Monday, June 16, 2014

Defense tower

i took this picture when we were out on the canals of amsterdam in a boat!! it was so pretty, especially when at sunset. you really get a different view from amsterdam than when standing on the bridges... recently i took a picture of this tower while standing on the nearest bridge, and was sure this was a church. so... i was just going over google maps, looking for a church around that location.... but it isnt a church at all! this tower is called the "montelbaanstower" and was built in 1516 at the then outer city limits, to defend the city. to pay for digging of this canal and to build the tower, taxes on beer were increased. as in 1591 the city grew beyond the tower, it no longer served its purpose. the upper half was extended to its decorative form (i would say church-like form) in 1606. in dutch, you can read quite a bit about the history of this tower here.
ha, i also found an interesting news report from last year october; the municipality was looking to rent the place out again. from 2009 to 2013 it was being used by "secret garden", an organization for gay muslims. the rent was 9000 euros (!!) per month (although the organization did get some discount). no word on who i srenting it now though...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hup Holland!

we were away for a few days to a place with no internet. but still in the netherlands.... :) (later more about that). so... we missed the first game the dutch played in the world cup.... no tv either. but.... around us we sort of could hear when there was a goal for the dutch. somehow i did not expect the dutch had won (and with 5-1!), as there wasnt a lot of noise after the game. the next day we continued to wonder whether they had won or not..... 
whaha. like this it sounds like i really care about soccer, but actually i dont. we didnt dress up in orange for the game, but we saw many who did (although the above photo was taken during kings day), and many people also decorated their house/and or the entire street... i guess this orange fever will get worse with each winning game...... lets see!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wind turbines

as i once wrote before, while driving through the netherlands, you see a lot of wind turbines generating wind energy. i am always trying to take pictures of them. sometimes, like above, i think they fit in the landscape. and sometimes i try to take picture as it looks so ugly!!
this was through the car window, which i didnt get entirely clean. whenever we stop for gas, i get out to clean the windshield, while tim fills up the car and pays (i guess i get the better deal here). i started doing this in the USA, on our road trips, as many of the pictures were taken while driving. just a few months back, the car was particularly dirty and we spent some time getting the windows clean. i even needed tim to help (it was not overcrowded at the station so we were not blocking the pump or anything). but then... when he went to pay for the gas, the lady said to him; "well well, you are not supposed to clean your car that long!!" it really pissed me off, he just spent over 60 euros on gas, and then we cannot use their bucket of water...? i do think it was a typical dutch reaction (3 years US made me a bit sensitive to that). somehow the dutch can never shut up, and always need to express their frustrations! how frustrating... ;)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Anyone there...???!

hello again!! we had a nice and quiet time in osnabruck. i took just this 1 picture of osnabruck, and thats it... (even though its a really cute city. but when we were there it was raining too much!) fortunately, we also went to another city where i did take some pictures. during that week tim finished his PhD thesis. its now at the "leescommissie" (i.e. professors are now reading it and if they approve, he is allowed to defend it on the already set date, september 9....!). the past few weeks lots of other stuff happened as well, and my mind was not at blogging.... hopefully the coming days/weeks i will let you know more... :)
first this! above you see amsterdam. this past friday (and the entire weekend, and today as well) the weather was amaaaaaaazing. a colleague of tim invited his on his boat (not the one you see above) and we cruised through the canals of amsterdam. first stop was this pier where we had a bbq and a beautiful sunset over amsterdam. to the left you see the st nicholas church (built between 1884-1887) and to the right a chinese restaurant thats floating on the water. we just sneaked in there to use the restroom, but it actually looked quite interesting. its called the sea palace (but it could as well be a tourist trap, who knows...). anyways, i never had been on a private boat on the canals in amsterdam (as a kid i did do the boat tour everyone should do at least once when in amsterdam), and it was so cool! you have a totally different view and suddenly everyone is nice and waves to you... or was it because we were waving to everyone liked excited children?