Local Heart, Global Soul

April 26, 2017

A Quick Trip Means Checking In Ahead Of Schedule…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I arrived at the end of summer 2016 at the Hotel ’t Speulderbos of the Bilderberg Hotel chain, located in Garderen, a small town in the east of the Netherlands.

This was supposed to be a twenty year wedding anniversary gift to ourselves but it took until we were twenty-two and a half years married to get the opportunity to take it.

We left The Hague as soon as the kids got home from school on Friday night, dropping off the kids to their weekend lodgings on our way out.

Apart from a small delay with traffic around Delft, our trip was hassle free and quicker than we imagined it might have been.

The hotel is light, open, spacious and we have a room on the ground floor close to Reception, so getting around is easier.

We discover that we forgot there was an indoor swimming pool, so neglected to pack swimming costumes. Never mind. We check into our room and freshen up… after all this rushing around to get here, we are keen to get to the dining room before it closes and have a nice dinner together.

(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)

Hotel ’t Speulderbos in Garderen / Bilderberg chain / The Veluwe / The Netherlands

April 25, 2017

Two And A Half Years To Get A Weekend Away…

Filed under: Garderen,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I had the intention to celebrate our 20th Wedding anniversery by taking a weekend away by ourselves but our best laid plains went amiss for a multiple of reasons.

Himself’s mother needed a lot of attention,  we never seemed to be able to arrange that both kids could be farmed out at the same time, or we did and someone would cancel, medicial appointments,  Himself’s work commitments, it was one thing after another, and the cards never seemed to fall in our favour.

Finally,  two and a half years later,  we succeeded in getting everything in line and found ourselves making our way to Garderen in the Veluwe.

My wish was to spend a day taking photographs of the yearly sand sculpture exhibition, Himself was going to spend the same day walking in the local forests.
We could meet up at the end of the day and enjoy relaxed dinners and evenings. I was tired so spent much of the journey there sleeping, but woke around fifteen minutes from our destination.
By sheer chance we immediately saw a comical, tiny vehicle, which by sheer chance was travelling in the same direction as we were.  Even when we came into Garderen proper, the little car took precisely the same route as were intended to. It was only when we turned off into the driveway of our hotel that we lost it… I have no idea what sort of car this was, but I have never seen one before (or since). Our hotel is set off the road, is flanked by green lawns and looks quiet.  Perfect!

(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)

April 24, 2017

Guilin And The Hidden City, The Collection Continues…

Filed under: ART,Manhole covers / Street grates,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Himself’s Aunt went on a trip to China with her husband last year, and when they got back I recieved a wonderful bonus to my collection of manhole / drain covers. All sorts of diverse patterns and even a few shapes make for some interesting ” wrought iron” creativity. The two places these were taken in was Guilin and the Forbidden City, even if the latter consists of only the last three photographs. My many thanks goes to Aunty “I”, for taking these for me, and for the many readers who enjoy these too.

(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)

April 23, 2017

Last Sights And The Journey Home…

Filed under: DEN HELDER,Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we left Fort Kijkduin in 2016, the three families in our party regrouped in the car park before we headed back home.

Each of us had a different favourite moment or exhibit here, the rest of our party of course having managed to visit the tunnels under the fort.

Even though this was out of bounds for me, I still had a great time here.

Once in the car I took a few photographs of the journey home.

The effort of the day, large doses of pain relief caught up with me however, and after just a little while the camera was put away and I slept the rest of the journey home.

The following days were painful and difficult as I recovered from the weekends excursions but our family were all happier for having a breath of fresh air.

The task of resuming care for my mother in law was at hand.. my weekend visits were back on, Himself juggled daily visits with work and my medical appointments. “Chaotic life” was back, but we were all better for having had a well earned break.

(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)

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

 

April 22, 2017

Some Of The Inhabitants Are Grinning At Me…

During the 2016 Easter Weekend, Family Kiwidutch and two other families visited Fort Kijkduin near Den Helder and discovered that it also housed an aquarium. Some of the fish in the tanks appear to like coming right up to the glass whenever visitors are close by. Several even had a “grin” for me, so I smiled and gave them a little wave back. Right at the very end of the aquarium, close to the exit is a little boat, the motorised toy sort that you put a coin into to give a small child a ride.

(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)

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

April 21, 2017

Hiding In The Corners And In Plain Sight…

Filed under: DEN HELDER,Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Exiting the “fish tunnel” at the Fort Kijkduin aquarium, the first thing I see is an open tank that might be described as a “petting zoo with fish”.

The tank is long and it’s possible for children to put their hands inside the water.

There are small crabs that can be picked up, it’s possible to watch flat fish hiding themselves in the sand, achieving an amazingly camouflaged state and the creatures prompt a lot of excitement as they kids discover that they dare to stroke a crab shell back, …or that they don’t at the last moment.

Other tanks line the walls in the same room, and the more you look the more fish and crustations you see.

I looked for a while in one tank for a while whilst I had a rest and was constantly surprised when all of a sudden something near some seemingly plain rocks would suddenly move.

After a while I saw more and more, but am well aware that not every occupant of a tank is active at the same time of day so there were definitely many more that I missed. The colourings and camouflage of the fish speaks to how their lives depend on how well their ability to hide works. Another tank catches attention for another reason: it’s bright pink. Closer inspection reveals that it’s full of seahorses. Several, male ones are visibly pregnant, their little “bumps” clear to see. Like the tanks before now, once my eyes ajust to what I am looking for, I see more and more of them in amongst the leaves and photograph them there.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Information about the various fish in the tanks is displayed on the wall…

(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 )

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

April 20, 2017

There’s Nothing Fishy About This Next Exhibition… Or Is There?

Filed under: DEN HELDER,Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Somehow when we arrived at Fort Kijkduin I had a few preconceived ideas about what we would see.

History? Check? Exhibits? Check. An Aquarium?… Ch…

Wait, What!?

The wonderful surprise that I discovered in Fort Kijkduin is that it houses a massive aquarium, and all sorts of fish.

First on display is a walk through tunnel where, separated by a thick perspex wall, fish swim over our heads, and to our left and right.

I have no idea exactly how intelligent fish are but there are some fish here that appear to have a “personality”, because they are right up against the perspex, following us as we move, seemingly keeping eye contact.

Are they waiting for a selfie? Trying to strike up a conversation? Who knows? It’s a wonderful surprise and completely unexpected since I had not read any brochures or known about this place in advance. I have special thanks for our friends who found this attraction, this activity is spot on for everybody!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We can see through the tank to the Fort’s walls on the other side. Viewed through the water, it makes an interesting pattern…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The fish in the right hand corner seemed unusually attentive…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

April 19, 2017

I Am In For An Unexpected Surprise…

The exhibits continue one after another at Fort Kijkduin. I am taking up the rear of our group, enjoying it all at a leisurely pace. (“Fast” is a setting I no longer have after my accident anyway). There is however something very very different just around the corner… Looks like I am in for an unexpcted surprise…

(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 )

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

April 18, 2017

Strange Bottles And A Mystery Box…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

“History” appears to suit me. Not only do I adore old things, I also find them aesthetically pleasing and a delight to my artistic eye.

I only wish that my photography skills could do these pieces justice.

Needless to say these are going into my arty archive  reference files so that if ever I want to draw these, I can find them back amongst the tens of thousands of photographs that have now accumulated on this blog.

Fort Kijkduin has so many artifacts, amazing historical exhibits that a bit of blog post photography can not nearly do them justice. A visit would be highly recommended.

Even  four of the five kids in our group gave this activity a five star rating.The other kid was roughly one year old at the time and gives the same grin and giggles to everything here as he does to playing with shiny crinkly wrapping paper.  Put it this way, he didn’t cry and for most of the time he wasn’t asleep. I suppose that counts as a tiny thumbs up from the smallest member of our group. Finding and activity that equally pleases a 1,4,5,11 and 15 year old is a tough task, the Fort does a good job of keeping them happy.

I love these quirkier items: a bottle labeled ” azijn essence” ? (vinegar essence) … ok, what on earth did they do with that? Drink it? Horrors.A green box with a handle on the side to turn… a pump handle perhaps? Two taps are located on the front, one of them very large, the other small. Both have fancy decorative shapes.Might this have been used for water? booze rations for the troops? Who knows.. it’s an interesting item that may well have had a label (obviously I missed it). I love weird stuff like this. Old suitcases, rusty keys, bottles and lamps round out the collection for this post.

(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 )


Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

April 17, 2017

Tiny Works Of Art In Their Own Right…

The history continues in the next rooms of Fort Kijkduin near Den Helder.  This time the focus is on militeria: medals, awards and coins. These are just a few examples of the many here. I am also saving these as reference material for my drawing files.  I find that many of the patterns in these pieces are tiny works of art in their own right.

(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)

 

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands
 

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