Friday, March 27, 2020

Discovering Egmond aan Zee

Hey there, stranger. 

I think since we have quite some time, we could catch up little by little, don't you think? Maybe this way I can seduce you to visit The Netherlands and discover little places around the country. I'm still on it, of course, but seeing the photos from our past adventures makes me want more! This one belongs to 2018 but is still worth it.

Egmond aan Zee is a coastal town located close to Alkmaar, like 15-20 min by bus from the bus station. It's a place that has been severely punished on several occasions by the sea and floods that destroyed part of the city, including houses and the church, but they have always known how to get ahead and move on.

 Egmond is a town of fishermen and the sea has always been providing for them. Also, it became really famous resort at the beginning of the 20th-century since it was well known for its healthy and clear sea air. Children from all over the country came over to stay in one of the many "koloniehuizen", which were sanatorium-like institutions often run by charities and churches. 

 At the Museum van Egmond you can learn about the history of the three Egmond villages, such as about the former castle, the abbey and the church that sank into the sea, the fishermen and sea rescuers, and living so close to the sea. Egmond aan Zee was founded by a group of monks that established a settlement here in 997, and from there it developed into a real fishing village. Due to erosion of the coast, on 1570 fifty houses disappeared into the sea at the All Saints' Flood. During the Christmas storm in November 1741, 36 houses and the church with the tower were swallowed by the sea. 

 Also at the museum, you can learn about the Egmondse Rescue Brigade, which was established to serve the drowning and victims of accidents on the Egmond beach and in or on the adjacent North Sea. It aims to provide practical assistance to all those who need it as a result of the aforementioned cases and where possible prevent accidents through preventive action.


After visiting the museum we walked around town to discover its little streets, smell the sea or sightsee the beautiful lighthouse J.C.J. van Speijk. Since the sea at Egmond could and still can be very treacherous, two lighthouses designed by Jan Valk were built between 1833 and 1834. After the construction of the North Sea Canal in 1876 and the construction of the two lighthouses in IJmuiden, the towers in Egmond were fitted with red windows to avoid confusion, so that the light emitted could be distinguished from the ones of IJmuiden. One of the lighthouses was equipped with a rotating light in 1891, and the other lighthouse was demolished in 1915. As a curiosity, nowadays the north side of the light from the lighthouse is red to warn of dangerous shallows north of Egmond, but as soon as ships leave this danger zone, the light turns white again.

This lighthouse was chosen in 1834 as a J.C.J van Speijk monument, in memory of Lieutenant Commander Jan van Speijk, who would rather fly into the air than surrender his ship to the Belgian enemy igniting the supply of powder on board the ship on 1831. 

Made a new friend while on the beach!

After the long walk, having a bite in one of the restaurants around town and eating some ice cream, we were ready to go back home, not without shooting a couple of outfit photos! For such a nice summer day I was wearing this beautiful and happy Emily Temple Cute dress with a short and light cardigan by Hellbunny since I was not wearing any blouse but I wanted to protect my shoulders. Yes, as you may have imagined, in that little bag was some sunscreen protection for me!

What do you think? Did you find Egmond aan Zee as interesting as I found it? I hope so! 

Next time we'll change the seasons to show you a new adventure, so we won't be just seeing summer photos!

Dress - Emily Temple Cute | Cardigan - Hellbunny | Socks - Calzedonia | 
Shoes - Secret Tea Party | Bag - Baby, the Stars Shine Bright     

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The 'Dutch Kremlin' and Museum 'de Turfschuur'

Hey there, stranger.

When I moved to The Netherlands I never thought I could visit the Kremlin. Of course, it's not the Russian one (although I hope to see that one in the future) but the one located in the little village of Winkel. 
The Dutch Kremlin only open its doors four times per year (June 7, July 12, August 16 and September 13 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm), but if you're around, it's worth visiting.

Ger Leegwater, a retired sheet metal worker, began building this installation in the early 90s. He's not an architect, but an enthusiastic inspired by classical and Russian Orthodox architecture. Using recycled materials and coax sheet metal he started to build this place, a private garden full of beautiful statues with the Little Kremlin as the epicentre of it all. 


When you enter the gardens you don't expect to find a dragon and St. George there, hidden into the Little Kremlin, but I was amazed by it and surprised in a very good way. The details and care that Ger has put on this beautiful place are palpable in every corner. Again, if you're able to visit on one of their opening dates (or set a visit, since you can contact them through their website or Facebook page), do it!

From here we took the car and ride towards Kolhorn, a lovely village a little bit up north. I've been here once before when one of Thijs' sisters were living in a beautiful house, during summer they do a night market full of interesting stalls. But our destiny was the local museum, 'de Turfschuur', where you can see and experience the struggle of the provincial and local people to keep their heads above water, literally and figuratively. 

The museum opens from mid-April to October on Saturdays and Sundays (1 pm to 4.30 pm.), but for groups of more than 6 people, you can visit the museum by appointment outside opening hours, and also combine the visit with a tour of the village, a boat trip with the Kolhorner 'Staverse Jol' or a combination of both. We only could visit the museum since it was late for us for the rest of the activities, but it's a great excuse to come back, right? You can find all the information about the museum here.

Isn't it nice for a Sunday plan?