Local Heart, Global Soul

September 20, 2015

They Obviously Know Something That We Don’t…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three years ago we visited the city of Maastricht in the Dutch province of Limburg and whilst taking tourist boat ride down the river we were fortunate enough to get ringside seats to a display on the water, put on by local police and fire departments.

We did see a lot of people on the riverbank and on the bridges nearby, but it didn’t really sink in just how many people there were until the tour boat returned to the dock, and at this point we were really curious about what they were all here for.

Was it just for the display on the river?

When I spot someone with a TV station type camera it dawns on me that there is something more going on that Family Kiwidutch obviously don’t know about.
I stop and ask a lady why she is here,  (translated) she replied “to see Flikken Maastricht“.  Hmmm, but what does that mean? I know of course that “Flikken Maastricht” is a really popular Dutch cop TV crime drama series that, as the name of the series suggests is filmed in and around Maastricht, but I still can’t make the connection between the TV series and why all of these people are here.  We make our way back towards the large town square… Himself left our car in a car parking building there earlier and my back is hurting after all this sitting, so I have to loosen it up by walking a bit. That’s how we start following the crowd back towards the center…

(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)

September 19, 2015

Spying On A Wedding… Or The Pole And Garland Brigade???

Whilst on the return section of our river boat trip in the Maas river in Maastricht, we passed by some sort of celebration taking place in a large ornate building. At first we were certain that it was probably a wedding, but closer scrutiny of the photographs later made us doubt this.  We see plenty of smartly dressed people but no obvious bride or groom so my mind raced back to the smartly dressed group of young people we saw earlier, the ones who were carrying the long pole that had the garland of flowers on it.  Might this be one such gathering?  It might well be…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 18, 2015

One Passenger In Particular, Gets His Money’s Worth…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When Family Kiwidutch visited Maastricht three years ago, we happened to take an organised boat tour on the River Maas at exactly the same moment that a demonstration of various Police water craft was taking place.

There were life saving boats, police divers, and all manager of craft, busy acting out a scenario where they were “chasing” another boat in a mock up of what it’s like to be chasing “the bad guys” or “doing a real rescue”. (Little Mr’s words) and it was all high action and drama.

Up until then this boat trip was a fairly ho-hum sort of thing, he was kind of having fun but only mildly. Now he was excited, animated and totally exhilarated, complete with running commentary even though it  was obvious to everyone else watching that “that boat is going to the right, now he’s swerving, now he’s going even faster…” etc.

I noticed lots of smiles appearing on the faces of the adults around us at the rear of the boat, his complete and utter happiness was certainly infectious. When we booked this trip we had no clue that we would turn out to have some of the best seats in the house to this river display.

Of course Little Mr’s knowledge of every. single. vehicle. in the emergency services also resulted in a loud breathless monologue that detailed it all to everyone nearby… his  joy and enthusiasm was lovely to see and it was really nice that the other passengers enjoyed his enthusiasm with my little dude and no one told him to be quiet… this was just a little innocent kid being totally enthused by little innocent kid stuff.

The only downside was that our ringside seat was moving, our own tour boat wasn’t part of the display, just an unexpected spectator to it… so after awhile we slipped further and further away from the mad rush of action. There must have been a break whilst we were further up the river however because there were still some smaller police boats busy on the water on the return journey.

Later on I was pestered repeatedly with questions about if I got good shots of everything that had been going on… clearly it was very important not to have missed anything. Even if this boat tour is rather less than dramatic and doesn’t offer a lot, especially when compared with other boat trips I have been on, for one (then) seven year old boy, it was the bees knees and had suddenly become one of the highlights of the trip. Just such a pity that the additional action could not be laid on every boat trip…

(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)

A huge Thank You too to the lady to waved back when Little Mr waved… it made his day !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 17, 2015

The Fans Rush To Photograph…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We continue with our river trip on the Maas river in Maastricht and after a while we stop at at small jetty that is the scheduled boat stop for the Maastricht caves.

More than half of the passengers on the boat get off and head up the hill towards the ticket office that we had been at earlier in our trip.

We glide past the house of the famous Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu.

I already knew that Rieu is well known and loved in Germany but nothing prepared me for the gasp from the German visitors on the boat and the rush to the side that André’s home was on, followed by a mass of cameras and phones being produced to get as many photographs as possible before the house was out of sight.

I was rather impressed, this was some serious admiration. The German contingent settled back into their places afterwards but I’m sad to report that there wasn’t an awful lot of see after that: we passed a large industrial building that we were informed was the local cement works and then did a “U” turn just before a large set of locks, and came back following the opposite bank.

If you want a nice quiet boat ride then this is fine but it’s not exactly packed with historical buildings or special sights. It’s clear near the end of the trip that some of the passengers where rather underwhelmed by the trip and I’ll admit while I agreed with Himself and the kids that we had “been there, done that” and that we didn’t think enough of it to want to repeat the experience, we still enjoyed a local look around from a different perspective. Little Mr was by far the most satisfied of everyone though, it seems that many of the people we saw gathering earlier were gathering for a special event, but more on that tomorrow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

André Rieu’s house is in the background…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Seagulls line up in formation…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What are all these birds looking at? all lines up in one direction…

(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)

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