Monday, July 25, 2005

Polders

Well, Ashbloem and I are back. I am trying to be happy about it. But before we get to the present, I have a few things to update from the trip, starting with the day trip Matthijs and I took down to De Hoge Veluwe National Park and the Kruller-Moller Museum.

According to the park's website:


National Park De Hoge Veluwe is one of the Netherlands' oldest and largest national parks. It consists of no less than 5,500 hectares of woodland, heathland, lakes and driftsand. Together with the Kroller-Muller Museum and the sculpture garden it offers a unique combination of nature, art and architecture.

The highlight was definitely the museum, even though part of it was closed for renovations. The museum houses Helene Kruller-Moller's extensive personal art collection which she cultivated over a number of years. There is an exhibition of her favorites, and it was very interesting to see how her appreciation of art changed as she grew older became more involved in art collecting. It seems as though she started with classics like Van Gogh and Renoir, but then later moved into very modern pieces by Picasso, Mondriaan, and many others (some pretty wacky stuff, but then again, I am not a huge modern art fan).

The museum also has an extensive sculpture garden, and from my previous trip to Europe in May you all know how much I love sculpture gardens. The museum website says:

These were the first sculpture gardens in Europe, designed in the 1950s to showcase the museum's collection. With shrubbery as walls and the sky as ceiling, the visitor mingles with the works of Rodin, Bourdelle, Lipchitz, Maillol and Wotruba, where each human figure in the collection expresses an emotion.

Here are some shots of the park:

The park also has this crazy "white enamel garden" that was rather surreal:

After having our fill of art, Matthijs had a great idea to take a drive up through Hardewijk across the polders to Lelystad and over the man-made dike that crosses the IJsselmeer to the picturesque town of Enkhuizen. For those of you not familiar with Dutch geography, here is a little map of our journey:


In my four years living in Holland, I had never taken this journey and thought it was fantastic driving on this little mound of land across this lake-like shallow body of water. The clouds were hanging particularly low, as typical in Holland, and there was even a rainbow from the recent rain showers. I had also never visited Enkhuizen. It was so lovely and small that I just wanted to eat it all up. There was this incredible park/garden, the Snouck van Loosen Park, with these amazing houses built in the park in the early 1900s. It looked like a miniature Eden with ponds and ducks and even little green houses for the ducks. Alas, none of the homes appeared to be for sale. Not that I could even fathom what it would be like to live amidst such peaceful perfection. Proving that there is a blog for just about EVERYTHING, I found one that specializes on the Snouck van Loosen Park! http://snouckvanloosen.blogspot.com

Here we are driving through the polders:

Driving across the IJsselmeer, notice the dramatic clouds:

Perfect little Enkhuizen. Even the sun came out as we arrived:

I couldn't help but furtively snap this shot of Matthijs who never lets me take his picture.

The entrance to the garden of Eden:



The sun shone again brilliantly as we drove back to Amsterdam:


Tomorrow I will bring out more fun bar pictures and stories from our last nights in Amsterdam... that's certainly enough for today.

3 comments:

haji-o-matic said...

You make me cry.

Linnaeus said...

Wow, they just don't make 'em like that here in North America.

(that comment is broadened betond the US because I'm Canadian :)

Terra said...

Linnaeus--

No, no they don't. Thanks for stopping by!

T.