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Sneek (i)

There’s something satisfying about a town which has water in or near its centre. It nearly always brightens the place up.

Sneek (it’s pronounced snake) is a town in Friesland, in the north of The Netherlands.

Like a lot of towns in Flanders and most in The Netherlands, Sneek is built around canals. This one was right beside the road leading into the town from the motorway. The town centre is just off to the right.

Canal in Sneek,  Friesland

We parked by the side of this (different) canal:-

Canal

That was after having crossed this bridge to get to the canalside:-

Canal Bridge

And this canal is in the middle of a shopping street. Notice the “Christmas Light” style hangings over the canal:-

Canal in Sneek

Along with more standard light fittings these also appeared over the “normal” streets:-

Street in Sneek

The design is in the shape of the Waterpoort, a prominent feature of Sneek’s townscape which I’ll post about later.

This is another beautiful, leafy canal in Sneek:-

Canal

A bit further along the same canal was this striking modern theatre:-

Sneek Theatre

Abe Lenstra Stadium, Heerenveen

When visiting Belgium and The Netherlands in May last year I took a wrong exit and ended up heading north on a slightly different motorway from the one I intended. (Btw Dutch motorways are brilliant I have to say.)

As a result we passed directly beside the Abe Lenstra Stadium, home of SC Heerenveen, who play in the top level of Dutch football, the Eredivisie. I note that the team plays in the colours of the flag of Friesland.

The stadium is named after Abe Lenstra, the club’s most famous player, even though the era in which he played was not the club’s most successful.

The pictures were snatched (not by the driver) as we drove past.

Abe Lenstra Stadium Heerenveen

Heerenveen's Abe Lenstra Stadium

Drachten, Friesland, The Netherlands

Drachten is a sizable town in the province of Friesland in The Netherlands.

Like most Dutch towns (I concede Frisians might not quite consider themselves Dutch) it contains buildings which verge on Art Deco in style:-

Building in Drachten, The Netherlands

Drachten, The Netherlands

I liked these stained glass windows:-

Stained Glass, Drachten, The Netherlands

It’s the curve that gives this the deco look but the rest seems too modern:-

Deco Style, Drachten, The Netherlands

These houses have the look:-

Deco Style Houses, Drachten, The Netherlands

This is certainly more like it. Art Deco “rule of three” in the windows, plus the roofline stepped at the ends and the detailing in the brickwork:-

Art Deco Style, Drachten, The Netherlands Drachten 13


Surhuisterveen, Friesland, The Netherlands

I have posted about Surhuisterveen before, here and here.

This May we were there again and I saw some deco style buildings I’d missed in 2104.

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen 1

Detailing on roof corner:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen Detail

This former bank is a modern building but with decoish aspects:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen 33

Aspect round the corner:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen, Gable

Deco style stained glass window. Mondrian-like:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen 5

We had arrived just in time for Dutch Remebrance Day (May 5th I think.) I prefer their wreaths to the British poppy-heavy ones:-

Surhuisterveen Remembrance Wreaths

Groningen from the Canal(s)

Like most Dutch cities/towns Groningen is built round canals. (Or they were built round it.)

This is an unusually wide expanse of water where at least two of them meet:-

I include the one below mainly for the flag on the prow of the boat in the picture. It’s quartered in red and blue, the quarters centred on a white cross with what at first I thought was a blue cross within. (I’d seen it at a distance flying on a house just outside Opende.) I worked out it was the flag of Groningen Province after seeing a different flag, blue with white diagonal stripes containing red hearts, which was obviously that of Friesland. On seeing Groningen’s flag closely the central cross is green.

There are lots of lovely buildings on the canal:-

The Martini Tower used to be the tallest bulding in Groningen. It still is for the town centre but a taller one now lies on the outskirts. It was very difficult to snap the tower from the boat. Street furniture kept getting in the way.

Or splashes on the boat’s windows!!

Another wide expanse of canal allowed this of the tower in the distance:-

This is the tower from the town centre:-

It has a sundial about halfway up:-

Another striking building:-

We were told this is the smallest house in Groningen. It’s the one in the right-hand part of the white building (and the right half of that):-

Interesting corner building here. Not to mention the statue of the kneeling figure:-

Many of the bridges over the canals in Groningen have to open up to allow the boats underneath. This is one of them:-

And Now I’m Back

I’ve been in Holland.

Well, strictly speaking, since it was on the borders of the Friesland and Groningen provinces, make that The Netherlands.

The good lady’s eldest brother lives there. We had been supposed to visit for years but life got in the way.

We needed to renew our passports first. I sent the applications away late in July. Despite all the talk on the news about delays we got the new ones inside a week. (As I remember it was four days.) Maybe the Glasgow Passport office is more efficient than down south.

So another country visited. Apart from the constituent parts of the UK (though I only just made it into Wales) I’ve been to Sweden (Stockholm,) the Soviet Union (Leningrad as was) and Denmark (Copenhagen) on a school cruise when I was at Primary School, Portugal (the Azores, Madeira, Lisbon) and Spain (Vigo) on a Secondary School cruise, and as an adult to Germany (near Stuttgart) and France twice (Normandy for the D-Day beaches and Picardy for World War I battlefields.)

Since the good lady didn’t fancy being on a RoRo ferry overnight we drove down to Harwich (with an overnight stop) and the same on the way back. I’m knackered.

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