Thursday, February 04, 2016

A City, a Monastery, and a Castle

Believe it or not, I'm almost finished with the Vasse trip from that second week in December...all 4 days and 3 nights of it.  One more post to go after this.

Today's post is 3 places/visits that could be separate posts unto themselves but make more sense put together into a mish-mash of left-overs (?) from the main events of our trip.

For instance, on our way to Vasse, NL, we knew we'd be too early for checking into our hotel, and so decided to stop in Ootmarsum first, just 6 km outside of Vasse in the Twente region of the Overijssel province of eastern Netherlands...just before entering Germany.

Remember that Astrid and I prefer the back-roads and boonies of this wee country.
So the tiny towns we bump into along the way are the ones we most love to visit.
Look at the charm of this place of less than 5K in population.

Astrid loves to do the research on what we'll see when we travel.
What she found out about this town was that it had S T A T U E S.
Everywhere!  Even surrounding the church.

The statue it's probably most known for is the "Poaskearls" (Easter Men),
referring to an intriguing Easter ritual involving young, single men, which you can read here.

Another famous statue is of this girl who also tops the sign markers throughout the town.
I'm sure she has a name/title and story...which I'm still trying to find.
Surely we missed scads of other statues, but these were of our short walk around city center.

ADDENDUM:  Astrid did some research and found out that this is Sjalotje = Little Onion.
The onion is the symbol for the carnival in Ootmarsum, being pulled from the ground.

You know how I love to "collect" these things:
sundials, gable stones, niches, hanging signs, weathervanes...

And, oh yes, our koffie breaks!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On the day that we visited the splendid watermill in Denekamp, we drove from there to visit the next two places of this post.  As you know, no moss grows under our feet!

First, we drove to Nordhorn, Germany, approx. 10 km away, to see the monastery there.
It was obvious we had crossed over the border into Germany by the German flag on the signs.
That's part of the fun of traveling out in the boonies!

The Frenswegen monastery was founded in 1394.

Nowadays it appears to be used as a place of study or retreat,
and is where I found my "star of wonder" for Christmas.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

By now, the afternoon shadows were lengthening, but we knew we could make it in time to the Bentheim castle in Bad Bentheim, Germany, 18 km from the monastery.

We parked across the street from the half-timbered structure...

...and on the way to the castle bumped into this delightful pyramid carousel,
so typical of German decorations during the Christmas season.

I couldn't resist taking a video of it.
(Did you spot Astrid in her red coat?)

But it was the Bentheim castle, from the 11th century, we were there to see,
(along with a fun group of men), right around the corner.

It was magnificent, even without paying to enter the buildings.

It was enough for us to see the architecture...the courtyards, walls, gates.

And as so often happens on such days after we've seen enough, we said to each other,
"It's time to go home," which in this case was back to our Vasse hotel, 36 km away.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What's left of this Vasse trip is a side trip to Tecklenburg, Germany,
to meet up with dear friends Philine and Mechtild.


  1. These photographs make my heart sing. They bring back everything I loved about our time living and traveling in Europe. Also makes my hungry to go back. When this period of caring for my father is done... we'll travel. I love you both and miss you. (I haven't been commenting anywhere!) But your photographs moved me so~

    1. I know Europe is in your blood, Susie, as it is in mine. One day you'll be back and maybe we'll have a chance to meet here in the Netherlands! Take care of yourself in the meantime.

  2. I love how the light in the photos signaled the approaching sunset; the day was spectacular. I enjoy those kinds of days. When we do it here, the towns are relatively new and far less interesting architecturally, but charming in their own way.

    I love your journeys and going along with you in your camera bag.

    1. You've been most kind to join me here on our journeys, Marie, for which I thank you. Where we live here in the Netherlands, especially so close to other countries (like Germany, Belgium, France, etc.) is still something that awes me.

    2. It is so easy and quick to be in another country there. Here it is a major expedition to get to the United States. When our daughter lived in London, we travelled around Europe when we visited her. London was a great base from which to travel and inexpensive too, by air or train. You live in a fabulous part of the world.

    3. What you say is so true, Marie. We have many friends in England, only a one-hour flight from Amsterdam. We often say it would be a sin NOT to go visit them every years (which we try to do). It's also very cheap!

  3. Oh your photos are GOR GEOUS and everything in them is so neat and trim and beautiful. I love watching you and Astrid enjoy these things!

    1. So kind and generous of you, Ruth. You know how these trips make us both sing (as Nancy would say).

  4. Oh my gosh... Ootmarsum is so on my list!!! Wonderful posting!

    1. I think of you so many times when we're out-n-about, Robin. You'd love these places!

  5. You’re catching up to your December, and I’m catching up to your catching up to your December. Is there an unlimited supply of these neat, little towns with quaint, old buildings, and where are the power lines? I especially enjoyed the pyramid carousel, whatever that might be.

    1. HA! I love us chasing each other's tails/tales, Ted. :) And, yes, there really IS an unlimited supply of these neat, little towns...which is why we keep going out-n-about to find them! I never tire of them.

      The power lines have been placed underground now for years, which is wonderful because of how small the country is. Astrid says the wind and the trees would wreak havoc on them so they finally figured out how to fix it. It's also good for keeping the cables cool. There is one place where I have seen them (they look like tripods) because they are under "national heritage" and can't be changed.

      Those pyramid carousels are German. I have never seen them anywhere else and only at Christmastime!

  6. It is amazing what we saw in those few days. Most of it was new to me too and that makes it even more nice. The pictures are wonderful and always give me that 'wow' moment again. The vimeo is great. That pyramid was a fun thing to see and they did a great job on all of the carved statues. I keep repeating myself, thank you for all the effort and love that you put into creating these time consuming posts. I love them and I don't take it for granted. IHVJ.

    1. You are more than welcome, of course, Astrid. One of the main reasons I keep doing this is because you love the documentation of what we do as much as I do. THANK YOU.

  7. Trying to leave a comment....kept losing them on another post....I love these statues.

    1. Sorry about the mess-up, Donna, but thanks for being persistent. We see the best things in these wee towns. Makes me want to go back to see what we missed. :)