Sunday, June 1, 2008

Theme Day Farewell (Tot Ziens)!

Sorry for breaking the rules -- you've probably noticed that this is not a photo of a shop window.
Why, you ask? Well, this is the last post for our Wassenaar Daily Photo blog. After two years of living in The Netherlands and trying to see as much of Europe as possible, we are moving back to the U.S.

The collage you see represent the Theme Day photos published on this blog. You can see the original posts here.

We'd like to thank everyone who visited and commented on our photos. If you'd like to see more of The Netherlands, be sure to visit The Hague and Rotterdam daily photo blogs, or one of the many blogs not in the CDPB group like Dick in Texel, JoAnn in Naarden, or one of the other links to your left.

Feel free to leave a comment (even though we won't be able to return comments for a while). And if you want to get back to the CDPB Theme Days, Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit tomorrow for a special post.

This photo was included in the IMAGES International Photo Club exhibition and originally posted here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit on 1 June for a special post.

Again our Wassenaar "Windlust," original post here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit on 1 June for a special post.

These are nearby Leiden/Leidschendam ... original post here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit on 1 June for a special post.

Again from Wassenaar, original post here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit on 1 June for a special post.

Again, the Wassenaar windmill "Windlust." Original post here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit on 1 June for a special post.

This is the Wassenaar windmill, "Windlust." Original post here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Windmill Week

We don't have internet access this week, so we decided to review some of our previous Windmill photos. Kind of like repeat season on TV.

Be sure to visit on 1 June for a special post.

This is one of the windmills at the Kinderdijk (see this recent post from The Hague). We hadn't published this photo before, but we use it for our blogger profile pic.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Colorful Blooms

The rhododendrons are in bloom at the Clingendael. Eat your heart out, Augusta.

Friday, May 23, 2008

If it's a rooster, why do they call it crowing?

This rooster didn't care that it was the middle of the day, he was determined to show off his vocal skills anyway.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Calm but Crowded

See what we mean about the people at the Japanese Garden in the Clingendael (referencing Monday's post)? Even so, it's a pretty place.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Are we in India? Where?Wednesday

The dutch call this the "Indische Gans" (Indian Goose, known in english as the Bar-Headed Goose). They are native to India, but they do not migrate here. Some are kept in captivity, and there are some breeding escapees throughout Europe.

I don't know if this family is captive or not, but we spotted them right here in The Hague in the Clingendael.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sleepy Kids

3 little goats just settling down for a nap at the Clingendael estate (just barely over the Wassenaar border in The Hague).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not-so-secret garden

Every year, for just about one month, the Japanese Garden at the Clingendael estate opens to the public. I posted on it last year, and my neighbor in The Hague beat me to it this year.

For photographers, it's best to go during the week. On the weekends there are so many visitors that it's almost impossible to get a photo that doesn't include people (can you spot them in this photo?). But don't let that stop you ... even when it's crowded, it's a special place.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Joy Ride

We don't really know the story behind this team of horses and the carriage -- they passed by us when we were visiting one of Flander's war cemeteries. But the passenger seemed to be having a great time! Given that this is hop-growing country (see yesterday's post), perhaps they're draught horses returning from a tasting?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Growing Beer

Most beer drinkers have never seen the raw version of a key ingredient -- hops. In Belgium, a key hop-growing region is near Poperinge, the town where we stayed on our short trip.

These hops are just starting their climb ... they'll reach the top before they're harvested. Poperinge has a lively hop festival in September -- you can read about it here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Age Fifteen

The Essex Farm Cemetery, just outside of Ieper/Ypres, is best known as the place where Canadian John McRae composed the poem, "In Flanders Fields." There is a commemorative plaque just outside of the cemetery gates near a group of bunkers.

We were drawn, however, to a grave that was receiving much attention from a tour group that was visiting the cemetery. This particular grave had, by far, the most decoration of any grave in the small cemetery. And then we saw why ... the soldier, V.J. Strudwick, was only 15 when he lost his life in the war.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mourning Soldiers

The statue of mourning soldiers stands in the German War Cemetery (Deutsches Soldatenfriedhof) in Langemark, Belgium. Over 44,000 WWI soldiers are buried here. In stark contrast to the Commonwealth graves, there are 8-20 soldiers buried per marker. There is also a mass grave, and some of the graves surround a few bunkers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Remembering WWI: "Where?Wednesday"

Our quick trip to Belgium was mainly to visit West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) to see some of the WWI memorials. There are over 170 cemeteries and there are seemingly more memorials than you can count. The area around Ieper (Ypres) saw some of the most brutal fighting of the war. You can read more about the "Ypres Salient" here. Winston Churchill once said of the area, "A more sacred place for the British race does not exist in the world."

The largest of the cemeteries is Tyne Cot, named after a barn that was called "Tyne Cottage" by the British soldiers. In fact, this is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world, with nearly 12,000 soldiers of the U.K. and commonwealth countries buried here. The number at the bottom of the war graves listing for Tyne Cot is a bit shocking: only 3,588 of the soldiers buried here are identified.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gazing in Ghent

This week we're going to share some photos from our neighbor to the south, Belgium. Our first stop on a quick weekend trip was Ghent. Sunday was obviously a beautiful day... perfect to appreciate the architecture, maybe have a glass of beer or wine, or just relax along the canal.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We're still amazed sometimes that we can walk 10 min from the center of town and see cows and sheep grazing. This one is a bit lazy.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Garden Gazing

The roses in the Princessetuin aren't in bloom yet, but the garden still makes for a nice place to relax during our warm spell.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spring has Sprung

We've been so busy traveling that the greening of the area seems to have happened overnight. The warm sunny weather has helped.

This pic was taken yesterday evening, just outside of one of the many embassy residences located here in Wassenaar.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Continent-Hopping: Where?Wednesday

Last week we were in sunny southern California, home to the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. Said to contain the oldest building still in use in California, the mission is a beautiful place to visit. In addition to the gardens and buildings, there's plentiful wildlife: the famous swallows, other birds, lizards, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Highly recommended if you find yourself in this part of the world.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Grass is always greener...

Back in February, I posted a pic of this houseboat in Amsterdam. It now looks like it needs a haircut. Makes me wonder how one mows the roof (?)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amsterdam Abstract

Every once in a while I like to throw in something a bit different. This is the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. There is a water feature between the main museum building and the auditorium. The swirls in the water (algae? seaweed?) remind me of some of Van Gogh's paintings.

Thanks to all who visited on Theme Day. We're just returning from a lot of traveling but hope to visit some of the sites over the next few days.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Evil Commemoration: May "Numbers" Theme Day

I commented on our anniversary post that, through researching blog posts, I've learned a lot about this little town that we've called home for nearly two years. This theme day post is another example.

You might guess that "1944" refers to a war event. But you might not guess that Wassenaar, with its tree-lined streets, big homes and green spaces, played a very significant role in the advancement of warfare.

That's right ... during WWII, the first-ever ballistic missile was fired from occupied Wassenaar. You can read about the V2 in Wiki and more about the first missile's landing in Chiswick(London). The dutch resistance provided critical information to the allies about the rockets, launch sites, and factories; you can read more about that here.

This small plaque sits on an unassuming corner in a quiet part of town ... marking the spot where the launches took place.

We're posting this remotely and can't list all of the sites participating in May's "Numbers" theme day, but you can visit the City Daily Photo Blog Portal to see more from cities around the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Haar-dy Ho!

After posting a German castle ruin yesterday, I thought I'd dip into the "archives" to show you a castle from here in The Netherlands.

You don't necessarily think of castles when you think of The Netherlands, but there are actually quite a few castles and ruins throughout the country.

This is Kasteel De Haar, located about 70km from Wassenaar in the province of Utrecht. It was rebuilt in the late 1800's on the 15th century foundations. The "new and improved" version was built with new-fangled modern conveniences like central heating and running water.

We hope you enjoy the contrast with yesterday's post. We're taking more time off, but we plan to participate in May's Theme Day, so please come back and visit on May 1. Many of our recent posts have been outside of Wassenaar, but our post will be a return to reveal a little-known but historic fact about this town.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On the Rhine/Rhein/Rijn: Where?Wednesday

If you like castles, beautiful small towns, terraced vineyards and overall nice scenery, then we can heartily recommend a cruise down the middle Rhine in Germany.

We took a round-trip cruise from Rudesheim to St. Goar, and literally saw so many sights I can't even tell you which castle ruin is pictured above.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Am...

The city of Amsterdam's marketing slogan is the centerpiece of the Museumplein, a large open space that borders the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Concertgebouw.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Politie Paarden Parade

Amsterdam's police force were all over the city a couple of weeks ago. At first we thought that there must have been a major drug bust, or perhaps the royal family were in town. But later we saw the tail end of a protest march weaving its way through town -- although we never did find out exactly what they were protesting against (or for).

Thanks to all who commented on our recent photos and our one year photoblogging anniversary. It'll take a couple of days for us to catch up on our fellow bloggers' sites. We just returned from a wonderful trip to Germany with our sister-in-law and her boyfriend ... we'll show a sample in a couple of days.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Another shot from the Keukenhof garden. These bands of color wind their way all through the park.

Without much fanfare, this celebrates our 1-year anniversary. I guess a photo of tulips and other bulbs is appropriate for a photo blog from The Netherlands!

We have really enjoyed sharing our experiences in and around Wassenaar and The Netherlands (and sometimes beyond). We've learned many interesting things while researching some of our posts. We've learned to look for things to photograph that we wouldn't have otherwise. And we've "met" a lot of interesting people who have visited and commented. So thanks to all those who've come to see a little bit of this part of the world.

Now, we're off again ... hope to see you back next week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grape River

The Keukenhof is a world-famous garden in the province of North Holland devoted to the display of flowers, primarily spring bulbs. Now in its 59th year, the garden is open from late March through mid May.

While there are indoor exhibits (featuring flowers like the ones pictured here yesterday), the main attraction is the open air garden. Millions of tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs are spectacularly displayed.

This woodland garden scene features a river of muscari (grape hyacinths) surrounded by tulips and daffodils.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Red velvet

I just liked the texture of these flowers from the Keukenhof garden. Flower fans, check back over the next couple of days for some more pics from our recent visit.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hospital Leftovers

All that's left of this women's hospital in the North Holland town of Haarlem is the portal. Above the portal is this wonderful scene of one of the patient rooms.

Unfortunately I can't really translate the inscription, but I believe that it refers to the founding of the hospital. I also found this site which says that if you read the capital letters as roman numerals, they add up to 1435, the year of the original foundation.

Sorry for cutting off the last numeral in the year that this portal was built. It's a "4", which dates the portal back to 1624. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be in a "women's hospital" back then!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cool air, Warm sun

When the sun comes out, it doesn't matter if there's a chill in the air ... there's nothing like sitting at an outside cafe, soaking up some rays and watching the world go by. Or if it's not the world, at least the town of Haarlem.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Horsing around in Wassenaar

I haven't posted a lot from Wassenaar lately, so here's a shot of an activity you can see here during the "off-season." Horses are only allowed on the beach for a portion of the year (I think Oct-May). In "season" the beach is reserved for sunbathers, swimmers, etc.

Looks to me like these horses and their riders are having a great time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Canals are not unique here in The Netherlands, but you might have guessed from the gondola that this shot is from Venice, Italy.

The gondolier is about to go under the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs). This bridge connects the Doge's Palace to the dungeons. The English poet Lord Byron coined the phrase ... he supposed that prisoners would stop and sigh at their last view of Venice as they were led to their imprisonment.

For viewers of our travel blog, our apologies for not posting recently. We have taken many recent trips and hope to get back to posting to it next week.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Type Cast?

The town of Haarlem, located just 50km from Wassenaar (or 20km from Amsterdam) is one of our favorite stops. It has a rich history and is usually very lively, especially on Saturdays.

Looking over the town square (grote markt) in shadow of the Grote Kerk (St Bavo's church, dating from 1370) is a statue of Laurens Koster.

Legend has it that Koster actually invented the type impression that Gutenberg would later use in his printing press. (Note to Gutenberg fans: I am neither a Haarlemmer nor a historian, hence the reference to "legend"). That's a piece of type that he's holding up in his right hand.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Holy Water

You can find lots of interesting items at De Looier antique showroom in Amsterdam. Including a variety of holy-water-finger-dipping-thingies (sorry, I don't know the proper name for them). But I suspect that having the water blessed is not part of the purchase price.

Thanks to all who've left comments over recent days. We've been a bit busy to return comments but appreciate your visits and remarks.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Living in Water

These oysters are waiting to be shipped from an oyster farm in the province of Zeeland. They are stored in these ponds for a few days while fresh water is pumped in to remove sand and silt.

Dutch oysters account for about 15% of the European Union's total oyster harvest. For more fun facts about "zeeuwse oesters" check out this site.

We're taking a few days off, hope to see you back on Monday. Thanks to all who've commented so far on our "water" series. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Sea, New Land

Continuing on the "Water" theme: some of the people who commented on yesterday's blog mentioned The Netherlands' famous battle with water. I feel the need to point out two facts:
First, the story about the boy saving the country by sticking his finger in a dike is actually an American tale ("Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates" by Mary Mapes Dodge). More here.
Second, about 25% of The Netherlands is below sea level. The dutch have an amazing network of water works, not only to protect the country but to reclaim land. In the early 20th century, the large area of water that used to be called the Zuiderzee was blocked off from the North Sea/Wadden Sea. Once the sea level in this new area (now called the "Ijsselmeer") was controlled, new land areas were created. In fact, an entirely new province, Flevoland, was created. You can read more about it in the wiki entry.

What you see in the photo is the Houtribdijk, a 30-km dike that connects North Holland with Flevoland. In the center of the dike there is a rest stop with an observation tower, from which we snapped this shot. Below is a map (from wiki) of the entire Zuiderzee area.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Water? What Water? Monthly Theme Day

You might think we're trying to play an April Fool's joke -- this month's theme is "Water" and we're giving you "Sand."

Truth is, the sand dunes that separate Wassenaar from the North Sea couldn't be more important to the area's residents as far as water is concerned.

The dunes naturally filter water, which becomes the water supply for 1.2 million customers. The natural filtration means that the water undergoes minimal processing before it's distributed.

The local water authority (Duinwaterbedrijf Zuid Holland) is also responsible for the conservation of the dunes.

As often happens with theme days, the "water" theme will inspire posts for some time to come, so check back often.

There are currently 178 (!!!) blogs signed up to participate in April's "Water" Theme Day:
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by Digger, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Paja, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix - Bostonscapes, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Cypress (TX), USA by Riniroo, Dallas/Fort Worth (TX), USA by A Wandering Soul, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lake Forest Park (WA), USA by Azure, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Mo, London, UK by Ham, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by John, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montego Bay, Jamaica by Ann, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Nancy, France by yoshi, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norman (OK), USA by Chad & LaCresha, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Odense, Denmark by ania odense, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Eric, Paris, France by Gordio, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Pont-à-Mousson, France by Tintin-j, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portland (OR), USA by NWgal, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Shanghai, China by Jing, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Nathalie, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Toruń, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,

Monday, March 31, 2008

Train Topper

The central tower of Amsterdam's Centraal Station features a gleaming coat-of-arms of The Netherlands. The tile shields below continue all around the building. I'm not sure the significance of all of the shields ... my guess would be that they are a combination of towns, provinces, and perhaps guilds. The shield centered below the coat of arms is the symbol of Amsterdam.

I'd like to be able to post a photo of the entire station, but it's been under construction for as long as we've lived here, and will be long after we leave. The current estimate for completion of the new metro line is 2013.