Monday, September 13, 2010


Another Saturday, another city, another water tower, another adventure: Wageningen. Don't worry if you can't get your tongue around it because I still stumble over it myself: VA-hen-ing-en. It's a historical and university town of Food Sciences just 50 km from our apartment here in The Netherlands.

When I got excited about seeing it a week ago, it was for the water tower, windmill and Grote Kerk. Astrid never once mentioned what it's historic significance was until we got there. Hold that thought.

As we often do, we head into the city center and get our bearings. Right away we start looking for a quaint little café for our late-morning koffie and appeltaart. It's our photo-hunt treat every weekend we're out-n-about.

And there it was, the Hotel de Wereld (Hotel the World):

And that's when Astrid told me why it was important.

"May 6, 1945, the German general Blaskowitz surrendered to the Canadian general Charles Foulkes, which ended the Second World War in the Netherlands. The Generals negotiated the terms of surrender in the Hotel de Wereld."

On the spot I said to Astrid, THIS is where we need to have our koffie. Such a memorable place!

So we did. Outside on the terrace, overlooking the May 5th Plaza.
That important day was a month before the day I was born on the other side of the Big Pond.

BTW, the koffie in the glass is a latte macchiato, my koffie of choice whenever I can get it...since Germany days in Hannover so many years ago!

A block or so away from the hotel, we passed the Roman Catholic church on Bergstraat. No amount of Googling has helped us find the name of it, which is why I've mentioned the street:

It so happens the church was open that Saturday morning because a group was preparing for a monthly Eucharist service the next day. But I want you do see this YouTube I found of the interior. Remember when I told you a couple posts ago that the catholic churches seem so dark to us? This is without doubt the darkest church of any denomination Astrid and I have ever seen:

The lights weren't on when we were there either. So strange. I really don't understand it, do you? But we were still glad to see it and get our education, so to speak.

As we continued walking to the Grote Kerk and City Hall, we passed the kind of architecture that still blows me away. The spires, the clock towers, the old, the new....

....and all the fun things that make our photo hunts...well, fun!
That middle left image, incidentally, is a stork's stand built as an open invitation for any stork to build its nest, if it would be so kind. It's a rare and protected bird here in The Netherlands, one we have actually seen more than once, sitting high up on a roof/chimney.

As we neared the city-center's plaza where the Johannes de Doperkerk or Grote Kerk (John the Baptist or Great Church) and city hall stand, we first of all saw the Saturday market in full swing, all around the church....

....then we started to hear music as we rounded the corner to City Hall, and this is the band we saw playing:

That's City Hall with the city's lion coat of arms and the Grote Kerk in the background. It didn't take us long to find out what all the hubbub was about....

Are we lucky or what!
If you recall back to when Astrid and I got married in February, you may remember that we, too, were married at City Hall and by a city-hall official, licensed to perform wedding ceremonies. In The Netherlands, whether you get married in a church or not, you are required to be married by a city hall official at city hall (very few exceptions to the rule). There is a definite separation of church and state when it comes to marriage.

For one brief minute or two, we were there at the right place at the right time! We really did feel lucky.

After that, there was only one thing left to see on our list....

De Vlijt Molen = The Diligence Windmill, built in 1879 as a grain mill.
See how much Granny Towanda (our granny-apple green car), too, loves windmills! I think she can spot them with her eyes closed. And lucky for us, that day this mill was open for business....

I don't often show you images of a mill's interior because they're usually not open, not a business, or someone's private residence. When it's a working mill that sells its own produce, we're all in for a treat. This is where you can buy your own corn meal, for instance, which I have done elsewhere. It's like another world, another time.

Okay. That's enough for today! On our way home, we stopped at the Blauwe Kamer nature reserve but I'll save that for another post...along with all the apple and pear trees loaded down with fruit everywhere we go right now. That, too, is another is the dining table we just bought with 6 ladder-chairs for €50 at the nearby thrift store. We're on a roll.


  1. It was really interesting to read the story of your weekend. I am missing to start traveling round Poland on weekends but we take the advantage of last days of relatively good weather and still choose our motorboat.

    What is a dominant religion in the Netherlands?

  2. Impressive post again, you did a wonderful job with the many collages.
    I am sitting here with a big grin, did we do all of that in one day, YES and that is the fun of it, we see so much in little time.
    Even to me that windmill was a little treasure, it is rare that there is such a wonderful well kept shop inside, I love this kind of preserving heritage.
    Again a nice memory, thank you so much.
    The coffee in Hotel de Wereld was deliscious.
    We both are so thankful for our Granny Towanda, it takes us all over the place.

  3. Thank you yet again for my "blogger traveling". So much fun you have and great photo journaling. Would love to see the chairs and table - love great finds like that. Can't wait to find out where you are taking me next. :)

  4. Ola: I see that you travel a lot, too, so you are getting around. A motorboat sounds like a good way to relax...and to get around. Enjoy it while you can!

    Astrid: It's amazing how much we see on these days...and I didn't even include Blauwe Kamer! It takes us Sunday and the next week to recuperate. :) I love those windmills that sell their wares. What a treat for everyone, even you Hollanders. I hope the heritage can always be preserved! That was indeed one of my best latte macchiatos there at Hotel de Wereld. But the company helped, as did the significance of the place. I'll never foregt it. I don't think Granny Towanda will either. :)

    Margaret: I will be showing the table and chairs probably in my next post, so stay tuned. :) Astrid has already sanded the top and is now applying several coats of boat lacquer. It should be ready for use this coming weekend. :)

  5. I think you can guess what my favorite part of this excursion (and post) was? Yep, koffie and appletart. Places like that tend to be the highlight of a day like you had. There's something about wandering through dark, cool churches and taking pictures of buildings that works me up to a quiet cuppa and a morsel of goodness to eat. I love these photos of Astrid.

    Granny is doing well by you, and I'm thinking she has a built in WPS: Windmill Positioning System.


  6. How could you have done all that in one day? Your signature coffee drink looks delish. Maybe I should try ordering that next time.

    I love that pic of Astrid.

  7. Ruth: HA! I should have known you'd be a sucker for the koffie and appeltaart, sister! I'll remember that the next time we're out, thinking of you with us. And yes, don't we love seeing Astrid here. Granny, too! I like the idea of the WPS. Thank you for that smile. :)

    PC: This was actually one of our less hectic days, Maria, believe it or not. If you've never had a latte macchiato, try one sometime...if you find someone who can make it. It's my favorite of them all! :)

  8. You put SO much work into your posts, Ginne, and probably have SO much fun doing it too. All those fabulous pictures are a treat, and you sure pack in as many as you can. I love the tour, the commentary, all the usual.
    Got a little lump when I read about the hotel - down here in the So. of Fr. there are a lot of Dutch retirees who were children during the war. It has been fascinating and poignant hearing some of their stories, and whenever I read about war-end anniverssary celebrations in Holland, Canada seems to always have a role to play. It's also why our national capital has huge gardens devoted to tulips, originally supplied by the Dutch government in gratitude. But I bet you knew that!

    You know, of all the photos, the one that really grabbed me was the macchiato! You could do food photography - recipe books - Epicurean magazine!!

    They were all excellent, as they always are. I do enjoy your photography skills a lot, Ginnie. And your already well-established traditions with Astrid!

  9. Your coffee stop photos made me hungry! And as always your posts are so educational.

  10. I love learning about the Hotel de Wereld's historic role. I remember memorizing that date at St. Jan de Doper School in Amsterdam. I never fail to get a smile when I tell anyone here the name of my elementary school, especially because it's in A'dam.

    So many interesting pictures you have here: The unique clock face with the "12" at the bottom, City Hall's gorgeous gilded coat of arms, the beautiful bride with the modern cascade bouquet, the antique scale at "De Vlijt" windmill store...

  11. Deborah: You can see why I do these posts only once a week! It takes all week to get the pictures ready, but, yes, it is so much fun. It's also a way for me to keep track of these trips for posterity. It helps US remember all the details. :) As always, THANKS for your very kind and touching comments, Deborah!

    Tim: Thank you for stopping by again!

    DB: We LOVE these excursions near and far from our home base, Diana. This is an amazing country! It will always feel like home to me!

  12. The latte macchiato looks so tempting! I also would have loved to get into the windmill and buy some grain of some kind. I like all your pictures. I know how hard it is to decide which pictures to place into a collage. I took over 700 hundred pictures of Savannah and I know I won’t be able to show them all, but I’ll try… I have not finished showing the pictures from Norway yet, and the visit to New York is coming up soon. I enjoyed your tour and the significance of the Hotel of the World.

  13. Vagabonde: Thank you! I can’t tell you how much things changed for me once I found a collage-making tool. It makes all the difference in the world with how I process pictures now. I really never felt the photo albums were effectual, except maybe for me! Good thing we’re both retired, right?! :) I LOVE what you do and always feel educated after visiting your own posts!