Day By Day

Monday, November 12, 2012

Through the Heart of Europe -- Part 19, Floriade 2012

And here we are in Venlo, not far from Amsterdam and site of the 2012 Floriade, one of the world's largest horticultural expositions. We were quite lucky to be able to see it because the next one will not be for another ten years.

Big boots to fill.

Little shoes for sale.

Entrance to the main exhibit hall.

Inside. I have so many pictures, and so little space. I'll just post a few to give you a bit of the flaot of the place.

Flowers, flowers everywhere...

Even on the walls of the exhibit buildings

And all sorts of whimsical thingys

After several hours and hundreds of photos we finally exited the expo over this interesting bridge and reboarded our bus heading on to our next destination. As impressive as the Floriade was, and it WAS impressive, it was just a hint of what was in store for us.

Through the Heart of Europe -- Part 18, the Kinderdijk Again

Leaving Rotterdam we passed through many miles of industrial landscapes punctuated here and there by quaint villages.

Arriving eventually at the Kinderdijk once again.

Then onto a bus that took us to Venlo where we would attend Floriade, 2012.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Through the Heart of Europe -- Part 17, Rotterdam

Sailing north through the night we headed for our next port of call -- Rotterdam.

On the Meuse River approaching the Erasmus Bridge.

Rotterdam is one of the largest ports in Europe. In the 1970s the city undertook a major beautification effort, one part of which was preserving the old harbor.

And in addition to preserving the city's past there was a major effort to promote new, experimental architectural styles. Here's one result -- Piet Blom's "Cube Houses". We spent some time wandering through the complex and, of course, I took pictures.

Even the mailboxes are colorful.

Exterior staircases.

We wandered through the central market. A few things caught my eye.

More experimental architecture. The tall red tower is the tallest residential structure in the Netherlands.

Back down to the river.

Then once again we boarded the boat and headed northward.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Through the Heart of Europe: Part 16, Veere

Our next stop was at the lovely little town of Veere. Five centuries ago it was a major port dominating the wool trade between Scotland and Holland, but today it is a quiet community of only 1,500 people.

This charming girl welcomed us as we entered the town.

The main street lined with traditional houses.

Many of the houses boasted enclosed gardens.

The school playground.

Lots of little tourist shops.


The church spire.

A shopgirl.

A reminder of the old days when ships from Veere sailed the globe

The town hall.

A sixteenth century merchants house.

Remnant of the old defenses.

Roofs and flowers.

A quiet street near the dyke.

Shhhh. Don't wake the sheep.

As we sailed away the skies were filled with migrating waterfowl.

On our way to Rotterdam, our next stop.