Local Heart, Global Soul

July 10, 2013

Bigger Obstacles Than I Imagined, But The Effort Is Worth It In The End…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The swim that I promised Little Mr. in yesterday’s post  apparently involves a short walk to a beach and swimming area that passes by the marina / harbour area of Veere.

Little Mr. was happy to stop and look at the various boats in the harbour, and spent most of the time tell me which one(s)  he really thought we should buy, despite me telling him that some of these cost the same as a decent chunk of our house.

I’m fast learning that the downside of saving hard so that you can travel as much as possible,  is that your kids acquire expensive tastes and wish-lists  having seen everything from massive touring vehicles, places to stay with indoor swimming pools and beautiful gardens to luxury boats.

My standard retort now is “Yes, my sweethearts, when  you work hard and become  rich you will be able to afford to buy all of these for your father and mother and we will be delighted to use them well, until then …wishing for all of us is free”. I’ve found some more history about Veere… to keep you interested as we make our way to the beach…

“The small city of Veere (population approx 1500) is located on the Veerse Meer on the island of Walcheren in Zeeland. The name means “ferry” after Wolfert Van Borsselen established one here in 1281. Veere received city rights in 1355. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Admiraliteit van Veere” (Admiralty of Veere) was set up as a result of the Ordinance on the Admiralty of 8 January 1488 in an attempt to create a central naval administration in the Burgundian Netherlands. To this was subordinated the Vice-Admiralty of Flanders in Dunkirk.

In 1560 under admiral Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn this admiralty was relocated near Ghent and in 1561 the Habsburg naval forces were also moved to Veere.

Veere was the staple port for Scotland between 1541 and 1799. Flemish architects Antonis Keldermans and Evert Spoorwater designed the Grote Kerk, the fortifications, the Cisterne and the town hall. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Veere was a prosperous trading city.

There were about 750 houses inside the city walls then, compared to about 300 now. As a result of the damming of the Veerse Gat inlet in 1961, the fishing fleet of Veere moved to a new home port at Colijnsplaat on Noord-Beveland. Today, the main business of the town is tourism and the area is visited by 4 million tourists annually. The main attractions are the beaches and marinas. The Storm Surge Barrier on the Oosterschelde is the most popular visitor attraction in Zeeland.

One thing our friend didn’t warn us about was the size of the walls of the fortifications… and the steepness of the staircase we needed to negotiate to get past them. I’m supposed to be walking longer distances like this with my crutches, but actually underestimated the distance and completely underestimated the terrain so my walking stick  had to do. In fact I was rather proud that I managed it, ok, It was no fast journey to be certain but like the tortoise in the  fable I plodded along and eventually finished the race.

My physiotherapist  will be delighted at the achievment:  in fact the only unhappy part of the equation was my foot which hurt like crazy  after my walking tour so I retired to a comfortable chair in the shade  with my foot elevated for the rest of the day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s possible to take the longer walkways around the old city walls…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This staircase came as a bit of a shock to me, but the little beach is just on the other side of these low bushes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Boat traffic of every shape and size enjoying the fabulous weather…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

No small building project…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The little stretch of sand is popular, (and it looks like I’m the only one sitting in the shade of the bushes by the path…) Little Mr. enjoys his swim a lot so the effort to get here was well worth it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veere

July 16, 2012

A Tower in the Sky and a City of Sails…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are perusing the pages of my Travel journal, and following our New Zealand travels of December 2011- January 2012.

It’s early January at this point and we are leaving Northland and heading south.  Whilst I’m too amoured with the South Island and the Christchurch region to ever want to live in Auckland (for me there’s far too much motorway and way too busy) there are some aspects of the city that I love and get a buzz from every time I see  again.

Auckland and Manuaku Cities sit back to back on two adjoining harbours, and a relatively tiny strip of connecting land is all that prevents New Zealand’s Northland from being an island.

Consequently the two harbours have many bays and sailing is a very assessable and popular pass-time so it’s little wonder Auckland has earned the nickname “the City of Sails”. Christchurch’s deep water harbour and  port on the other hand is on the other side of the Port Hills in Lyttleton and whilst sailing is also popular there it’s not a patch on the marinas that are seemingly almost everywhere around Auckland’s shores.

Auckland’s Sky Tower is also a new addition to the Auckland skyline since I left New Zealand to live in The Netherlands.  Wikipedia tells me:

The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. It is 328 metres (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast,[4] making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere.”

The sky tower is imposing as we round the bays and I never tire of the views as I come over the Harbour Bridge and back into the city…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 24, 2012

Helix Bridge … DNA and Child’s Play…

Filed under: Landmarks,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My next photographic “target” on Singapore’s Duck  Tour sits right next to the ArtScience Museum and Gallery of  the day before yeaterday’s post.

If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time, then you will know how much I appreciate old stuff, especially old stuff made in stone, wood, wrought iron, hand blown or leaded glass.

I love “antique”, I adore “quirky” and I appreciate craftsmanship and detail in many different mediums.
That said, sometimes a little bit of “modern” can catch my eye and turn my head as well. This is one of those times.

This bridge is known as the “Helix Bridge” and so logically enough, it was no surprise to find out from our Duck Tour guide that the design is based on the double helix format of DNA strands.

Wikipedia tells me that:

“Canopies (made of fritted-glass and perforated steel mesh) are incorporated along parts of the inner spiral to provide shade for pedestrians.

The bridge has four viewing platforms sited at strategic locations which provide stunning views of the Singapoe skyline and events taking place within Marina Bay. At night the bridge is illuminated by a series of lights that highlight the double-helix structure.

Pairs of coloured letters “c” and “g” as well as “a” and “t” on the bridge light up at night in red and green to represent cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine, the four bases of DNA. “

I just like the simplicity and cleaness of the structure… it’s pleasing and harmonous in it’s purity of line, and I find the grace of the interwoven curves mesmerising.     …And I knew I liked it even more when I found this little snippet of information on Wikipedia: “the bridge also functions as a gallery where children’s paintings and drawings are exhibited for public viewing.”

So, beautiful indeed, on so many levels.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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