide gentle curves. No hairpin corners here. Let’s hope that cyclists don’t get too many head winds down those straights!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 5, 2017

The Days When The Railways Built Houses For Staff…

The information board for this building is very similar to the previous one, because they had similar functions. Translated into English it reads: “Railway House”. This house was built in 1867 when the railway line from Tilburg to Turnhout was constructed. On many locations next to the line, houses were built for staff of the Grand Central Belge Railway Company.

Colloquially the railway line was known as “Het Bels Lijntje” (The Belgian Line) because of the company that ran the line. In 1988 the last rails were removed to be replaced with asphalt for the cycle track “Het Bels Lijntje” which was opened in 1990.”

One thing is for certain, long gone are the day when employers built houses for their staff. Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog probably wasn’t exactly the “sticks” but in those days a “commute” to work meant walking distance or a short bicycle ride. I wonder what those staff would have thought if they had known that in one hundred and fifty years it would be normal for people to sit in cars or trains, often for hours… just to get to work! I’m not too certain that they would call that “Progress”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 4, 2017

Customs Office: The Strangest Reason To Be Careful Where To Site Your Railway Tracks!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next building we come across is called the Customs Office. The sign reads:

Next to Café ‘t Hoekske (of yesterdays post) was the Dutch Customs Office. Here, goods could be cleared through customs officially. Smugglers who were caught were searched here“.

Another plaque outside which tells us: “Customs Office, This house was built in 1867 when the railway line from Tilburg to Turnhout was constructed, now known as cycle track “Het Bels Lijntje” (The Belgian Line).

At the time the house served as a Customs Office and railway building for staff unloading trains and pointsmen who changed the points when trains approached the border.

Now it is residential accommodation. It was been a municipal listed building since 1996.”

One thought immediately crossed my mind: if they had to change the points every time they approached the border, then in Baarle-Nassua / Baarle-Hertog, with it’s complex series of enclaves and counter-enclaves you would have to be very careful indeed when planning where to put your railway tracks!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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