Sunday, February 21, 2021

Coevorden, Provincie Drenthe

Coevorden, Oxford and Bosporus all locations bear names that signify the same thing, literally : cattle passage.

Coevorden is located in the sparsely populated province of Drenthe where Nedersaksisch (Dutch Low Saxon) - a dialect spoken in Denmark and North Germany - is still understood.

George VanCoevorden an English captain with Drenthse roots gave his name to Vancouver while exploring British Columbia.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Floating Farm - Rotterdam

In Rotterdam is de eerste drijvende boerderij ter wereld gerealiseerd. Prioriteiten zijn: dierenwelzijn, circulariteit, duurzaamheid en innovatie. Gezond voedsel produceren in steden, dichtbij de consument. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Waterschappen - Waterboards

Dutch water boards, waterschappen, are regional governmental bodies managing water barriers, waterways, water levels and water quality (around 26 percent of the area of the Netherlands is at or below sea level).
These water authorities are among the oldest forms of local government in the Netherlands, some of them having been founded in the 13th century.
With a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages, they are the oldest governing bodies and the oldest democratic institutions in the Netherlands. 
Dutch waterboards housed on buildings called gemeenlands huis have their own coat of arms.

Below photo is from the Gemeenlandshuis of Leiden.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Windmills - Clockwork pumps (..among other things)

Papiermolen (papermills), poldermolen(watermills), graanmolen (grainmills), korenmolen (cornmills),
stellingmolen, standerdmolen, no matter what they are purposed for the internals of a windmill remain the same, 
a series of gears that harvest free wind as source of energy to cut plywood, grind grain but most
importantly keep the polders dry.

Windmills are the quintessential trademark of Dutch practicality and ingenuity.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


In the Dutch Golden Age, Zaandam was as a large milling hub. Thousands of windmills powered saws that processed Scandinavian wood for the shipbuilding and paper industries.
Windmills made Zaandam a leading city in the first Industrial Revolution. 
In 1697, Czar Peter I of Russia spent time in Zaandam, where he studied shipbuilding.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Egmond aan zee

Egmond aan zee is a popular seaside resort since the beginning of the 20th century. It's well known for its healthy/clear sea air. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Hattem - Hanzestad

Hattem in province Gelderland, obtained city rights in 1299 and it is surrounded by gorgeous nature. It is situated in the Veluwe area, well known for the wonderful hikes and cycling routes.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hasselt - Hanzestad

Hasselt in the Dutch province of Overijssel received city rights in 1252 and became a member of the Hanseatic League around 1350.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Elburg - Hanzestad

Elburg is a municipality and a city in the province of Gelderland. The city was recorded as a member of the Hanseatic League and before the closing off of the Zuiderzee was a prosperous  fishing village with access to the North Sea.

Sunday, January 6, 2019


It was in Münster/Germany where the Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648.
This agreement ended the "Eighty Years' War" or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648), a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Spain.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

WinterWelVaart - Groningen

On the last weekend before Christmas, the people of Groningen organize the atmospheric WinterWelvaart event.
Groningen with its century old Hanzestad warehouses becomes more photogenic than ever. Intimate concerts, exhibitions, performances and a cozy Christmas market.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Dickensfestijn Deventer

This two-day event has been held since 1991 on the weekend before Christmas in the medieval Bergkwartier in the old Hanseatic sector of Deventer. 
Volunteers play hundreds of characters from the books of Charles Dickens (1807-1870), such as Scrooge, Oliver Twist, Mr. Pickwick, Christmas Carol singers, orphans, drunks, artisans and many other poor and wealthy people. The Dickens Festijn is visited annually by about 120,000 people. There are also many foreign visitors, especially from Germany.
Entrance for the festival is free.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Terschelling - Wadden Sea

Terschelling a.k.a the Pearl of the Wadden sea is famous for its pristine nature and its extensive network of cycling paths. Terchelling is also a Unesco natural reserve of great natural beauty and is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Natural sites. 
Willem Barentsz one of the greatest Dutch navigators and Arctic explorers was born in Terschelling.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Joep Beving, from backyard pianist to Spotify star.

Joep Beving from Gelderland was an amateur Dutch musician until his music got published on Spotify. 
His album Solipsism has already reached 85 million on-line streams.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dutch youngster takes on the oceans' plastic soup

Boyan Slat from Delft is a young Dutch scientist/entrepreneur who has come up with an innovative solution to clean up the oceans from the 'plastic-soup'.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Netherlands in 26 iconic objects

In 'The Netherlands in 26 iconic objects' Dutch writers are given the task of writing a short text about an object that is quintessentially Dutch. 
From beer bikes to crockets and from garden gnomes to stroopwafels this is a book about everyday objects and how they capture the Dutch mentality. (buy it here)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Maasvlakte 2

Maasvlakte 2 is the latest extension for the Port of Rotterdam. Built on reclaimed land, it's a fully automated container terminal, powered by wind-generated electricity. 
A true engineering marvel!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

De Hoge Veluwe National Park

This stunning time-lapse was captured by 22 years old student Rick Kloekke who filmed for a year the change of seasons in Hoge Veluwe National Park.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

LoRa van KPN

From Schipol's buggage handling to Rotterdam port's depth sounders and Utrecht's rail switches low-energy and low-data sensors are taking advantage of KPN's IoT LoRa Network.
These sensors generate a massive wealth of data/info that can be used to optimize operations or sense the environment. LoRa started as a pilot in 2015 and went officially live on a national scale this week. 
Milk cows are soon to join the network. Sensors will be sending infologs about their health, performance and whereabouts.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


Part of Rotterdam's metropolitan area, the city of Schiedam is the capital of Jeniver (gin) production. Schiedam is how the English and the French call gin. The city was an industrial powerhouse during the 18th and 19th century nicknamed Zwart Nazareth (Black Nazareth) due the smog of surrounding distilleries and glasswork factories. Harr Wiegman created the cartoon character Proosje Van Schiedam in 1975 to mark the 700 years of Schiedam. 

Hugo Grotius

On the left side of Rotterdam's Townhall seats the statue of Hugo Grotius (or Hugo de Groot). Born in Delft, he was a prodigy child that mastered Latin and Greek early at his age. Hugo served as a pensionery (mayor) of Rotterdam in 1613 and he is the founder of International Law.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Dutch courage a.k.a. Jenever

Dutch courage is what English soldiers dubbed the gin-induced bravery they observed on their Dutch peers during the anglo-dutch wars. 
Jenever or Dutch Gin further spread as a spirit of preference after the Dutch Prince William of Orange succesfully invaded England in 1688. This invasion secured the Glorious Revolution and strengthened English parliamentary democracy.

Kralingen Music Festival 1970

Kralingen music festival - held in namesake park of Rotterdam - was Europe's response to Woodstock. It stood out as the first open air multiday festival in Europe. It signaled the beginning of Dutch authorities' tolerance towards soft drugs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

About the Dutch cyclepaths

The unique Dutch cycling culture and Netherland's extensive network of cyclepaths are rooted in the oil crisis of the 70's, a high number of bike accidents and citizens rallying for less motorized cities.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

R'dam - Port of 2050

Port of Rotterdam has a goal to become a 100% sustainable port cluster by 2050. On its way to ‘circular port economy’ it will start gradually capturing and streaming CO2 emissions to regional greenhouses (CO2 accelerates plants' growth). The Port is also offering docking discounts to vessels using clean fuels (e.g. LPG). Being a massive oil refinary PoR is planning to swap fossil feedstocks with vegetable products (sugar beets for instance) to further reduce it carbon footprint.

[more >here<]

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Amersfoort is a medieval city famous for its Koopelpoort gate (awarded the Europa Nostra Award in 1992) nicknamed Keistad (boulder-city). 
Legend has it that in 1661 400 people had to drag a 9-tonne boulder from the moors to the city after their landlord lost a bet to another landlord. Since then citizens of Amersfoort have been taunted as Keientrekkers (boulder-draggers). The boulder is nowdays in public display.

Van Nelle Fabriek

Previously a tea, coffee & tobacco factory. Designed by archiect Van der Vlugt with pioneering ergonomics in mind and use of ample natural light for the workers. Famous architect Le Corbusier decribed the factory as "the most beautiful spectacle of the modern age" back in the 30's. Nowdays the factory is renamed Van Nelle Design Factory and hosts businesses in the creative sector.  

A History of the World's Most Liberal City

A book by Russell Shorto about the world's cradle of liberalism and godfather city of New York . Available in Kindle format for 8 euros.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Off-grid neighborhood in Almere

A closed loop community is currently under development by ReGenVillages  in Almere, a town near Amsterdam.  
Food-energy-waste will all be components of a closed recycling loop. The Port of Rotterdam has similar circular economy plans to supply regional greenhouses with its CO2 emissions (CO2 helps crops grow faster).  
[more >here<]

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Loving Vincent

It took 100 artists to hand paint this movie for Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. It's the world's first painted animation feature. The movie was "painted" in Gdansk (PL).
To be released this year.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rotown - Sterker door strijd

Nicknamed "Gateway to Europe", Rotown and Roffa, Rotterdam is a spacious, WYSIWYG city with no small print. Hosting a wealth of cultures, built by down to earth and hard working people R'dam is in constant motion. Dutch poet Jules Deelder -dubbed night 'mayor of Rotterdam'- described it with the following words:

Rotterdam is geen illusie door de camera gewekt 

Rotterdam is niet te filmen
Rotterdam is veels te echt

Rotterdam is no illusion created by the camera

Rotterdam cannot be filmed
Rotterdam is way too real

Saturday, May 21, 2016

75 jaar

This 3-D animation clip showcases Rotterdam's reconstruction progress over the years, starting from 1940's catastrophic blitz.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Houen zo!

This year Rotterdam celebrates its '75 years of Reconstruction'.
Dutch director Van der Horst supported by Marshall Plan funds filmed this documentary in 1952 to capture the efforts of Rotterdamers rebuilding their city. 
Houen zo! 'keep it that way' as the tug pilot shouts in the middle of this short 20 mins film.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


In 17th century Japan entered a period of isolation called sakoku. For two-and-a-half centuries, Dutch traders in Nagasaki were granted the exclusive right of importing the marvels of Europian industrial and scientific revolution into the isolated empire.
Rangaku eventually became a Western-culture supporting movement, sowing the seeds of modernization in Japanese society.