Friday, July 31, 2009

Hoge Veluwe and Kröller-Müller Museum

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of visiting the Hoge Veluwe National Park outside Arnhem. Here, you can borrow bikes and bike around in the huge park, enjoying something very rare in the Netherlands: untamed nature. And in the midst of the park, a reward awaits the ones who venture here, in form of the splendid Kröller-Müller Art Museum.

Reminding of the Louisiana Museum outside Copenhagen, the Kröller-Müller is big, beautiful and with a most extraordinary art collection. Highlights includes a vast collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings, second only to the one at the Van Gogh Museum.

But there are other splendid masterpieces, such as the pointillistic wonders of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Not to mention some funky Inuit sculptures from Canada and the floating sculpture by Marta Pan.

We had a wonderful time here, before biking back to the park entrance and heading home to Amsterdam via bus and train.

Today, we have celebrated Femke’s grandmother Yt’s 86th birthday with a pancake party!

Tomorrow, I will go downtown to take photos of Amsterdam’s famous gay parade, which is a floating affair in the canals, then pack and take a train to Utrecht to stay over with friends. Then, on Sunday morning, we are all going to Sweden for a week of sailing on the West Coast :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Arnhem is the next stop on our little holiday in the East of Netherlands. Here, we checked in to the quaint Hotel Molendal, then went for some wild encounters at the Burgers Zoo. It is not only a normal zoo, but they also have big biotope sections, where plants and animals create a more natural environment.

In the evening, I had a drink at the very well-stocked beer bar Café ‘t Moortgat followed by a fabulous dinner with Femke at the Restaurant Verheyden. Highly recommendable!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Nijmegen has been in my mind ever since I was 16 and wanted to walk the famous four days march here (vierdaagse). I was too young then and weren’t allowed to join. Well, now I am here, although not walking that far (it finished just a few days ago).

We are staying at the Scandic Sanadome, a spa hotel. So first we had to soak, trying out the different hot pools, saunas and what not.
All fresh and reinvigorated, we headed downtown and ended up sitting on the terrace of the beautiful old Waagh-house. Like in many Dutch merchant cities, a centrally located house housed the official scale, which was used to control the quantities when selling and buying goods. We never weighed our nice Kasteel, it seemed to be just the right quantity.

After some strolling around, we found the microbrewery Stadsbrouwerij Hemel and their lush courtyard. Here you can have your own little tasting, trying their six different brews. You would be surprised to hear that we had one of these tastings. Or maybe not ☺

Nijmegen is by the river De Waal, which is powerful and fast-flowing here. We strolled down to the riverbank and ended up having dinner here. The food was very unspectacular, but we did enjoy the views, with one barge after another passing by.

In the end, we opted to head back to the city centre for a last drink at the Café in de blauwe hand. This is a charming little place around the corner from de Waagh, made even more charming by the cute border collie that sat next to us, not to mention the Saison Regal and Rochefort 8.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sailing in Eastern Netherlands

Just a quick entry while Femke is sleeping next to me – don’t want to wake her up with the clicking of the keyboard.
We have both worked a lot lately, Femke worked all Saturday and I was busy with the layout of Hypoxia until 2 o’clock this morning.

But today, our holiday started – yippee! And what a start. Blue sky and brilliant weather greeted us when we arrived ro Herwen in Eastern Netherlands. Here, we are visiting Cor and Anneke, relatives to Femke.
After a nice fika in their garden, we went sailing in a lake with their boat. Lovely! Then a witbier on a terrace, later some delicious food and an evening walk in Elten in Germany, which is just a short drive away from Herwen.

Tomorrow we are continuing to Nijmegen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lots of work but also pleasure

Andrew and Femke at Blijburg

The Blijburger

A beautiful old corvette parked outside Blijburg

The last couple of days we have both been really busy with work. Femke came home from a very interesting trip to Liberia, and needed to sum up that, at the same time as she is preparing for a conference in Stockholm later this summer.

I came home from Slovenia and had to write several stories from there. But I also had other stories to deliver and the next issue of Hypoxia to produce. Busy busy in other words.

That doesn’t stop us from having a nice time. Several evenings, we’ve had dinner and drinks on the balcony in the lovely weather. I had some whisky together with the neighbours the other night.

And tonight, we biked 10 kilometers to visit a friend that moved to Ijburg, an island in the outskirts of Amsterdam. It was a nice ride and it was great to meet Andrew again and to see his marvellous flat, high up on a corner with splendid sea-views in two directions.

From there, we biked further out on Ijburg to the city beach of Blijburg. Well, me and Femke biked and Andrew hooked on to my bike and rolled on his skateboard :-)

Blijburg city beach is quite a nice place with a terrace, a big beach and great views. They even have their own witbier, brewed by Brouwerij de Leckere.

Later on, we also had a drink at terrace of the stylish bar Dok 48, just next to the marina.

Now, it’s time for a quick look at Red Bull X-Alps, then bed. Tomorrow, more work.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer in Amsterdam

Back in Amsterdam, and the summer is lovely. Unfortunately, I have had to work indoors most of the time writing stories and layouting the next issue of Hypoxia.

Today, I finished two stories. That always feels great. As a reward, I walked down to one of our local bars, Het Badhuis, and had a witbier while reading a copy of XC Mag. Lovely.
Then, me and my wonderful woman Femke had a glass of nice wine (Senorio de Nevada 2005) on the balcony, and some jamon iberico. Both of which I brought home from Andalucia a month ago. To that some tomatoes, sprinkled with Tuscan olive oil and Italian balsamic vineagar. Topped up with Femke's soup and some tiramisu, that makes a pretty nice dinner.

Soon, a game of backgammon. Life is good

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Magnus Österberg vann SM, Bjørn Skarpås vann NM

Nu är det nordiska mästerskapet över. Tyvärr blev inte NM giltigt eftersom det krävs en sammanlagd poäng från varje taskvinnare på 1500 poäng.
Men tävlingen har likafullt vinnare. Norrmannen Bjørn Skarpås vann, tätt följd av landsmannen och veteranen Ronny Helgesen. Amerikanen Greg Babush kom trea och schweiziska Susanne Wyss vann damtävlingen.
Susanne vann också serieklassen och svenske Roger ”Kalle” Jönsson (CPS) kom trea. Grattis!

Svenska mästerskapen avgjordes i samma tävling, och SM blev faktiskt giltigt eftersom det bara krävs sammanlagd poäng från taskvinnarna på 1000 poäng. Magnus Österberg (Cirrus) blev bäste svensk i första heatet och Stefan ”Rolle” Rolén (Åre skärm och drakflygklubb) bäste svensk i andra heatet.

Total vinnare i SM blev därmed Magnus Österberg – gratulerar!
Rolle Rolén blev tvåa och Kalle Jönsson trea – grattis till er alla!
Anna Rydh vann damklassen i SM – grattis till henne med!

Photos from the last task in Nordic Open

Today was the last task in Nordic Open 2009. The day started beautifully with blue skies and lots of sun. But as the pilots gathered at take off, the clouds were gathering.

In the end, an ambitious almost 60 kilometers long task was set and a ground start was declared. That means that everybody takes off at the same time and that is counted as the start of the task (normally, there is a start cylinder in the air, where everybody gathers and then there is a start at a certain time, a bit like in sailing).

A big gaggle formed in front of the take off, and another one further away, close to the ridge. But then the clouds moved in and it started to rain a little. A lot of pilots had to land when the lift died, but some managed to fly on.
However, they ran into more rain and in the end, the task was stopped. Pilots are still downloading their tracklogs, but a result is expected soon.

I stayed on take off, taking photos, until most of the competition pilots were away. Then I launched as well, but then, the lift was gone and rain was in the air. I did make it to the official landing, some eight kilometers down the line, which took me further or as far than many of the competitors :-)