Monday, May 30, 2011

Roden, Netherlands

Before I start on Roden, it's my turn at Vision and Verb today with a post on euthanasia.
Astrid's former cousin-in-law here in The Netherlands was euthanised two weeks ago after a short bout with incurable cancer. She was only 54.


A week ago Saturday, after my Norway images were finally processed and I was ready to move on, Astrid and I drove to Roden in Holland's Drenthe province (220 km/136 miles) for a photo hunt with other bloggers. Fokkio was the one who set up the excursion for the 10 of us involved, including his wife, Karin. It was the first time for us to meet each other.

What a day! The meet-up started at 1 p.m. at a café in town but since we were in the area, Astrid and I decided to leave early enough to take in some nearby sights: the water tower in Drachten (but of course!) and a nearby special windmill in Roderwolde.

As we entered Drachten in the Friesland province, we first saw their famous bicyclist's bridge.
How's that for mixing art with utility!

By now I'm getting used to such art everywhere we go in The Netherlands,
utiliarian or not.

Drachten's water tower was built in 1959 and is 42 meters high.

After the water tower we continued on towards the windmill in Roderwolde and, you know me, stopped for this quaint Kerkje (Little Church) in Noordwijk and the gas pole outstanding in its field.
I've mentioned before that The Netherlands has its own natural gas reserves. We saw 2 such poles on this trip, where the flame at the top burns off excess fumes so they won't explode or pollute the environment.

You didn't expect me to forget the weathervanes, did you?

Then on to the windmill in Roderwolde, nearby our destination for the day:

This Woldzigt oil and grain mill was built in 1852.
It's the first windmill I've seen like this, extended out so horizontally.

Then we entered Roden, our destination, and walked around the café a bit before everyone arrived.

On one side of the café is the Ot (boy) and Sien (girl) statue.
These are storybook characters that Astrid has heard about all her life.
On the other side of the café is a statue of Hendricus Scheepstra, their author.

Then it was time to meet everyone over a cup of coffee.
All 10 of us from different parts of The Netherlands, even as far away as Haarlem!
The first Winsinghhof café/restaurant gave us free drinks because Fokko, our leader, hosts an ad for them on his blog site. It's next door to the Roden or Catharinakerk reformed church.
Midway through our 4-hour walk, we stopped at another café out in the middle of nowhere.

Then we were off and running. Well, more like stop-n-go walking for 4 straight hours!
Once we rounded Catharinakerk...

...and inspected an interactive stone sculpture...

...and the stork's empty stand but occupied chimney nest...

...we headed into the nature reserve surrounding Roden, fields and forests alike,
all 10 of us doing our photographer's thing at every whip-stitch.

First, the Shetland ponies...and the horses...

...proud of spring's wobbly new birth.

Then the Highlanders, first in brown...

...later in white.

And in bewtween, Mother Nature everywhere to be seen on a sunny day!

Quirks of nature, too...

...and things we didn't expect, like a Mandarin duck, a baby llama, horseriders (well, ok)
and a 'normal' cow!

No excuse for ever losing your way.
The Netherlands is known for its user-friendly signposts for everyone.

See how delightful it was everywhere we went for approximately 12 km.

Astrid and I had a blast and now Fokko is suggesting another excursion for July or August.

We felt like 180-year-old women that night when we fell into bed.
By morning we felt like 80-year-olds.
Maybe by July or August we'll feel back to normal?! :)


A reminder that today I'm on at Vision and Verb...while I work now on the images of our just-past weekend in Ghent, Belgium, celebrating my up-coming birthday early. But more on that next week....


  1. All kinds of fun! I love that art is so present in everyday life in Holland - Belgium is a bit the same way although not to the same extent, I don't think.
    You know, you could be guilty of misrepresenting your adopted country even so, Ginnie. You make it seem like the sun shines ALL the time...

  2. Oh, I think I like the photos of horses and cattle best, although the greenery catches my attention too. You are well known for your architecture photos, Ginnie. They are superb, of course, but it's lovely to see examples of what happens when you set your eye on other things, too.

  3. Deborah: We drove through a good bit of Belgium this past weekend and kept talking about the differences between the two countries. You see so much of the Roman Catholic influence in Belgium, especially in its art/sculpture. Holland has much more whimsical art. I find it all the time and am amused.

    And yes, I am guilty as charged...the sun doesn't always shine outside but it certainly does in my heart. I love this country. :)

    Karen: You are so right about my attraction to architecture. You know me! In that regard, it was wonderfully refreshing to spend so much time in nature. Yes. You nailed it. Thanks.

  4. Another marvelous set of collages and a nice story about your outing! I especially like the collage of photographers... the image with the line of photographers echoing the line of the fence caught my eye... so typical of our behavior when we photographers get together for an outing!

    And the animal and nature collages following that are all wonderful... I'm hard pressed to choose a favorite! Closing off with the collage largely featuring you and Astrid 'at work' taking pictures (or scouting same) is a very nice way to end your post. (and no wonder you felt the effects of this day after hiking 12 km (nearly 7-1/2 miles)!)

  5. that looks like so much fun, indulging in photography, outdoors and socializing with fellow photogs.

  6. Victoria; It was a different photo hunt for us because we were with the others, of course, and that was the fun of it. I'm glad we had the experience. It was also very nice to be in nature, instead of in the city. We really had a blast, even though we ended up more tired than usual. Someone else was in control of when we stopped. HA!

    PC: It WAS fun, Maria. I think we should do it again sometime soon. :) Thanks.

  7. What beautiful life! And I can't stop thinking about the 54-year-old (my age).

  8. Ou la la, I lOVE the first photo the most.

  9. Ruth: I know, sister. I know. It still breaks my heart, even in its beauty.

    Dakota: Thank you for stopping by and commenting here!

  10. Oh boy! Now that is a photo hunt. To me it reminded me of one I first did way back in 04 or 05 I think on the nature reserve.

    What impresses me so much are the looks of the cafe's. They are so quaint and beautiful in every way. Then going on a walk and stopping at a cafe in the middle of a forest.. Only in Europe!

    All that I know is that if you feel like 80 years old, I'm not sure how I would fair. I think you would do circles around me right now! But alas.. We have moved and now we will be going for walks very often.

    Can't wait to read more..

    Oh question: Why are there so many weather vains in NL? They are everywhere. Is it to tell which way the wind is going? If a storm is coming? OR for looks?

  11. ET: I love the cafes of Europe, Jen. You know me! The whole 'excursion' was wonderful.

    So glad to know you are now moved. Pace yourself and do take those walks. The BLG (big little girl) will enjoy them, too, of course.

    There are so many weathervanes in NL because the direction of the wind is EVERYTHING to the farmers who depend on rain for their crops. If the wind is coming from the SW, it will bring rain. If it comes from the East (think Russia), it will be dry. You do NOT fertilize then! It's all so fascinating and makes sense. Leave it to the Dutch!

  12. TOO MANY PICTURES for my tiny brain to comprehend!
    What a marvellous outing.... to meet up with "blogger friends" who you have never met but who share the same enthusiasm and interests.... and what a marvellous variety of subjects you caught in your camera lens. I'm looking forward to hearing all about the next outing in July!

  13. Sham: Too many pictures, I know. :( As you know by now, they're for Astrid and have them in a place where we can see them all and not have to go through photo slideshows/albums.

    But thanks for looking anyway, It was a splendid day for the sights! :)

  14. Every time when you post a new post of 'things we do in one day' it blows my mind to see all the pictures shown what we did.
    We do live in a beautiful country, but then we also try to go to special places.
    We are so lucky that we were invited by Fokko and that we have the time to do so.
    It was a delightful day, seeing so many special things.
    I think to see the animals were the higlight of the day.
    Thank you again for a new memory to keep.

  15. Astrid: I know, MLMA...all in one day! It blows my mind, too. I'm so glad I can keep a running account on these experiences. You are my biggest fan. Thank you.

  16. Those highlanders tickle me and that interactive stone sculpture intrigues me.

  17. Mad: Exactly! Me, too, on both accounts. :)

  18. Weather vanes, windmills, animals - all so beautiful to behold and enjoy.

  19. You two really know how to live!
    Ginnie, you need to license your photos, they just keep rolling out in such an extraordinary result. You can take something we walk by everyday and bring to consciousness with such beauty.

  20. Tim: Thank you. Those are the things that make my day, everywhere we go. :)

    Bob: You are a sweetheart, dear Man. Thank you for making my day.

  21. You show us some amazing sights – so varied. I like the architecture, but then I like the woods and fields, and then I like the animals, and then and then I could go on. I see that Astrid took some close ups – one I could not tell - a little green tag on something? And the other the big woolly animal-type cow (well I don’t know much about bovines…) and I’d like to see them. I know what it feels like to walk all day on a slightly aged (lol) body… it was hard some days after we beat the streets in Paris.

  22. Vagabonde: I must admit that this was our first long photo-hunt walk in nature ever. Most of the time we're in the car, stopping on the dime whenever we see something to photograph. And yes, we're not spring chickens anymore, for sure. HA! That green tag is a sign post for one of the trails. The Dutch clearly mark everything. :) Thanks.

  23. Hi Ginnie,

    Beautiful to see this shared day through your eyes/camera. And I feel honored that the photo of you two by the little forest pond has gotten a central position in one of your frames. ;-)

    Love, also to Astrid,


  24. Angela: Actually, you were all over this post, weren't you! And yes, YOUR image of us together at the pond was very special to us both. Thank you for offering to take it of/for us. It was such a memorable day and you were part of it. Hartstikke bedankt.

  25. Now this is a place after my heart! I love the Highlander... what a character! Of course the horses and what a stunning countryside to walk! I want more...

  26. Margaret: I must say I did think of you on this photo hunt! I knew you'd love all of it...your kids, too. :)

  27. Lieve Ginny,

    Het was een heerlijke dag, dat komt ook door jullie. Het was een prachtig klein groepje met mooie mensen.
    Je foto's zijn werkelijk prachtig en je hebt het op een mooie manier gepresenteerd.
    Jij brengt zo opnieuw de hele dag vol zonnegoud tot leven...
    Dank je wel!


  28. Ank: Ohhhh, hartstikke bedankt! I love that you have commented here on my post. It was such a beautiful, wonderful day, YES. You were park of that for us. THANK YOU.

  29. Wow, you're always serving us so many fantastic photos that my head is almost spinning! FABULOUS SHOTS! I love them all. So beautiful nature.

    You really have been around on a lot of interesting things and I'm very happy that you share all this photo candy with us!

  30. LC: You're a sweetheart! Thank you. Doing these posts is my life, believe it or job. We go on the trips, come back home and then I get to work on them. It takes lots of time but time I have, so why not! When someone else appreciates what I do, it means the world to me. I really do thank you!