Local Heart, Global Soul

September 15, 2016

When The Train …Takes To The Road.

Filed under: ART,GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Vehicles,TRIER — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that I love quirky things.

I have also come across some rather amazing vehicles.

Some of them I have ridden in, others just observed.

When Family Kiwidutch was in Trier, Germany last summer, we spotted another quirky vehicle for my collection.

On this occasion, what I spot is a tourist “train’ that runs on wheels and pulls two trailers that the tourists ride on during their sight-seeing trip around the city.

In New Zealand I have seen these before in a simpler version, some with a roof and some without and they earned the nick-name the “toast-rack” due to most of them having open sides.

This one is different, more sophisticated, enclosed and of course, impersonating a train but the basic premise is the same.

It always makes me do a double take though, seeing what looks like a train …driving on the road.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia: Trier / Germany

 

 

January 23, 2015

Two Buildings Determine How A Town Makes It’s Living…

Filed under: GERMANY,Neuschwanstein Castle,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the base of the hill upon which Slot Neuschwanstein (Neuschwanstein castle) stands, is the small town of Hohenschwangau.

Clearly the town earns almost all of it’s living catering to the hordes of tourists who come to visit Slot Hohenschwangau (Hohenschwangau castle) and Slot Neuschwanstein because there are cafes, restaurants and accommodations of all varieties galore.

The large parking area for commercial tour buses, rows of shuttle buses, kitsch horse and carriage rides up the hill and the multitude of walking and hiking trails cater to tourists from one extreme of the spectrum to the other.

This out of the way town of Hohenschwangau has two stunningly picturesque castles in town and of course they would be remiss to not make the very most of them.

On our long walk down the hill we passed a building that had gigantic sized postcard pictures of Neuschwanstein castle on one wall, had we been there earlier in the day there probably would have been row upon row of post card stands, so that visitors could get a memento of their trip or post off one to someone far away.

First I was taken aback by the size of the images on the wall and then what struck me was the fact that some depicted the castle in winter, snow covered trees and landscape, so the tourist industry here must be year round and not just for the summer months as I first assumed.

Both castles are visible from various points in the village and are an imposing sight. I suppose people have to make their living somehow… and living in the shadow of these majestic buildings, well I suppose you could do worse.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 21, 2014

History Relocates Itself To Zaanse Schans…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Mostly we like to take our visitors to the Netherlands off the beaten track, to places off the tourist trail, but sometimes it’s nice to see a little bit of a tourist spot because it gives an insight to the kind of “the Netherlands” tourists expect and want to see.

Zaanse Schans, located a short distance from Schipol airport is just such a place.

Wikipedia tells us:

Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk in the municipality of Zaanstad in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.

It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses; the circa 35 houses from all over the Zaanstreek were moved to the museum area in the 1970s.The Zaans Museum, established in 1994, is located in the Zaanse Schans.

The Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the region and an anchor point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The neighbourhood attracts approximately 900,000 visitors every year. The windmills were built after 1574.

In the Netherlands, sometimes if a small historic building semi-important for cultural reasons but is mill, farmhouse or the like and finds itself in the path of a planned motorway or city development, it is moved to another location rather than being lost to the bulldozers.  If it can be moved intact, then this is done, if not, the bricks and parts are numbered as it is painstakingly  disassembled and then reassembled in order on the new site.

The most famous place in the Netherlands where this is done on a large scale is the “Nederlands Openluchtmuseum” (Netherlands Open Air Museum) near Arnhem where the process has been going on since 1912, but here at Zaanse Schans it’s a smaller scale  attraction that was first established in the 1970’s.We arrive in the area that is the “main street” where examples of commercial businesses and large houses of the wealthy business owners are found. These building are more ostentatious than those of the labours cottages, giving me some beautiful architectural decoration to photograph and admire.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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

January 8, 2014

Monschau Has Changed Quite A Bit Since Last Time Himself Was Here…

Filed under: GERMANY,Monschau,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this retrospective post about our 2012 summer travels, we have arrived at our next destination, another surprise for our visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine”: the picturesque German town of Monschau.

It’s a new place on my own travel list too, and as we enter town Himself is telling everyone that he visited here as a child and remembered it fondly as a quiet, but very pretty town that he wouldn’t mind to go back to one day.

He even added that maybe it would be nice to find a hotel here for the night. A few corners later we started to arrive in the town proper… and came accross one large tour bus, then another, and then a sign directing the way for tour bus parking.

Then came the tourist trolley-train doing the rounds. There was no car parking anywhere in sight either and Himself’s face was changing rapidly to one of horror as he realised that the town had changed beyond recognition from the one he remembered as a kid. I like beautiful towns and cities, but both Himself and I usually prefer to avoid the worst of the tourist traps if we can.

Himself was now giving me his best “What have I gotten myself into” look, cuppled with thinly veiled panic of “I just said we should stay the night, and now all I want to do is get out of here as fast as possible”. I help him out with “Sweetie, it’s clearly no longer the place you thought it was, how about we have a look around, have lunch and then find a small, less busy village somewhere up the road to stay in later”. The look of relief in his eyes was clear and he siezed on that propersition with gusto. Velvetine is fine with the new plan too. There is a castle in the background but driving around we sight a little street that leads to what looks like pretty market square, so Himself drops us off as close as he can and goes off to find parking for the car…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 17, 2013

The Mersch Tourist Information Office Certainly Stands Out From The Crowd…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch and Singaporean friend “Velveteen” spent the summer of 2012 together squeezing in as many new places and adventures as possible.

In this diary post we have arrived in the town of Mersch and stop by a tall tower that also happens to be the local Tourist Information office.

Situated in a large open square, the kids take the opportunity to run around and let off some steam, whilst Himself checks out the Information Office, Velveteen and I get busy with our camera’s…

We start first with the tower itself: it’s made in four sections decreasing in size as it reaches the top, and is capped by a beautiful onion shaped dome.

There is some ornamental stonework but in general ornamentation is  minimal.

Then as we move around the tower so that we can photograph it better in the strong sunshine, something curious  a short distance away grabs our attention that we decide is too quirky not to investigate…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Down the street is a church…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

November 3, 2013

As We Leave The Water, The Heavens Open…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges: Canal Trip,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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We are about to leave the tourist canal trip in Bruges, Belgium, but before we go, I have one more photographic series of pictures of the beautiful buildings we saw    …the weather was closing in fast… and just as the dock came into sight at the end of the tour, the heavens opened and it started to rain buckets. In one of the departing boats, a forest of black umbrellas suddenly popped open  as the passengers ducked below them for cover,

Velveteen and  got out of the rain as quickly as we could and under the cover of boat tour ticket entrance area, and waited for the rain to abate a little before making our way as quickly as we could (in my case, not so quick) to the Church of Our Lady where we had arranged to meet back up with Himself and the kids.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bottle shapes in a brewery building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph ©Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 30, 2013

Squeezing In A Jaunt On The Water…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Bruges: Canal Trip,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Our Singaporean friend “Velveteen” and I have just enough time before dinner in Bruges, Belgium, to squeeze in one of the tourist boat trips on the city canals. The weather isn’t the best but it’s more rain on the wind and threatening than actual precipitation so far. Here is a photographic post  from Velveteen’s photos  (used with permission) of our trip around the city waterways…

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

Our tour guide…

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

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