Netherlands

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City Views.157

Still from that lovely small-aircraft flight in late October, a few aerial views of the city of Utrecht. We’ve shown you street-level views many times, though clicking that link will also show you some of the rural areas outside the city proper. My first visit to the city came on my very second day after landing last year, when I registered with the immigration folks as a new legal resident in NL 🙂

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From my office rooftop during a break from a meeting recently.

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Urban Entrances.56


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Urban Canals.116


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I actually live down on the corner at the end of this block, and have confirmed my suspicion that at least one tour guide book to Amsterdam lists this street as a lovely little “hidden corner” because of the tunnel effect created by the trees and how the sunlight filters through the leaves, and sometimes – depending on weather and time of year – shines directly along the street. It’s really quite remarkably lovely at the right moment, though no photo can do justice to those moments. Took the photo on my way back from one of those pop-to-the-supermarket moments since the light was shining nicely and decided have to post it now, before the very last of those leaves you see has fallen…

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Country Canals.26


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More from that lovely flight at the end of October. The various canals above are a bit more obvious; John, I selected the one below due to your comment about how much a land of water and canals this is – at first glance you see mostly the highway, right? But look more closely and you’ll see the irrigation canals feeding the fields lower in the frame :-).

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Hortus (A’dam’s botanical garden) as seen from my walk from the metro station to work the day I flew to Dhaka – the rare occasion I didn’t bike due to the luggage at had with me, hence my ability to stop and take these photos of the lovely view :-).

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You’ve seen this view before, by sunlight and focusing on the flower boxes on the bridge rail. Naturally, the real-life reflection of moon on water was even clearer and more lovely than this image could capture.

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I suspect that the metalwork you see to the right here is part of a supporting – retaining wall meant to keep that side of the canal wall, and street / sidewalk to that side of the canal, from collapsing. Readers may be aware that the city is investing huge sums in steadily reinforcing and rebuilding some of the oldest (many hundreds of years) canal walls in the center of the city. Many of those oldest central canals have significant areas at risk of subsidence or collapse, since they were never built to sustain the weight of tour buses, trams, trucks and tourists who now flock to the lovely city. This was the first time I’ve noticed such a support anywhere, and I couldn’t tell if this was an intentional garden or just whatever nature allowed to land and grow there…

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The same afternoon that I photographed that lovely little red airplane in Small Wonders.54, I was fortunate enough to be the fourth person in a four-seater private plane that took a friend for a birthday flight over the lovely town where she has roots. Thence came this and many other shots of the canals, rivers, fields and towns of the countryside in this portion of NL, from northeast of Utrecht (Hilversum Airport) to Heusden on the Maas, which you’ve seen before as well. Above is that portion of the highly-engineered waterway system that drains the Rhine, Maas and other rivers which the Dutch at this point call The Lek. Before it crosses the Rhine-Amsterdam Canal, it’s called the Nederrijn and I’ve shown you portions where it’s called that in a past post. Below…I have a feeling that’s just a regular canal but it might be a more important one like the Amsterdam – Rhine canal…

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Urban Entrances.54


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With fewer flowers now in bloom, one must find other wondrous things, and I found this little old red airplane on a private airfield by Hilversum rather fun :-).

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I’ve decided that when there aren’t so many flowers in bloom, small wonders can include lovely designer flourishes such as this statue – which I’m guessing must depict some fairy tale? – which adorns a bridge over a canal along one of my favorite walking and biking streets here.

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All from another early-October sunset wander through Amsterdamse Bos, along Nieuwe Meer and past (above) the good ol’ Bosbaan…

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