Local Heart, Global Soul

September 19, 2019

A Skinny Mystery…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Our tour of the Maasvlakte area of the Port of Rotterdam takes us past a strange tower. It’s very tall and thin and doesn’t really look like a lighthouse, but also not like a radio transmitter tower either because there are a heap of other transmitter towers around it. Might it possibly be a control tower for all of the others? If it were then surely I’d have seen towers like this more often. It’s a frail looking construction due to the skinniness of the tower but despite that still an imposing structure on the landscape. I took photographs from the car and from a viewing point further up the coast. Although it looks a little like a pepper grinder, it’s elegant and unusual…the mystery tower.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 18, 2019

A Very Contained Bridge!

Visiting the Maasvlakte area of the Port of Rotterdam, we came accross a unique solution to a problem. A pipeline needed to cross the road but digging a tunnel underneath would be expensive, likewise for building a permanent structure above. I suppose someone looked around the Port and thought: “What could we use?” and found themselved staring a stacks and stacks of shipping containers. So shipping containers were stacked to make this bridge. It’s certainly solid enough and does the job. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, the Green way to build a fairly “instant” bridge!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 17, 2019

The Training Never Stops…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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I’ve been joining Himself and Little Mr sometimes as they visit as many of the Zuid Holland (South Holland/Province) as possible. On this occasion we are looking around the Maasvlakte. Little Mr’s sharp eyes spied this before anyone else: a fire brigade training area close to the beach and near the outer edge of the reclaimed land. I have learned from my son that there is a fire department vehicle that is like a big truck that has a flatbed back. Close to the cab area is a very strong winch and hook. In Dutch it’s called a “haakarmbak” so literally a “hook-arm-container”. The idea is that instead of having four or five specialist vehicles and equipment, that they have various large containers filled with the specialist equipment, these are distributed and stored in various fire stations around the area. When one of these containers is needed it is quickly winched onto the back of the flatbed of the truck and they drive away to the call out with the one they need. There are containers completely filled with extra hoses, another with everything needed in case of a chemical attack, all sorts of things. Several of the containers are here in the training area, and additional things that my son knows all about in detail, but about which I don’t have a clue. He is excited about this “find”… and it’s a beautiful day to share his enthusiasm.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 16, 2019

Towing Oil Rigs…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,Rotterdam Harbour,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

As I mentioned a few posts ago, the amount of shipping that constantly finds it’s way in and out of the Port of Rotterdam each year is probably a rather staggering figure. Whilst I was at one of the lookout points taking photographs I couldn’t miss the oil rig platform being towed towards the port entrance.  It’s a formidable show: the power of a tug, the far smaller boat hauling something more than twice it’s size, and making impressive headway as I watched.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 15, 2019

Beach Traffic…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,Rotterdam Harbour,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Along this stretch of the Maasvlakte there is a sort of “double road”, one is the main road used for traffic around the area, the other is a secondary road just metres away from the first one with regular exits to and from the first but winds through the dunes and is closer to the beach, has parking areas at intervals, access paths and steps to the sea, and a few visitor viewing points.

This is a perfect system for when you want to enourage use of the beach as a recreational area but also need the main road free for emergancy vehicles and people who need to go about their daily work without too much hinderance from tourist and visitor traffic. Although it was a Saturday morning in the summer school holidays when we visited and beautiful warm weather, the area was far from busy, and we had the road to ourselves most of the time. We stopped at one of the beach access points and Himself and Little Mr went for a sort walk. I took a few photographs a couple of steps from the car and then had a ten minute nap. Perfect!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 14, 2019

Rescue On The Beach..

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,Rotterdam Harbour,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Little Mr is now forteen years old (Wow, he was four when I started this blog!) and interested in photography. Since the sightseeing trip to see the “Gezamenlijk Brandweer” fire stations (Joint “company”fire stations) around the Rotterdam Havens was entirely his idea, I agreed to let him take photographs with my DSLR camera to suppliment his phone photos.

I cannot negotiate sand easily on crutches or in the wheelchair unless there are concrete ramps, so for this “photoshoot” of the Reddingsbrigade (Lifeguard station) on the beach Little Mr was on his own with the “big camera”. Overjoyed too that he could add this lifeguard station (and more importantly it’s vehicles and equipment) to this list of rescue services that interconnect with the work of the Fire Brigade stations around it. Little Mr knows not only all of the names of every type of fire vehicle but also that of all of the Reddingsbrigade vehicles so this sighting was a real bonus catch in his wish to visit as many fire and rescue stations in the province of Zuid Holland (South Holland) as possible. I think he did brilliantly with these photographs, … Well Done kiddo!

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

The sign reads: “High Tide 17:22,  Low Tide 13:00, and Wind direction… (not sure what it says after that). Nice to see a bowl of water out for dogs. It was a warm day and would have been appreciated.

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

September 13, 2019

Apart But Together…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,Rotterdam Harbour,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Gezamenlijk Brandweer” means “Joint Firestations and it’s where the various companies in the port (probably due to insurance regulations) pay for local firestations dotted all around the port area.  These are essentially company firestations and recieve no funding from local government or taxpayers. They are however equipped and trained by the “regular” Dutch fire departments so that their method and standard of training is the same. They also do joint training exercises with the regular Dutch fire departments so in case of a large incident (as in the 2010 Moerdijk instance)  the two can work side by side seamlessly.
These stations specialise in fighting chemical fires and handling of flamable, gas, explosive or corrosive goods which are handled or stored around the port. Little Mr has  been seeking out these stations on Google Maps , but since they are small he knows he has not yet found them all. He’s found ten or eleven of them and on this warm summer Saturday morning, he managed to see seven, plus the Lifeguard station, for which he was delighted.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 12, 2019

Dredging To Keep The Harbour “Machine” Running…

The exact number of ships in Rotterdam harbour at any one time would of course be tracked by the Port authorities but for the lay person it’s impossible due to the sprawling network of harbours and docks that connect to the river. I do know that the harbour docks are organised by type so for instance all raw materials will be in specialist places, container ships in anothers etc. Some ships you see a multitude of, the Swedish company “Maersk” or instance is prolific. Since the entire area is tidal and it’s necessary to keep the harbours and shipping lanes free of sand and silt that builds up in the harbours, derdgers are constantly busy. Named by Himself and Little Mr as “the ugliest ship they have ever seen” (which I think is a little harsh for a hard working ship just going about it’s business) It’s due to the dredgers that the harbour “machine” keeps functioning after all. The dergder I zoomed in on is a large black ship that seems to be sitting low in the water and busy with a large white boom out of the back. I couldn’t work out if the boom brings sand on board the ship to be emptied later or if that is the exit area for sand to be pumped out onto waiting barges along side.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 11, 2019

Beach Patrol…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,Rotterdam Harbour,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

During our tour of some of the fire stations around the Maasvlakte, Little Mr let out an excited exclamation having spotted vehicles from the Reddingsbrigade (beach rescue/lifeguards) doing an early morning Beach patrol. It was a Saturday, and the weather very warm so we were a little surprised to see so comparatively few people enjoying the beaches. We wondered if kids sports teams, swimming lessons, or parents working may have something to do with it.

Maybe some of the other beaches were just quicker and easier to get to, and of course many people go away from cities or abroad for the summer holidays. Although we saw, plenty of other people as we toured around the roads were empty and it seems like the beaches were too. Still nice to know that the Lifeguard service were keeping a good eye on things in the area.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 10, 2019

A Cuppa With Long John Silver!

I’ve been sitting in the car, sharing my DSLR camera with Little Mr as he and I took photographs of our early Saturday morning tour of the fire stations dotted around the massive port of Rotterdam. Now it’s time to get out and stretch our legs for a little bit, and enjoy a cuppa at the beach cafe at the end of the public road in the Maasvlakte. Called “Smickel Inn” it’s an informal take-a-way/cafe place in what looks like a large shed.

The people running it are very friendly indeed, and the fries and drink that we ordered were delicious too. We sat in one of the booths facing the water and I saw afterwards that all of the booths on that side make up the shape of along ship, with the ‘bow” to our right. Standing next to this “bow” we even had our very own pirate! He’s not real of course but I bet he enchants kids when they come here. Not every day that I have a cup of tea with Long John Silver!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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