Monday, May 14, 2012

Open Harbor Day in Gorinchem, 2012

So quickly on the heels of Queen's Day exactly 2 weeks ago (last post), we had another festivity here in our Dutch city this past Saturday, celebrating the 25th anniversary of our renovated harbor.  And this after having just returned from England on Thursday!

Sharing England will just have to wait!

Our lovely city Gorinchem has 2 harbors:  an inner and an outer.  The inner harbor, Lingehaven, was what was renovated 25 years ago and from which there is now every year an open havendag = Open Harbor Day.  Think big flea market (a real "professional" one, not like the street set-ups on Queen's Day) with a party.

First of all, this martket runs along the main canal of our city center
just 2 blocks from where we live near our Nooit Volmaakt windmill (hiding).
Sails are unfurled for the celebration and big boats come from all over.

Everything under the sun can be purchased at this market!
We went early enough to get first-grab on used DVDs, buying 13 altogether!
We watched "Moonstruck" that night, one of my favorite movies of all time.

Did you notice how close Astrid is to the edge of the wall-without-railing?
The drop-off to the wharf below is about 6 ft, something that still shocks me
(and scares the bejesus out of me every year!).

AND we found 2 (TWO!!) old Jan van Haasteren jigsaw puzzles for €2 each:
Ice Hockey (1500 pcs.) from 2001, and The Wedding (1000 pcs. from 1998).
In perfect condition with all pieces, or so she said.

 It so happens that for 3 years running now, we have bumped into Coby.
And we all remember each other every time!
Three years ago we bought a lovely picnic basket from her that we still use.
This time she asked me for my photos, which I gladly e-mailed to her.

Actually, Coby's table was at the harbor where all the main attractions took place,
like these water balls.  One of these years I may just have a try at one, with my camera inside.
Now THAT would be a different POV (point of view)!

This is also where the salmon fishing boats dock and you see the fishermen demonstrating
how they fry up the fish (which they sell) and mend/make their nets.

Activities took place all day long related to this harbor art.
For instance, there were 2500 rubber duckies released into the harbor
by the Lion's Club as a fund raiser to eradicate polio!
Even though I had polio as a child and would have loved to be there, 
we decided we couldn't do everything.  Besides, it would have been too crowded by then.

 But we DID see this Eght Herrie (= real loud) band that is well-known in the city.
We followed them right to the center of the festivities...

...where Dries, the newspaper photographer from here where we live (remember?),
and the town mayor were ready to kick off the celebration.
We had met the mayor 2 years earlier at the newcomer's welcome.

We were clearly in the right place at the right time:  11 a.m.
In honor of the 25th harbor-renovation anniversary, these bubbles were uncorked!

Can you imagine being these children of one of the band players (a trumpeter),
 in on all this action, so up close and personal!
(The little boy, top-right image, did finally figure out how to hold his trumpet upright!)

What great fun for all us kids!  Here's to next year!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, just a wee appetizer of our trip last week in England, which a couple of you may have already seen:

 We had our 3rd annual Shutterchance meet-up, this time at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge.
There were 13 of us...a nice baker's dozen.  We had a Blists Blast!

It would NOT have been the same without Bill's Mr. Pig!

To be continued....


  1. The two of you are an inspiration, the way you delve into your community. But who can blame you! It is such a delightful one!

    Those water balls look like a blast. Maybe we should time a visit to you one year so you and I can go in them and roll around with our cameras! On second thought, the cameras might be dangerous! How about iPhones instead... :-)

  2. Oh wow, so much activities in your little town and it's not summer yet.

    I'm scared of the ball things. I don't think I'd go in there and float (cant swim).

    I didn't see the other musketeer in the collage, did you meet with Tracy?

    Hoped you and Astrid had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday.

  3. Ruth: Thank you, Sister. Wouldn't that be a riot to be in those balls one year, together! Astrid thinks they probably won't allow our cameras, for insurance reasons, but I'm sure your iPhone would be perfect. HOW FUN. :)

    Robin: We'll all be kids at heart! :D

    PC: Leave the balls to us and we'll do them for you, Maria. HA! We'd hate to scare you.

    And NO, we did not see Tracy this time while in England. Somehow she never got the message. Too bad. :( But we both had a great Mother's Day. Thank you!

  4. I absolutely adore all the festivities and all the orange! The water balls look like a ton of fun, too and I'd love to see the photos you'd shoot whilst inside one of them. Seems like it would be a big hit at your family's lake in Michigan.

  5. Mad: Now that's an idea! At the Hart Family Cottage in Michigan. OMG. I can just see it now. :)

  6. Open Havendag is always a great thing to see. The best time is in the morning, you know 'me and crowds' don't do well.
    You and Ruth and Robin are more than welcome, to go into those floating bubbles, I will gladly take tons of pictures.....
    It is amazing the things you can buy at the market. The small music-bands are a delight. Most of them are great musicians. Again a wonderful post of our great little city, we live in.

  7. Astrid: We are so lucky to live so close to all this action, MLMA. I still pinch myself, year after year. Some of these festivities I have seen 3 times already. I never tire of them. THANK YOU for being so much a part of what all of this is about for me. :)

  8. You live in an area that is so so visual! I would be overwhelmed ( in a good way). The wall with no railing amazes me and wonder about accidents. The bubble balls look a blast! Now I'm off to see England :)

  9. Margaret: At least once a week Astrid and I say to each other how much we love where we live. It's ture. We're often "short of eyes."

    I'm working hard on the England pics, as you'd guess...little by little.

  10. Ironbridge eh? My SIL's brother has a shop right by the bridge.

  11. Sham: Are you kidding me! It's such a small world after all!

  12. Wow oh wow... You always pack in or photo shoot for that matter so much in such a short amount of time..

    LOVELY shots!!! Oh I need to get some of our new stuff up and processed... :)

  13. ET: We are always "short of us" everywhere we go, Jen! But as you already know, that's Europe. Thank you.

  14. Oh my.. Another wonderful feast for the eyes with all the orange in the collages.. And I would definitely be game for trying the water bubbles with my iPhone in hand! (thanks for stopping by mmy iPhone blog earlier... Another post went up today and I've even figured out how to simultaneously link new posts to Twitter and FB)

    I'm wondering how much time you spend on your marvelous posts. I have such a hard time deciding what to include and how to write things up that it seems to take me forever to post! LOVED the video set to the tune of Mamma Mia... And now I'm off to visit your next post. :-)

  15. Victoria: Let's do the water balls one year...all of us who want to. Wouldn't that be fun. HA!

    One reason why I post only once a week here is because of all the time it takes to do the images, so BINGO. But I think of it like my job, so I just keep at it every day, wanting to stay on top of all the places/things Astrid and I see/do.

    It's very time-consuming, isn't it...our photography. :)

  16. A car on the ship??? I want that one too :-))))

    ...but not the water ball thrill like you want too, even though I understand partly when you say with the camera....

    Looked like an awesome event really, wish we had more of them over here!

  17. LCT: Isn't that car on the ship the cutest thing ever! The things we see. I love that they have this every year. Actually, they may even have it twice a year, or something similar. And it's just a walk away from home. :) We're very lucky!

  18. What a fun celebration! Your photos get right into the action and make me wish I could have been there. I love the bubbles coming out of the big bottle.

  19. Karen: I love getting into this kind of action. Thanks. we feel so lucky to live in the city center where so much takes place throughout the year!