Monday, April 04, 2011

Haarlem, NL: Part 2

As bookends to this finishing post of Haarlem (see Part 1 here), first a Vision and Verb alert and last, a map of where we'll be in Norway.

These characters sit outside our old city hall here where we live in The Netherlands.
I pretend they're saying Hi or Tot Ziens = See you later.
My post at V&V today is on what rocks your boat? You already know what rocks mine.
(I know I'm not there to reply but I will when I return next week.)

Now, back to Haarlem.

Because we parked our car near this windmill (below), we saw it both coming and going. We had set TomTom to here for our entrance into the city...and even got to park for free because it was Sunday (a non-shopping day).

This is the Adriaan windmill, a grain mill from 1778 on the Spaarne river.

Now, check this out, if you have the time:
There is a Dutch database of all the windmills in The Netherlands (as well as one for water towers and gevelstenen!). That means we are able to check things out ahead of time to get our bearings on any city. So, we found out Haarlem has 7 windmills and because this was the most picturesque, we picked only it to see.

From the windmill we had an easy walk to city center....

...crossing over the Bakenessergracht (gracht = canal) to first see the Hofje van Bakenes with the Sint Bavokerk (kerk = church) in the background.
See how much Dutch you're learning!

Hofjes (= small gardens surrounded by a community of houses for single, elderly women) are all over The Netherlands. Haarlem alone has 21 and the one above, van Bakenes, is the oldest in all of Holland, from 1395. It wasn't open on Sunday but at least we saw the narrow doorway (with gable stone overhead!) that leads to the courtyard/gardens.

Speaking of hofjes, later in the day we saw Hofje van Oorschot, built in 1770.
Don't you love how the elderly women were taken care of in Dutch society!

Going back to that first hofje after the windmill, we knew we needed to head in the direction of Sint Bavokerk's bell tower to find city center....

...and in the process passed by the Bakenesserkerk from the 15th century.
What's most striking is its white bell tower from 1530.

There's always one GROTE kerk (= big/great church) in these old cities (like Sint Bavokerk from Part 1), but you know I love all the steeples of all the churches. This one is Janskerk (= John's Church) from 1310, now housing the Noord-Hollands Archief, a regional history center.

That John, btw, sure got around. Even this bridge nearby is named after him: Jansbrug.
(click on any image to enlarge)

It's not just steeples, as you see.
Anything that says "Look up!" sticks out like a sore thumb for me.
See the top-row image second in from the right? That's a building with a ship's mast built into the front façade.
The first time I've ever seen that!

Now kijk (= Look!)!

Play it and they will come!
Don't know if this was a café setting, a church group (since it was Sunday), or what.

Sometimes you just feel privy to some very tender moments.

By now it's late afternoon and we're heading back to the Spaarne river where we started, with the Bakenesserkerk bell tower in the background.
I love the drawbridges of The Netherlands!

Who thinks these things up?!
This foot statue sits on top of a shower house for tourists and shippers...

...not far away from the Teylers Museum, Holland's oldest museum, from the late 1700s.
Another day, another time.

We're still heading back to the car, mind you, and stopped dead in our tracks.
Neither one of us had ever seen this before...a handful of guys with very powerful magnets on the end of their ropes, dragging them along the river bottom.
Apparently they have found incredible treasures dating back to centuries ago.

Wouldn't you love to know how long these were in the river! And who missed them!

Following the Spaarne river, we saw one last landmark in the distance on the left....

...which we reached by car before heading home: the Amsterdamse Poort, a city gate from 1355.
For me it's on the same page with grote kerks and windmills.

Impressions. Memories. Things I don't want to fall between the cracks.

A city of weathervanes on top of the steeples...
(see the winged 'A' is for Astrid!)

...and a water tower from the car in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel on our way home, plus some very modern architecture to round out our day.
Believe it or not, Haarlem does not have a water tower.
Astrid thinks it's because it's so close to the sea.

You think you're tired! We sleep like babies after these trips. I kid you not.

Now, the last bookend of this post (remember the first was my Vision and Verb post today on what rocks your boat):

Today Astrid and I begin our 6-day mail-boat cruise on a 500-passenger Hurtigruten cruise,
Kirkenes north all the way to Bergen south. No onboard entertainment/activities except good food and incredible sights through the fjords. Oh, and the Rummikub we'll be taking with us. :)

Now you know why I wanted to finish Haarlem now.
Once we return, it'll be Norway, Norway and more Norway.

I'll catch up on y'all then after we return on 11 April, a week from today.
Tot ziens = See you later!


  1. Hahaha, I thought the little guys at the top were a bit off-putting (though they are kind of creepy-cute, like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings). Other than that one slight drawback, I am enjoying all your photos -- as I always do, Ginnie!

  2. Wonderful photos! I love the windmills and it was fun to see the weathervanes after our escapades this weekend :-)

  3. Ginnie, I think the City Council of Harlem should give you a great Award for these two fantastic posts.
    They are way better than any Tourist Bruchure or Guide. Simply a class beyond.

    Your Posts are plentyfull of interesting Photos and daily life situations, like the boys and the men with the magnetics. They really do find lots of things down in the Water.

    Hope the trip from Kirkenes to Bergen will be unforgetable.

  4. Definitely a great post and so many great photos! I'm blown away by the blue sky! I think it's what I want right now since I've been house bound for 20 or so days.

    I'm drawn to the water photos and the things they find in the water. It perks me up.

    I cannot wait to see photos from your 6 day journey. How much fun!

    It's rainy here today. I'll just look at your blue skies a bit more! :)

  5. It's so much more fun looking at your photos after watching you shoot!! Bon Voyage my friends!

  6. I love those characters just outside of city hall and the windmills. And so many other things such as those you look up to see. :)

  7. just be able to walk around and absorb such beautiful sights will give me a high, any given day! :)
    hope you are having a great time on your cruise!

  8. Thank you for your excellent docent services again.

    That hofje looks like a stately place to live out your last days. I love the gardens of the Begijnhofje in the center of Amsterdam.

    The super strong magnet amazes me, but the resurrected wares must, fragrant.

    You must be having a blast along the coast of Norway. Can't wait to re-experience it through your eyes.

  9. As always, I so enjoy your posts... have been having a rough week and didn't get a chance until today to look for your weekly photo collages and lovely stories to go with! Briefly, because I'm beyond exhausted tonight, the images of the boys are wonderful... the creepy (yes, I too think they are a bit creepy) statues at the start of your post and the Betty Boop figurines in the "Impressions. Memories...." collage especially caught my eye... and I LOVE the weather vanes! (when you visit me as I know you will, you will find a post from today that explains what delayed my visit for so long this week... I'll save V&V for tomorrow)

  10. What a great read, especially after we've met :-)

    Thanks for you're note telling you are back home, safe and sound. Looking forward to your posts from your stay in Norway!

  11. The beauty of this area! I realize I gravitate toward earth tones and oranges - and the blue sky just frames everything so wonderfully. I will be taking spring break off from blogging - unless I get a laptop. BUT highly doubtful as I just got a new camera. Not the one I was saving up for (Canon 5D Mark II) , but a very nice "starter" one (Canon EOS Rebel Tr2) for the next few years that will allow me to play with manual mode. :) Hope you have had a wonderful trip!!

  12. Karen: Astrid also thought of Gollum, so you're both on the same page about those characters. :) Thank you, as always, for your kind comment.

    Diane: Isn't it fun to see us all in action now that we've met! We'll never read your blogs in the same way again.

    Tor: You are such a sweetheart, dear brother. We'll never forget you and Anna.

    ET: You know how much I love these day trips. Now I'm ready to tackle the pics from our long trip! Have you taken Baby outside yet, I wonder??

    Diane (again): I know!!!! :)

    Tim: There is so much to see if we open our eyes and look up. :)

    Moi: We had a great blast and are so eager to start showing and telling!!!

    DB: So many things to see and do here in Holland, as you know. But also in Norway, as we found out. I can hardly wait to compare notes.

    Victoria: In a minute I will come check out what's going on with you, dear friend. But for now, THANK YOU for taking the time to stop by and comment!

    Renny: NOW we really know who we're talking to. :) So much fun after having met you face to face. And yes, now we're ready to start tackling the hundreds of pics!

    Margaret: Enjoy your spring break AND new camera. That'll be a real blast for you. You'll come back with hundreds of pics, just like we just did!

  13. You are turning into quite the Dutch Tour Guide! Great pictures, as usual, and all complimented by that lovely blue sky. Places always look marvellous when the sun is shining. I'd love to drag a magnet along in the water and find dreasures, that would be so neat!
    I'm sure you are having a blast in Norway, so I'll be looking forward to reading all about it when you have time to sort your pictures out.... and I know you'll be taking lots and lots of them!

  14. Sham: Doing these posts thrills me to no end, as I'm sure you can tell. I love every part of them, from beginning to end. And yes, now I'm doing it with Norway...getting started on the hundreds of pics! It's a challenge but doable. Thankfully. :) Thanks for your vote of confidence.

  15. Your posts are always filled with lovely photographs and you explain the area so well. I can also tell that you are having a great time taking them and telling us about the places you saw. I feel bad that I have not finished my posts on Norway, but they are on my list. I have a list of at least three dozen posts to write, or more, then I come up with an idea….It will be fun to look at your pictures.

  16. Hey Ginnie ... magic, pure magic! loved the tour so much and I appreciate how you have a little grouping of photos just for ones you don't want to fall thru the cracks!
    Thanks , as always, for sharing.

  17. Vagabonde: You and I are similar, I think, in how we do our posts, brimming with excitement and enthusiasm over what we've seen. You are the superior one when it comes to research, however. I always feel 'educated' after reading your missives. Thank you for your vote of confidence. I'm working hard on my Norway pics now and am eager to get started on that saga. :)

    WS: It's the cracks that become a collective Black Hole, Susan, full of stuff that has no meaning files for sorting. :) Thanks for stopping by again.

  18. Every time when I look at your posts, I am impressed. The way you see our Dutch cities, amazes me, so detailed, such wonderful pictures.
    You do a great job by keeping the memory fresh of what we see over the weekends.
    Thank you MLS, for taking time to do this incredible job.
    We are back from the trip to Norway, that was a fabulous experience.
    Thanks for sharing what we do.

  19. Astrid: You know how much I love these trips, MLMA, no matter how short or long. There is so much to see everywhere we go. I feel so darn-tootin' lucky! Thank you.