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Bakkeveen Sports Park

You may remember I mentioned the home ground of Dutch football team V V Bakkeveen (among others) three and a half years ago.

The plant growth had been too profuse in Sep 2014 when I was there.

Just over a year ago we visited Bakkeveen again. It being spring the trees were less in evidence and the ground eminently visible.

Football Ground, Bakkeveen, The Netherlands

Dutch Football Ground 2

Dutch Football Ground 3

Menin Gate Again

On our trip to Belgium and the Netherlands last year we again visited Ypres and I took more photos of the Menin Gate.

Menin Gate from west, bathed in early evening sunlight:-

Menin Gate from West

Menin Gate from Ypres ramparts:-

Menin Gate from ramparts

Menin Gate from street:-

Menin Gate from street

Moat from Menin Gate:-

Moat from Menin Gate, Ypres

Relief Map of Ypres, situated right by the Menin Gate, on the west side:-

Relief Map of Ypres

On approaching the Menin gate from the Menin Road I noticed two statues that had not been there the year before. It turned out these had originally been at the Gate but had been presented in 1936 to the Australian War Memorial in memory of the thousands of Australians who passed through the Gate during the Great War. They had been temporarily returned in April 2017 (till November 2017) to their original location.

Lion Statues at Menin Gate

Close up on one of the lions:-

Menin Gate Lion

Menin Gate Lions information board in four languages:-

Menin Gate Lions Information Board

The information in English:-

Menin Gate Lions Information

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

The Netherlands 4-2 Denmark

Women’s European Championship Final, De Grolsch Veste (Arke Stadion,) Enschede, 6/8/17.

This was a great watch – certainly in the first half. Attacking football, end-to-end stuff, four goals, lead changing hands, two equalisers.

The Netherlands had the best of the opening exchanges but Denmark had shown intent before the penalty with which they took the lead, Afghan refugee Nadim putting it away with aparently no nerves.

The main Dutch ploy in the early stages was to exploit De Sanden’s pace down the right which led directly to their equaliser, her pinpoint cross converted by Miedema. Martens then made a goal out of nothing by running across the defence and turning it back against the goalkeeper’s expectation. The keeper maybe still ought to have made the save though.

Denmark’s equaliser was a supreme example of a forward making a goal for herself. Harder bent her offside beating run beautifully, staying in her own half till the pass was played before running half the length of the pitch, cutting across the defender and clipping the ball back between her opponent’s legs into the near corner.

It had been a breathless first half.

It couldn’t continue. Things settled to a slightly slower pace in the second.

The Dutch got themselves in front via a free kick given away too cheaply and the goalkeeper’s mistaken anticipation of where Spitse would place the ball. From there Denmark huffed and puffed, even hitting the frame of the goal, but never looked composed enough to take it away from Holland. The writing was on the wall when they threw a centre half up front and they duly paid the price as Miedema more or less replicated the latter movement Harder had made for her goal.

Some iffy goalkeeping apart this was a great advert for women’s football. (Iffy goalkeeping is not unknown in the men’s game too.)


For our trip to Belgium and the Netherlands we took the ferry from Hull across to Zeebrugge.

At Hull we got onto the ship, examined the cabin, no room to have a cat never mind swing one, then went up on deck.

Hull was surprisingly green but with some industry too.

Over the dockside rooftops I spotted what I thought might be a football ground with what appeared to be the word KCom on a stand. Was it the KCom stadium, the home of Hull City AFC (and Hull FC, one of the city’s two big Rugby League clubs) I wondered? But it looked too small.

It turns out that it was KCom I had spotted but it was KCom Craven Park, the home of the other Rugby League club, Hull Kingston Rovers.

KCom Craven Park

KCom Craven Park 2

In this zoom shot the end S of “Rovers” can be seen on the far stand’s seats.

KCom Craven Park 3

Some modern architecture in Hull:-

Building, Hull

Hook of Holland

Our landfall in (and departure point from) The Netherlands was at the Hook of Holland (Hoek van Holland) via the ferry from Harwich.

Thee is a port building there which doesn’t seem to be used as a terminal any more but is impressively Art Deco in appearance.

From the River Maas:-

Hoek of Holland

On the way back as we were waiting in the queue for boarding I managed to get two photos from which this is stitched:-

Hoek Van Holland Terminal Building

This one of its central roofline sculpture was snatched from the boat as it passed on departure:-

Detail Hoek van Holland Terminal Building

The town of Hoek van Holland is itself very tidy and neat (unlike Harwich on the other side which shows the civic neglect typical of the UK as a whole.)

There were two decoish buildings. In this one it’s the left hand window and its decoration, especially the stepping.:-

Touch of Deco in Hoek van Holland

Deco corner. (Or maybe it’s just that Dutch Amsterdam style.) Pity the glazing has been updated:-

Art Deco Style, Hoek ofHolland

The doorway panel in the side street has great rule of three in the windows above the door and lovely detailing in the brickwork:-

Art Deco, Hoek of Holland

Groningen University, Groningen, The Netherlands

I was told when we were there that this is the oldest building in Groningen. How true that is I don’t actually know. It’s a fine building anyway but there wasn’t enough space to back into to get it all in one and we were pushed for time:-

Groningen University Tower

Groningen University lower view

Groningen University Building

Check out the astounding number of bicycles outside it:-

Bikes outside Groningen University

Grootegast, The Netherlands

Grootegast is in Groningen province.

This house (flats?) has a definite Art Deco feel especially in the rounded window elements:-

Art Deco Style House, Grootegast, The Netherlands

Other angle:-

Art Deco Style, Grootegast, The Netherlands

A more typical Dutch style house:-

House in Grootegast, The Netherlands


House Detail, Grootegast, The Netherlands

Grootegast War Memorial. From distance:-

Grootegast War Memorial From Distance

Closer view:-

Grootegast War Memorial

Memorial pedestal:-

Grootegast War Memorial

Dutch East Indies Memorial:-

Grootegast War Memorial

Post World War 2 the Dutch made a doomed attempt to hold on to their Far Eastern colonies. As did the French. And, eventually, the British.

Dutch Curiosities

This is a converted windmill in Marum, Groningen Province, The Netherlands:-

Ex-windmill, Marum, Groningen, The Netherlands

This one’s for you, Denis. A Monkey-puzzle tree – or Araucaria to give it its botanical name – also in Marum:-

Monkey Puzzle Tree, Marum

Resistance Monument, The Netherlands

While in The Netherlands we helped walk the good lady’s relatives’ dog most days. In a piece of Dutch woodland we came across this memorial to Resistance fighters who had been captured and shot by the Germans. Not the sort of thing you happen upon in a Scottish wood, thankfully.

Resistance Monument

Resistance Monument, The Netherlands

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