My spring trip in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg

I have been thinking Holland has only tulip and rural area. But it's obviously wrong. That culture was highly advanced. For example, Gogh, Rembrant, Vermeer and Concertgebouw, etc.  I like Gogh's works. They are painted by short lines, not dots. So I feel strength ,passion on them. Also I like bright paintings in his French years. One of famous "Sunflower" here was weak impression than I expected. I have seen the other "Sunflower"  in Tokyo that a insurance company  bought before. It was painted by heaping up much amount of paints, especially the core of a sunflower. I felt it grotesque. It's painted one or two years before he killed himself.

"Cafe Terras aan Het Place du Forum" by Gogh at Rijksmuseum Kroler -Muller
 We could listen Dovolzak etc by Royal Concertgebow Orchestra at Concertgebow hall where has outstanding sound facility. Our seats were at the first row on the stage, just behind a horn player and side of timpani. So I felt as if I was a member of the orchestra.We could see that the conductor's eyes ( his name is Herbert Blomstedt and he is the honorary conductor in NHK philharmonic orchestra of Japan) become strictly or gently. When he signed to the  players ahead of us to do something,I astonished. It seemed as if he signed it to us. I could see the sheet of music of a horn player from just behind and could know the place on it he was playing. Also I could hear clearly those part that each instrument cover in the tune. So I was so excited. Thanks to it, I got to like Dovolzak symphony No.7 they played. Also they played "Tapiola" by Sibelius and "Nielsen's Flute Concerto" with Emily Beynon( when she comes to Japan she coaches for flute players). Her performance was vigorous. The ticket was 51.50euro over Internet. It's  worth much.
During intermission, we had a drink among tall people. They all were about 20 or 30 centimeters taller than I.
I have heard  average height of the Dutch is the tallest in the world. That's true.

before the performance

Concertgebouw--there was a harp on the roof

Bicycles are used on commuting. In Amsterdam, there were roads for bicycle,car,tram and walk. As they mix, it's dangerous for a careless foreigner like me. Almost those bicycle commuters  run with terrible speed in town.

a road and a bridge is going up---this is a bascule bridge. When a big ship pass through under a bridge, the bridge is open and close.

And thousands of canals are in all directions, canal buses  ply. I didn't know there were so many canals in Amsterdam. Canals taught me again that the land of the Holland is low. When we went though under a bridge at dusk by a canal buss, I saw silhouette of many bicycles and lovers on a bridge in the sunset, and I felt usual daily life of this town.

from a canal bus

canal of Amsterdam

commuters on the bicycle
 When we walked around a downtown near Dam plaza to look for the restaurant at about 7:00PM, but it's daylight yet ,we came across a coffee shop. This shop is not a usual cafe, but a drug store. Soft drug is legitimacy in this country. I heard that if we enter into the shop, drug's smell stick our closes and we may be stopped at a airport. So I glanced inside the shop from the open door. It's like a small bar. As a man behind at  the counter stared to me, we  left soon.

And we found the restaurant at last and ate some white asparagus that harvest is just now and herring Duch like very much. White asparagus were boiled quickly and they were crisp and tasty. I have eaten canned white asparagus but taste was different.  Also the raw herring were put on the tiny cube red  beet that are spread on the things like canape. Taste was average for me.

white asparagus

raw herrings

Tulip climax are limited in this season.----Het Keukenhof.
The park is so large. It takes for 20 minutes from side to side of the park by quick walk. Many kind of color or shape tulip are planted among pale green trees or streams. They continued and we were overpowered with beauty of the scene. Also magnificent tulip field like a large carpet expanded outside the park.

Het Keukenhof---visitors from all over the world are coming.

outside of the park---tulip fields expands

World heritage site-----Kinderdijk
Windmills were lining on the bank along the canals. Land here is lower than sea level so I felt water and land occupy on a fifty-fifty basis,and blue of water and sky was bright and spacious. This  became one of my favorite view.

Kinderdijk---19 windmills are lining--World heritage Site

Delft pottery
They are usually painted by blue color but there were variations. Indeed I was surprised  because I discovered the same big plate that are decorated  in my house. I got it from the late father-in-law a long ago and I have been thinking it's Spanish plate. As he liked to collect potteries he might have got it here.
Speaking to encounter, we accidentally met husband's friend and his wife at St.Baafskathedraal (cathedral) in Gent, Belgium.They are living in Nara city but I've never met them in Nara.

Delft pottery in my house

In Belgium, chocolate,beer, blue mussel etc are delicious. The combination of guild houses and canals were very beautiful in Brugge or Gent.
Fortress-Luxembourg city

Villeroy &Boch--in Luxembourge

flower market of Aalsmeer

Amsterdam station under construction

Amsterdam from a canal boat

National museum at Amsterdam

Grand Place in Bruxelles

Brugge from a canal boat

15 件のコメント:

cosmos さんのコメント...

Hi Sarah,
I've waited for your travel report.
How lovely these tulips are! The field forming geometric pattern of tulips is stunning.

The expectation for wind power generation must be increasing as a sustainable eco-friendly energy source. The blue of water and the sky and the windmill make an exotic scenery and I feel the wind as a blessing.

I am happy for you that you had such an interesting first-hand
experience at the concert hall.Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip and beautiful pictures.

redrose さんのコメント...

Good morning,Sarah.
What beautiful these flowers are!!I had heard from you how tulips in Halland were colorful and bright.
Your photos enough tell us it. I can imagine you strolling in the extending flower fields. I love Delft potteris, and some of my teacups and saucers produced by Villeroy &Boch is my treasure.
Have a nice day.

stardust さんのコメント...

Such lovely canals, bridges, architectures, tulips, foods and sweets, potteries, windmills, concert ... you really had a wonderful trip. Keukenhof Gardens reminded me of April of Awaji Strait Park with tulips in bloom, of course scale is different though. The scenes with windmills are awesome. How was the sound from the mills? Unexpected encounter in Belgium not in Nara for the first time – that’s interesting. Your talks are always fun to listen to. Thank you for sharing, sarah.

haricot さんのコメント...

On TV someone said that the works by Gogh were to hard to appreciate at a time in a museum, because of the strong impression. I imagined so, while I found he had different style of painting according to your report.

I wanted to read more about Belgium that I don't know about well.

sarah さんのコメント...

Thank you for comment and waiting for my trip report.
I wanted you see those tulips or other flowers. Because you like flowers very much. But we can't buy bulbs carelessly,we may have to give up them at quarantine.
These windmill are not for electricity but for drawing water and drainning because ground there is lower than sea level. We can see inside of one of them.

sarah さんのコメント...

Thank you for comment and teaching about email address. I found email arrival of yours in my email server. It's convenient.
I know you like pottery so I heard Masakosama also bought villeroy & boch for ordinary dish when she gets marry. I bought soup cups like donburi of Japan.But they are not expensive.

Marc Sheffner さんのコメント...

Hi, Sarah,

Great blog (as usual)! It reminded me of my primary school trip to Belgium. I remember it well, because it was just a few years ago (he-he-he). I remember seeing the old ladies making lace. Did you see them?

snowwhite さんのコメント...

Oh, Sarah, it is a delightful story!! All images of your trip popped up vividly.
I love the photos where windmills are standing along the rivers. They are breathtaking!
Soft drug story is interesting. In Japan it's hard to imagine.
Food look so delicious!!
Your stories are always full of fun and pleasure.
Have a great week!

sarah さんのコメント...

Thank you for comment.
But I could not hear th sound of windmills, wind was not blowing,or maybe they are for sightseeing and stopped. They were used to draw and drench water and inside of one windmill is open but I could not understand it's mechanism.I heard battles against water continued here because land is lower than sea level.

sarah さんのコメント...

Thank you for comment.
For Belgium,food taste nice. For example, chocolate (some famouse shop-Godiva,Neahaus,Wittamer,Jean Philippe Darcis etc.I had a bruxelles waffle with hot chocolate. It's delicious.)Beer(there are many kind of beer.I liked cherry beer)Mussels( We ate a bowl of it)
Belgian lace and belgian diamond are beautiful but expencive.
Guild houses in Bruxelles or Brugge or Gent are very lovely. Statues or seals that represent occupation are remained on the walls of those buildings.

sarah さんのコメント...

Hi, Marc.
Thank you for comment. Your primary school's trip is gorgeous,isn't it? Because the distance from England to Belgium is very long and it's foreign country.Unfortunately, I could not see a demonstration of making laces,though I went a lace shop.
I read that you put my blog about England travel journal for your students. I hope it can help to understand about England for them.

sarah さんのコメント...

Hi, Snowwhite.
Thank you for your comment and having a fun.
The scene of windmills were much more charming than I expected.but it was a long distance from a parking to them on foot.
I didn't know how to eat blue mussels. Having a blue mussel by right hand and left hand each other one by one and holding it like a beak by right hand and pick out the inside of left.Some like very much but for me it's so so.

Spiderdama さんのコメント...

Hello Sarah!
Thanks for your nice comments.

Amsterdam is beautiful when bloming. I've been there a few times. Your picture is great!

Hope you get some wind in the heat in Japan:-)
Regards from Tania

Icy BC さんのコメント...

Fantastic post, with so much to see, smell, and even taste :-)

sarah さんのコメント...

To Tania and To IcyBC.

Thank you for your comment.
I want to visit there again. It's good experience for me.
Thank you.