The beach

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Last year I went to the Netherlands again visiting my friend Chantal. Visiting her have become a yearly thing. The weather was so nice, we decided to bike to the beach again. Chantal lives in Alkmaar, 45 minutes north of Amsterdam. As the year before we decided to go to beach at Egmond aan Zee, it’s only a 30 minutes bike ride away.

As you can see it was sunny day, with a clear blue sky and it was warm. The sand was hot, too hot to walk barefoot in and it was the right amount of wind to cool you down a bit and play with kites.

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This years collection of Dutch bikes

220613- 097s It’s no secret I travel to the Netherlands a lot. I’m there once a year, visiting my dear friend Chantie. Every time I’m there I photograph a lot. This time I mainly focused on bikes. Because of the weather and because we went to see Bruce Springsteen in Nijmegen (loved, loved, loved seeing Springsteen!), I didn’t have that much time to photograph and therefore I decided to focus on one subject. The Netherlands are full of bikes so it was easy to pick that as a subject. And you know, I love bikes!

Here are this years collection of bikes. 220613- 112s 220613- 110s 220613- 105s220613- 058s 220613- 061s 220613- 069s220613- 075s 220613-101 dippy220613- 122s 220613-099 dippy 220613-103 dippy 220613- 114s220613- 126s 220613- 129sss 220613- 130s 220613- 141s 220613-067dippy 220613-100 dippy 220613- 147s 220613- 145s 220613-151 dippy

Dutchness – photos from the Netherlands

This is the last set of photos from this summers vacation to the Netherlands. Over 700 photos has been gone through and now I’ve edited the last batch. This is the photos that can’t be placed in any category. It is a variety of photos, spanning from airplanes to mailboxes, food and cityscapes. There is nothing much to say about these really. I think I’m going to let the photos speak for themself.

When I took this photo (the  photo above) I had my camera strapped around my neck and I held it hard with my hand. It was a bit scary, because I didn’t want to drop it while hanging with my head outside the train. I got a lot of wind in my hair. One time when a train came crossing us, I quickly backed up, got my head and camera inside the train, because I was afraid it would hit me. It felt like it was that close, even thought it probably wasn’t.

No vacation without some yummy food photos. I ate lots of good food when I was in the Netherlands. I normally don’t eat fries, because the ones we have in Norway is so thin and after they’re fried the are soaked in fat. I like the fries to be thick with lots of yummy potatoes inside. Thinking about the fries they serve at for instance Mac Donald or even Burger King (which I really like), makes me go ewww. The fries I bought in the Netherlands were thick and not a thin stick of just fried potatoes.

I ate two very yummy omelettes. Oh my, they were good. The last one I ate, was at a tiny place right beside a church/graveyard me and Chantie visited. I didn’t have that much expectation to the food. I got really surprised. It was very yummy that omelette. Look at all that yummy mushrooms, it was actually a bit too much! They were generous with everything. Nom, nom, nom.

The zoo – Natura Artis Magistra

Being at the zoo in Amsterdam was a bit bittersweet. Animals are kept in a unnatural way, captivated and far away from their natural elements. Keeping animals in a zoo is not natural, even though it’s been done for a long time. Thinking about this, it’s good to know that some of the animals that comes to the zoo is injured/hurt and would not have survived in the real life.

Knowing all this, it’s still pretty awesome to see all the different animals located in the zoo. There were so many exotic and interesting animals there; elephants, lions, monkies, wolves, zebras, wallabys, voltures etc.

We spent the entire day at the zoo and there wasn’t one boring moment throughout the whole day. I had lots of ‘wow-moments’, especially when we saw the gigantic and colorful butterflies and the zebras. There were also quite some ‘awww-moments’ too. How can you not go awww when you see penguins and baby elephants?

I took lots of photos at the zoo. You’ve already seen photos from the Aquarium. Here are some of the rest of the zoo.

 

 

The sea, source of all life

While being in the Netherlands for my week vacation, I visited the zoo in Amsterdam. The city zoo was big. A part of the zoo was aquarium. I love aquariums. Walking around there, watching all the fishes and sea creature, is so calming. It is also very interesting to see all the different colors/patterns the fishes got. It’s rather amazing.

I wish that I someday will have a fish tank build in a wall in my livingroom. I know that’s probably not going to happen, at least not where I live now. Keeping a fish tank, is a lot of work. But it would be awesome. I would put a chair in front of the tank, sit down, watch the fish swim around and just let my thoughts wander off. It would be totally zen!

Photographing inside the aquarium was hard. The fish doesn’t stand still, the constantly swim around, so I got a lot of blurry photos. Still I managed to gather a handfull of photos that turned out ok.

Enjoy the colorful fishes and sea life.


The fish above is called a clownfish. The name quite fitting. Just look at all the different patterns and colors. It’s amazing that the nature has given us such a fish. I wonder why only half of the body is dotted and the rest looks like a ‘normal’ fish. The fish underneeth, is a lionfish. It got a rather amazing pattern too, don’t you think? The lionfish is big and not like a small goldfish.

Above: A pretty stripy fish. Lovely colors. Underneeth: NEMO! I found Nemo :) Seeing that fish now, makes me wanna see Finding Nemo again. We also saw Dory at the aquarium, but I didn’t get a decent photo.

There will come more photos from the zoo later. I have tons of photos, but they need to be processed first. I might divide it into two posts, because I took photos of nearly every animal inside the zoo. It would be a overload to post all at once! Stay tuned!

I love Dutch bikes

While spending a week in the Netherlands, I saw a lot of bikes. When I say a lot, I really mean a lot. There is bikes everywhere! The bike paths are awesome and so different from what we have in Norway. In Oslo we barely have any bike paths at all. It’s a joke really, the bike paths we have here. I would not go biking in the city center of Oslo. I find it scary. In the Netherlands on the other hand, the bike paths are everywhere.

Biking in the Netherlands is nice. Not only because you have all these bike paths everywhere, but also because it’s so flat there. There are practically no hills, so biking gets easier than here in Norway. We have lots of hills that makes it harder to bike, at least for me who has no condition at all.

Bikes in the Netherlands are prettier than in Norway. We have lots of new, boring bikes, but it’s very different in the Netherlands. Lots of bikes get stolen, so lots of people have old bikes. Some people might not think they look very pretty, but I do. Anyone who has followed this blog for a while, knows that I love old bikes. Even though there are a lot of black/grey/dark-colored bikes in the Netherlands, I saw a lot of colorful bikes as well. I spotted brigh red, orange, lilac and light blue bikes. Oh, even a hot pink bike, that you can see at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy these photos. I think I like the green bike in the third last photo (in the diptych), just because of the awesome green color. Which one do you like?

 

A day at the beach

Two weeks ago, I came home from a weeks vacation in the Netherlands, visiting my friend Chantie. With me, in my bag, I had a memory card filled with over 700 photos. Yes, you read it right, over 700 photos.

On my seven days vacation, we did various of things like going to the zoo, visit a petting farm, visit the beach, bikeing, shopping, eating delisious lunches at cosy cafes/restaurants, watch movies, play Rummy etc. I brought my camera where ever I got and that is the reason for my 700 photos.

The vacation started off real good with 27 degrees celcius, sunny and not a cloud on the sky. We could only do one thing, go to the beach. So we packed our bags, found our bikes (I borrowed Chantie’s mums bike!) and set off to this little place by the North Sea called Egmond aan Zee. It was about a 10 km. bike trip to get there and it went faster than I had imagined. The Netherlands is flat, so that’s one reason for the bike trip to go so fast.

We stayed at the beach for a long time. It was nice to relax and soak in the sun. I even dared to take a swim in the North Sea. It was a bit cold as soon as I got into the water, but once my body got used to the temp, it was pure fun to be out in the water. Since it was so hot, it was quite refreshing to take a swim. The water wasn’t as salty as I thought it would be. I prefere to swim in fresh water, so I was very pleased it wasn’t as salty as expected.

I brought my camera to the beach and I’m so happy I did. When we arrived, had locked our bikes and headed towards the beach I got the feeling I was heading to a beach I’ve only seen in tv-series / movies. I felt like being on a American beach. It felt good! I popped out my camera imideately and snapped away.

Here are some of the photos from my day at the beach.

After being at the beach for a while, we had to get something to eat. Egmond aan Zee is a fish-town, so we had to eat fish. I ate fish and chips for the first time in my life! I’m not very fan of chips, at least not the thin chips you’ll get at the fastfood chains like McDonalds or Burger King. The chips at this tiny restaurant, however, was thinker and yummier. I ate a  lof of them. The fish, don’t remember what kind, was delish. I woudn’t be surprised if it was fished today, that’s how fresh it tasted.

The bike ride home took a bit longer than the bike ride to the sea. That’s because we took a different route home, so we could see other parts of Holland. I also had big pain in the ass because I’d biked so long, but I’m not gonna talk about that!

All in all, a lovely day that I will cheris for a long time, since we’ve had such a crappy summer in Norway weather wise this year.

Next on the Netherlands-menu, I think is either bikes or animals from the zoo. Stay tuned to find out.

a whole lot of animals and some lovely nature

During my six days stay in Alkmaar, I spent quite some time watching cute animals. We saw the at a visiting farm close to the city center. They were also spotted right outside the city limits. Chantie and I, we took a bike trip to see the tulip fields. On our bike trip we also saw a lot of cute animals. It was a great biketrip where I got to use my camera a lot. How can you not capture cute animals laying / standing on in a field?

Here are a variety of the animals spotted and the landscape around. Be aware of cuteness overload.

The road leading up to some horses. Small canals on both sides. Such a pretty landscape!

A horse, well tucked in. It looked a bit sad.

Another horse. Eating grass. Very lovely. It reminds me of Pippi Longstockings horse.

Awesome house located right beside the fields where the horses were walking around.

Cows haning around eating grass.

Pretty landscape! Sunny weather, blue skies. Lots of dandelions. And cows far, far away.You don’t just pass such a pretty view. You stop your bike and pull out your camera.

Two sheep eating together. So cute. They look like an old couple having dinner together. They could need a little trim. Look at all the wool!

Cute, cute, cute! Tiny little lambs. I wanted to take one with me home…

After all the eating and walking around, you need to rest as well. When you’re a baby, what is better than to lay with your head to your mum?

One of the oh so famouse canals.

A goat. Basking in the sun and greeting us.

Another one. This one from behind.

Cute baby goats. This is from the animal farm we visited. They were running around like crazy. Look like they had lots of fun.

Some birds. Not sure what kind. But cute none the less. And very furry.

“Hi! I’m Sniffles. I’m fine. How are you?”

Bird on a fence.

Baby goat. So tiny, but not less cute. Maybe more cute actually.

Animals on a row, eating that yummy grass.


Typical Dutch

I’ve now back from my six days trip to see my friend Chantie in Alkmaar / The Netherlands. It was a great trip and I had lots of fun. People asked me before I left what plans we had. I couldn’t really give them a good answer, because we had no spesific plans. This wasn’t a typical vacation where you do touristy things like see the cheese market, ride a canal boat, go to Amsterdams and see Anne Frank and the Van Gogh museeum etc. This was a trip to see a friend and hang out together.

We watched a lot of movies, like Prime, Muriels Wedding, In her Shoes, Gran Torino, the Reader and It’s Complicated. We also played a lot of rummy. 56 games to be spesific! Yes, I know it’s a lot of games, but once you start, you get addicted.

But we didn’t just do that, we also went biking to see tulip fields, animals, farms etc, we visited a farm, walked around the neighbourhood, visited her family and went shopping.

I have to say we saw a lot of cute animals during my stay. I will definitely show photos of that, but first I want to share photos of things I think are very Dutch.

A street in Alkmaar.

Brick houses.

Lots of bikes on a row, beside the canal. Oh and we have a bridge. Then we have three essensial things from Alkmaar.

De Hertenkamp and the clock. Spotted on a biking rid to a park / farm. Lovely building. And I’m pretty sure the clock will be awesome when it’s completely green.

A tree seen in the same area. Big and beautiful.

Gorgeous alley with tall trees. As you can see, it was very sunny that day.

Left side of the street; a wind mill. The right side of the street; a canal.

Taken from Chantie’s balcony. There are bikes everywhere!

Flowers from the flowershop. The left photo is taken from Chantie’s balcony. The right shot was taken while we rested on a green patch outside her apartment. There are stores on the ground floor and she lives on top at the 4th floor.

Oh my! What a scene. This year I came in time to see the tulipfields. It was oh so beautiful. Breathtaking I have to say.

They are all standing up so straight. These are grown just for their bulbs. These flowers will soon be harvested and destroyed. I wanted to bring some home, but Chantie didn’t let me. I doubt the owner of the field would’ve missed a couple of tulips, but still… they were left alone.

Tulips in the foreground and a typical Dutch mill. Yet another beautiful scenery.

More flowers, now with another color. The fields are amazing.

Isn’t the Netherlands beautiful? I think so. There is so much beautiful things to see and photograph, and for a photographer like me, it’s like heaven on earth.

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