Monday, August 30, 2010

MyWorld Tuesday

After days and days of heavy rains with strong gales which caused floods in some parts of the country the sky finally cracked about 5 pm today. I went outside and I tried to catch a few sunrays and warm up a little just like this little creature.

Monday, August 23, 2010

MyWorld Tuesday

Referring to last weeks MyWorld post I can show you a photo of the coal mine in the place I grew up. I think the picture must have been taken before the war because I see empty spots of land where I remember houses. I also see only one cooling tower and there were two as far as I remember.
The closing of this coal mine as of all the other mines in this region had an enormous impact on life. Many people were glad they did not have to do the hard and dirty work anymore though most of them feared a collapse of the economy and empoverishment in the future. Government promised alternative employment by developping and setting up new heavily subsidised industries. But they were not very succesful. Many young people left the area to find jobs elswhere in the Netherlands. The former mining part of the Netherlands changed it looks totally during the last decades. It is about the most beautiful part of the country with a foreign look. Not many windmills, no clogs, not much water and no flat polders here. Geologically the land belongs to the northern part of the Belgian Ardennes. Tourism has been promoted and many touristic attractions have been developped. There is a strong interaction with the surrounding countries Germany and Belgium and the region is flourishing again. The only concern of the government is that there live relatively more older people here than in other parts of the country. That is one of the effects of young people moving way three decades ago.

The Domaniale Mine, probably before WW2

This is how the area looks now

Friday, August 20, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Highways and crossroads. Interesting sky after three dull rainy days.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

MyWorld Tuesday

Today's pictures show historic grounds. This is where I grew up. It looks quite good now but it is a former mining area. The oldest coal mining area of Europe. It was in the 11th century that the coal reached the surface at Rolduc and mining was not very difficult. When the mine was exhausted they had to dig deeper and coal mines were established. During the 1960s most mines were closed and the grounds were developed for housing and recreation.

The road in this picture used to be a railroad for coal transport only. I had to cross it every day when going to school. A high wall and a barrier prevented us from entering the mining site.

These two pictures give you an impression of how it looks today. Neat houses and a lot of green.

Unfortunately I have no photo of how it was at hand. I must have a book with old postcards on my shelves but I could not find it. I hope I did not lend it to someone I don't remember.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

We had some wonderful skies in the Ardennes last week end. I saw many faces, animals and other shapes which no one else did notice!

The pictures were al taken around the house we stayed in.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MyWorld Tuesday

Last week end I stayed with friends in the Ardennes in Belgium. Before driving home I took these pictures. The scenery is so beautiful it is never boring.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

These pictures look very different from the usual green Dutch country sides which are flat and usually covered in green grass. The photos were taken on the Veluwe a region in the centre of the Netherlands. Dry and sandy heathland surrounded by (to Dutch standards) vast woods. The sky was just as dull as the land.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

MyWorld Tuesday

Today we went to Spakenburg an old fishing village upon the former Zuiderzee (southern sea) which was a very rough and dangerous bay of the Northsea in the northern part of the Netherlands. In 1932 the Afsluitdijk (closing dike) was build to separate the bay from the sea. A huge lake was formed fed by the river IJssel an called IJsselmeer. You have to know the Dutch and their struggle against water and claiming their land from the sea. So they did by draining half of the IJsselmeer and our 12th province was born: Flevoland. Many people around the IJsselmeer lost their livelihood. Also in Spakenburg. The botters (wooden fishing boats) are kept and well maintained and used for pleasure boating on the remaining waters.

In Spakenburg people used to wear their typical folkloristic dress. It is disappearing but some women still wear it. We saw a few women fully dressed at work in shops. It looked beautiful. Men and children don't wear traditional costumes anymore. In the Traditional Costume and Fishery Museum I took a few photos which give you an impression. In the first picture are children up to toddlers age and the second picture show children up to about 18 years. I am not sure if it was comfortable for the younger kids. The other pictures show complete families.