Local Heart, Global Soul

July 12, 2015

Details And A Feeling That We Are Being Watched From A Distance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post we are visiting the “Wilhelmina Uitkijktoren” (Wilhelmina Observation Tower) and yesterday we checked out the tower from the bottom.

Himself, like many Dutch has a severe dislike of heights and nothing could persuade him to go up to the top of this.

Since there is a lift and you can get to the top without having to climb steps, as someone who doesn’t mind heights at all, I can go up and enjoy the experience.

Kiwi Daughter took one look upwards from the base and sided with Himself, deciding that it wasn’t for her either, but I half suspect that the people enjoying ice-creams in the café might have been a persuading factor since she is always trying to twist her father’s arm when it comes to treats.

Little Mr. was a little apprehensive but was keen if I stayed with him. (Where on earth he got the idea that I would leave any kid on their own on a high tower I have no clue).

We took the lift to the top and it becomes clear that we are not quite at the top, there is one more, that included a long extension that protrudes out from the tower for a better look at the surroundings and the ground below.Luckily the stairs were few and Little Mr was pleased that I managed it because he wasn’t allowed to go up there without me.

He was very impressed with how far you could see from up here, and he even dared to walk out on the extension, and on the thick clear perspex tiles at the end, which I assured him were very thick and there was absolutely no chance he (or anyone else) could fall through. I’ve included a photograph of him enjoying the view, but it’s a rear view of him and this photograph is almost three years old so you’d never recognise him now from this photograph. I also zoomed in as much as possible on some of the landmarks, one of which is another tower in the distance, also an observation tower… and there is more to check out over there than just another tower…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 11, 2015

More Of A Molehill Than A Mountain… But We Find A Memorial Too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A short drive away from Vaals is a tower called the Wilhelmina Uitkijktoren “Wilhelmina Observation Tower”.

This part of Limburg is on some of the only real “hills” that the Netherlands processes, although the New Zealander in me thinks that’s rather a joke because the highest “hill” in the Netherlands is called  “Vaalserberg” (Mount Vaals) and measures only 322.7 m (1058.73 feet) in height.

Having lived in the Southern Alps of New Zealand I even laugh every time they call  it a mountain.

It is however the starting point for where we want to go today, so we drive into the carpark, where we first find a memorial and a huge aeroplane propeller.  Here are what the memorial is for:

On 27th of June 1932 there was an air crash near Vaals. On that day three Royal Dutch Navy Fokker C-VE airplanes were conducting observation flights when a sudden engine failure happened in one of them.  The pilot tried to land at the nearest airfield, but he hit the crown of a tree. The plane crashed near rock pile 193-H and caught fire. The pilots, lieutenant 1st Class CA Weemhoff and sergeant-pilot WJ Nijhof did not survive the crash. RIP.”

Drielandenpunt Vaals became more and more popular with tourists ater the end of the 19th century. In 1896 a stone was placed with the inscription “Highest point in the Netherlands with 322.50 A.P.”

The first tower on the Vaalserberg was built of wood by a group called the “Highest Point of the Netherlands Foundation” in 1905 and they named it the “Wilhelminatoren” (Wilhelmina Tower) after the former Dutch queen Queen Wilhelmina.

The wooden Wilhelmina tower was heavily damaged during the fighting at the September 1944 Battle of Aachen, resulting in the demolition of the tower a year later. With the view of making the border triangleinto a tourist attrection, the new Wilhelminatoren was built in 1951 and over time various shops and eateries were added.

The first King Baudouin Tower was built in 1970 and was 35 meters high, but offered no view of Vaals. In 1975 the Wilhelmina tower was moved by a crane over a distance of 60 meters next to a newly built restaurant with panoramic terrace. In 1994 the new 50 meter high Boudewijntower was delivered; in 2011 the new Wilhelminatoren too.

We cross from this to the base of the tower… and look skywards…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Pilots, lieutenant 1st Class C.A. Weemhoff and sergeant-pilot WJ Nijhof.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.