20 years UNESCO world heritage: Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

This year I decided to become a tourist in my own country, so on december 6th I visited Kinderdijk for the first time. On that day it was also the 20th anniversary of Kinderdijk. They have been an unesco world heritage site since 1997.

Kinderdijk is known for the 19 windmills. You can visit two of the mills, which both house a museum.

At the visitor centre you can also watch a movie about the history of Kinderdijk, there is a guided tour and you can see the windmills from the water.

Because it was the 20th Unesco anniversary of Kinderdijk all the museums were free, otherwise you will pay 8,50 euro for a ticket for both museums for an adult. I highly recommend visiting the mills, because it gives you an insight in how the mills work and what life was like in the mills.

We arrived early in the morning before sunrise, unfortunately it was overcast that day, so no beautiful sunrise pictures.


We did visit both museums though and watched the movie at the visitor centre and we hiked around all the windmills. It truly was a beautiful sight all those windmills lined up allong the water’s edge.

If you are ever closeby I would highly recommend to check out this unesco heritage site in the Netherlands.

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Cap Gris Nez France

Like I wrote in my blog on november 30th I went on a day trip to France to both the Cap Blanc Nez and the Cap Gris Nez at the end of November. We spend the day at Cap Blanc Nez and headed to Cap Gris Nez for sunset. And let me tell you, what and incredible sunset we got to witness there.

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Cap Gris Nez is situated only 50 meters above sea level, where as Cap Blanc Nez is situated at 134 meters above sea level. Here you will also find a lot of hiking trails, so this is an amazing place to visit if you like to hike.

There are three different view points up at the top and there is a light tower, so there is plenty to see. When the tide is low you can also go on the beach at the foot of Cap Gris Nez. When we got to Cap Gris Nez the tide was high though, so we couldn´t get on the beach anymore. Which means I have to go back another time, so I can go down to the beach.
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When we were here it was only 5 degrees Celsius out and it was wind, which is normal for the Cap Gris Nez. I seriously had trouble to hold my camera still, because it was so windy.

I would take a chilly and windy day everyday though if I get to spend it in a place like this, I mean look at these pictures.

 

 


At Cap Gris Nez the sun sets right in front of you over the sea. We got lucky with the sunset, because it was cloudy that day and the sun treated us to a spectacular sunset with sunrays. The sunset even lighted up the white Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom. The sun was reflected on the Cliffs, which turned them bright orange.

Do you ever take day trips?

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The bucketlist

I am sure you have read a million post like this already, but I wanted to write about my bucket list anyway.

Ever since I was little I have had the travel bug and every time we tick something of I will ad a new one to the list. So my list never gets shorter, but only longer.

Today I want to share with you 10 things that are on my bucket list:

1. New Zealand

This country has been on my bucket list for ages, for all the obvious reasons. I mean an outdoor enthusiast like me could never not want to go here.

2. Norway

Technicly I have been to Norway already, but since I won’t count flying out from Oslo, whilst going to Sweden it is still up on the bucketlist. One day I would love to take the Hurtigruten all the way North and travel back south by train.

3. Faroe Islands

a couple of years ago Floortje Dessing went to this island for the tv show ‘het einde van de wereld’ or the end of the world tv series. Ever since the Faroe Islands have been on my bucket list, because these Islands look incredible.

4. Japan

Japan is out of character on my list, but I have never been to Asia and for some reason I feel drawn to visit Japan one day. I would love to see the crazyness of Tokyo one day and emerge myself in history in Osaka. And ofcourse visit and hike mount Fuji.

5. Finland

I would love to visit Lapland during the winter. In Holland we don’t get very much snow and I would love to see a place like Finland covered in snow and watch the aurora.

6. Iceland

Who doesn’t have Iceland on his bucket list? It is one of those must visit places.

7. Washington State

This place has been on my list for a while now, but since one of my friends from Ohio will be moving here, I think I will see a whole lot of beautiful Washington State soon. I actually told her I would visit her there as soon as she moves there and she will have to put up with me every year as soon as she moves, because I will be going there at least one holiday a year. Good thing they love to have us over!

8. Canada

I have already been to Canada, but never to the west coast. Places like Banff, Whistler, Jasper, Vancouver Island all are on my list. I think I need a couple of months there to see all the things I want to see. Maybe I need to consider moving!

9. Scotland

Even though the United Kingdom is practicly around the corner I have never been there and one place that is high up on my list is Scotland. We were planning on going there this year, but then all of a sudden we sold our house after it had been listed for 6 months and we had only 6 weeks to find a rental property. This is crazy when it is just the two of you, but it is even more crazy when you add a dog in the mix. So we had to cancel our Scotland trip. Hoping to make it out there in the next year or two though, because I would love to hike part of the West Highland way and see the isle of Skye with my own eyes.

10. The Picos, Spain

And last but not least, the Picos in Spain. We were actually going there this year, but we really didnt plan our roadtrip and we loved the Basque coast so much that we stayed there longer then we planned. I am sure I will be able to tick this one of my list very soon.

Since 2017 is slowly drawing to a close. I will post a 2018 bucketlist, with different activities, so you can keep me accountable!

What does your bucketlist look like?

 

A day trip to Cap Blanc Nez France

 

This year I have vacation in November and December, because we are building a house and it is just just me, myself and I, we didn’t book a vacation. At least not yet. So instead of a big trip I have been planning all kinds of day trips. Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez was one of those day trips. And let me tell you they didn’t disappoint as a day trip.

The past two years I have been taking photography classes and together with two other ladies from my photography class we headed to France. Cap Blanc Nez is only a two  hour drive from where I live, so we left early in the morning to head to the Caps.

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The first thing we did when we got to France was have a breakfast at a little B&B. The breakfast ofcourse included a fresh baguettes and lots of French cheeses. I aboslutely love goat´s cheese, so that is what I had on a fresh baguette.

After breakfast we  headed to the Cliffs at Cap Blanc Nez. We were Lucky, since we could see across the Canal. From Cap Blanc Nez we had a beautiful view of the white Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom. The view of these Cliffs sparked the idea to head out to England for a day to!

We parked the car at the top of Cap Blanc Nez, where we walked around the top. There are a lot of hiking trails in this area, which you can easily start from the parking lot at Cap Blanc Nez. The hiking trails will take you in all directions. One of the trails will lead you from the top to the beach, but you can also take the car and park the car at the beach.

If you want to do both Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris  Nez in one day you can also hike from Cap Blanc Nez to Cap Gris Nez, which is 16 kilometers to the south. It is a 32 kilometers round trip. You can hike there along the beach and back over the Cliffs.
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The view from the top of Cap Blanc Nez was incredible. The top lays at 134 meters above sea level. In the surrounding hills you will find craters, whic hare caused by bombs in the Second World War.

After the top we headed to the beach. The Caps have a tide and when the tide is high you can´t go onto the beach, because the water will come up to the Cliffs. So make sure to check the tide before you head out there. While you are on the beach during low tide also keep an eye out on the tide, because you don´t want to get closed in by the tide.

We spent most of the morning photographing at the beack. The Cliffs towering over you are really impressive and there are so many photography opportunities.

In the afternoon we headed out for lunch. When you head out for lunch in France make sure you get there before 2 in the afternoon, because restaurants will be closed beween 2 and dinner time. I enjoyed the catch of the day at lunch, since we were so close to the sea it is impossible to not eat fish. You will find a lot of sea food restaurants in the surrounding villages, where you can get all kinds of fish, even crab.

After lunch we headed to Cap Gris Nez for the sunset, but more on that in a next blog.

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Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway

In 2007 I was an exchange student in Ohio for a year. After that year I did go back quite a bit, but I had never been back to properly introduce my boyfriend. So in 2014 we decided it was time for me to go home and introduce him.

Ofcourse we couldn’t do this 5 week trip without taking a roadtrip in the States. So we decided to fly into Washington DC, where we stayed a couple of days before we would drive the entire Blue Ridge Parkway.

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is 754,8km long or 469 miles and crosses the Appalachian mountains. We planned 2 days to drive the parkway. It was sure worth the 35 mile/hour drive the entire way. Everywhere there are vantage points and hiking trails to explore, so we took it easy and made sure to enjoy the views and the environment as much as we could.

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At milepost 176 you will find Mabry Mill. This was one of our stops on the Parkway. We grabbed some coffee at the Restaurant and wandered around Mabry Mill. It is one of those sights you will always remember.

For me the most special moment of this trip was right before the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is a vantage point that looks out over the Smokey Mountains and it had just rained when we pulled into the parking lot. When we got out of the car the sun came out and made the mountains look even more magical than they already did.

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It is one of those things you should do once in your lifetime. For me it was a roadtrip to tick off my bucket list. The list which unfortunately never gets shorter, but longer as time passes.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway at the beginning of september put it back on my bucket list to visit it during fall, because this road must look incredible during fall.

Have you ever visited the Blue Ridge Parkway?

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Bruges by night

On a Friday night in October I went to Bruges to photograph this beautiful city by night. I have been to Bruges during the day a hundred times, but I had never been to the city by night and I can tell you it was incredible.

During the day you will have to fight the crowds in this beautiful city. At night it is a completely different story, even though you won’t be alone roaming the streets at night. You will have these amazing places almost to yourself, there will only be a handful of people.

Angelique van Waarde Brugge WM-3120

We just wandered around all the narrow streets in the old city centre. If you love night time photography you will love this city, because there is something to photograph around every corner.

Ofcourse  a night in this beautiful city isn’t complete without enjoying a beer in this city and if you drink a beer here, you should definitely try a “Brugse Zot”.

So if you ever get a change to visit the city of Bruges make sure you stay at least one night, so you can enjoy the beauty of this city by night as well and one of the many amazing restaurants.

Angelique van Waarde Brugge WM-3167

The Veluwe

I can’t believe October has come to an end already and I haven’t posted all month. So it is time to catch up. The last weekend of september we spend the weekend at the Veluwe, a national park in the Netherlands. And to be a bit more specific in the beautiful area of the Speulderbos. Sorry for all the Dutch names of the places, but there is never a good way to translate.

We stayed in a hotel for the weekend, just something different for a change. And I took a photography workshop there, which I will tell you more about in my next blog.

We have been to the Veluwe last year for the first time. Last year we stayed in the beautiful village Otterlo, which is situated right next to one of the entrances of the National Park. So we could just walk to the Park from our hotel.

The Veluwe is the biggest National Park based in the Netherlands, and it has a big variety of landscapes. It is also one of the places you will find deer among other animals.

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One thing the national park is famous for is the white bikes, which you will find at all three entrances and scattered throughout the park. You can just pick one up and use it all day, or just to get you from one pick up point to the next and continue by foot.

Last year we did a tour of the park by bike, because we were only there for a day. We wanted to see as much of the Veluwe as possible, so we rode the bikes. Lucky for us we had the place practicly to ourselves since we were there on a monday and summer break was already over.

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We rode past areas of sand, forests, heather. Around every corner the landscape was even more beautiful then the one before. The Veluwe truly amased me with all its differsity.

On the Veluwe you will also find the Kroller-Muller musuem, when we were there it was closed so we didn’t go in, but we did admire the sculptures outside.

We did however visit the Museonder, which is situated in the central area of the parc where you will also find a place to eat. The Museonder will tell you about how the Veluwe came to be and will tell you more about the nature and wildlife you can find in the park. It is a free interactive museum and a great place to take your kids.

You can easily spend an entire day here or even multiple days if you want to hike in the Park. There is something from everyone, art, museum, bike paths, hiking routes, and ofcourse some amazing nature.

If you visit the Netherlands you can’t skip this place. In my next blog I will tell you more about our adventures in the Speulderbos!

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