Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Granny Towanda Saw

Our brand-spanking new Granny Towanda (she had 5 km on her when we picked her up) was christened this past Saturday, as we had wished. No rain on our parade...only a couple sprinkles and lots of moody skies with an attitude. Towanda stood out like a green thumb everywhere we went. See how she brightens up the world here in front of this church in Cellicum! We all have fallen in love with each other.

This is what we did: we left home at 10 a.m. and returned at 4:30 p.m., driving only 100 km (62 miles) to Buren and back...more or less in a loop, stopping at anything and everything that caught our eye to get out and take pictures. Some of what we saw was new even to Astrid, even though she has lived in the area her entire life. You know how that is.

Since I "collect" water towers, I had to grab this one in Leerdam.
It was built in 1929 and is 50.25 meters (165 ft) high.

In Acquoy we saw the "Dutch tower of Pisa," a Reformed church known for it's leaning tower (which I didn't know till I Googled it). The main thing that stood out to me was that it doesn't have a steeple. While I took several shots without a house in front of it, this one most shows the lean.

In sequence, we then saw the Cellicum church at the top of this post, followed by this church from Beesd, similar in architectural style to the one in Acquoy. No steeple.

Just outside of Beesd, we saw a sign for the Klooster in Mariënwaard where we found this windmill "outstanding" in its field. It was worth the whole trip, as far as I was concerned.

At the Klooster itself are these two haystacks (which Don and Ruth will love). From that point on I found them everywhere...the typical Dutch way of storing hay. The roof slides up and down on those vertical beams, depending on how much hay you have stored! Isn't that the most clever thing you've seen in a long time!
Leave it to the Dutch.

Then, just before arriving in Buren, our destination, we saw this yellow church in Asch, and just had to stop. It's the first yellow church I may have seen anywhere, period! In 2001 Asch (founded before 1405) had 176 inhabitants. I'm guessing the church is big enough?

Then it was Buren, where we ate lunch and spent the rest of our day before taking the interstate back home. Another fabulous church, a windmill, a museum of the Royal Military Police, a sundial, a candle-making shop...and a rum-raisin ice-cream treat! How can you top that!

Here Astrid stands next to the statue of William of Orange and Anna van Buren, in front of the Saint Lambertus church. Were they really that small back then???

The eetcafé was our first stop once we entered Buren. It was lunchtime!

This is the Saint Lambertus Calvinist Reformed church in Buren, seen from almost every point in the city. You can see more views in the photo album.

The Prince of Orange windmill.

Buren is closely related to the Dutch royal family. Queen Beatrix is the Countess of Buren. The House of Orange is Dutch royalty. If any royal person wants anonymity, he/she is referred to as a van Buren.

The Museum of the Royal Military Police, formerly an orphanage.

The Museum of the Royal Military Police, formerly an orphanage.

The Culemborg gate (if you squint, you can see the sundial above the arch) is Buren's main gateway.

Across the street from where we ate our ice cream we watched this gentleman dip his candles. The ones this big are being readied for Easter Sunday.

There you have it. Six-plus hours of a splendid outing to see what's almost at our doorstep here in Holland! Here's the photo album again. Granny (Smith Apple Green) Towanda did us proud and is itching to go out again the first weekend it's not raining. It might be sooner than we think.

Speaking of green:


  1. That Leerdam water-tower is so beautiful.

  2. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! What a marvelous weekend the "three" of you shared and what joy to find things new to each of you. I'm certain that as beautiful as the photos are (and they are BEAUTIFUL)that they barely do justice to the actual sights. Such magnificent architecture and history - thank you for sharing your world with the rest of us. Can't wait to see where Granny Towanda takes you next!

    peace to you both (Granny too)...

  3. What a lovely little trip you had. I like the picture of the windmill in the Klooster’s field, but all the pictures are very good. The pictures give us a good feeling for what is around you – it is lovely landscape. Plus, rum-raisin ice cream is one of my favorites. I think your little trio, Astrid, Granny and you are going to go though many kilometers. I am pleased you are reporting all this on your blog.

  4. Didn't you have a wonderful day! I loved the pictures, especially of the windmill and the haystack. The Austrians do beautiful stacks do, but I didn't see movable roofs on theirs!
    Remember 'Dear Abby'? She was a van Buren!
    Thanks for the outing, Ginnie.

  5. What a terrific tour, and congrats on the new car. The windmill shot (the first one) is my favorite. It's really, really beautiful.

  6. I forgot to comment on the water tower. Didn't know you collected them. Do you know the photography of the Bechers? If not, look them up on Amazon. They have a whole book on water towers.

  7. Happy St. Patty's day. It was a fun time seeing people dressed in green at work today.

    Loved your outing! Now that's my idea of a fun time! Oh and that windmill in the middle, LOVE that photo (with the wooden logs)...

    We went out on a pond outing today. Got some fun shots of shy ducks...


  8. I am re-living that beautiful day we three had.....Granny Towanda did like it too I guess.
    I keep saying, your pictures are a delight, we both agreed on how we would collect 'memories'.
    I am so glad you have time to make these wonderful photo albums, our memories to be, dank je wel lieve schat.
    ......and because of these trips I get to know some more about my own country.
    And yes the people were that small back than.

  9. Frida: I would like to take a picture of every water towere I see, if possible. Ted says a book has already been made by the Bechers and here's a link to some of theirs:

    Linda: I feel like such a kid these days, looking forward to our next trip, wherever it might be. Astrid has an idea where she wants to go next, she says. :)

    Vagabonde: I can't tell you how many times Astrid said "It doesn't get more Dutch than this." It's supposed to rain all weekend but the first chance we get, we will go out again, trust me. And yes, I will share it. :)

    Deborah: I totally forgot about Dear Abby! Wow. Thanks for the reminder. She'd love her namesake, if she's never been there!

    Ted: Windmills are so soulful to me. I can never get too many of them, Ted. For one thing, they aren't so plentiful they become ho-hum. There may be only one to a city and not always even that. Here where I live there are two and I can walk to them whenever I need to be filled. I never take them for granted!

    I looked up the Becher book and found this link that shows some of their water towers. I try to take a picture of every one I see:

    ET: I didn't see much outside to remind me that it was a green day, Jen, but at least I was reminded of it online. So glad you got your own outing in!

    Astrid: We will have many photo albums, I'm sure of it, MLMA! Next time I will Google more ahead of time...but you never know what you will see along the way, so sometimes you just have to wait. I'm glad we both get to learn about your beautiful country together. One day maybe you will help me see mine!

  10. My kind of day, you know. If I come, will you, Astrid and Granny Towanda take me out like that? Yes, I love the haystacks, clever indeed! And the windmills are just so picturesque. I think we had a similar rejuvenation last weekend, you and I.

  11. Wow! What a great tour you guys did! Love the pictures. And about that statue William van Orange and Anna van Buren: Isn't it just strange that the little boy is already playing aroungd with a dagger?? I guess toys were different back then? :-)

  12. I've found 4 windmills within 25 minute drive of my house. unfortunately, only one is functioning. The arms were ripped off of one in a tornado a few years ago. One is a mail-order thing made like an erector set. Only the erector set one is in a position for good photos.

  13. What a great "dagtochtje" you three had! All you pictures are filled with beauty and charm.

    I love the windmills and the leaning tower. If I had to hold up all those bricks for hundreds of years, I'd be leaning too! Those candles are so impressive; they look like they would burn for years! Do they sell them plain or do they get adorned in any way?

  14. Ruth: Oh yes. You have a date whenever you come. In fact, everywhere we go, I tell Astrid that I see it through your eyes! We went out again yesterday (Saturday), in spite of 90% forecast rain all day. It didn't rain till a couple hours after we got back. So fun.

    CS: We are having so much fun with Towanda, Sandra, and know we'll have so much more to see. We will try to see it all in time! And yes, toys are different and yet the same throughout time, I guess. Sigh.

    Ted: Have you taken pictures of YOUR windmills, I wonder? And what kind are they? Like these in Holland? I love them to death--so soulful!

    DB: I love that word, "dagtochtje." We had another one yesterday (Saturday the 20th) and plan to have as many as we can fit in into the weekends to come. I'd be leaning, too, after all those years. I love it. Those candles end up having liturgical designs on them for the church altars. So beautiful. I didn't think to take pictures of them. Too bad.