birdienl: (History castle)

Hello dear readers! It's been a while (again) since I've written, but to make it up, I've got a big, photo-filled post about my latest holiday from two weeks ago. This time I got on a train to go to Heidelberg, which is in the south of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Read more... )
birdienl: (Jane Eyre)

As you might (or might not) recall from a previous post, I actually took a trip to England two weeks ago. And since I've been back I've been so busy I haven't even had time to do my 'customary' picture post here! Let's quickly remedy that!

Read more... )
birdienl: (spring 2015)
Last week I was in Italy, in Tuscany to be precise for a conference and a short holiday. Here are some pictures I wanted to share with you.

Read more... )
birdienl: (Summer)
It's been some time since I posted, I have been on holiday and after that, recovering from my holiday ;-)
As you might expect from me, first things first: my holiday pictures!!

This year, I went outside of Europe for the first time! I went to Canada, first four days to a scientific conference in Guelph, followed by a holiday in Toronto and Ottawa.

More pictures! )
birdienl: (Hello spring)

Two weeks ago, I went for a short trip to the Belgian capital of Brussels. Even though it's quite close to home (less than 3 hours by train), it was still very different (language, architecture, culture etc), so I really felt like I was away from everyday life and I totally enjoyed it!

More.... )
birdienl: (LBD Jane and Lizzie)
 photo 11Mirabellgarten_zps6c411c87.jpg

Last week, I went on holiday. First, I visited the Austrian city of Salzburg, for the second half I went to Munich in Germany. Here I met up with a friend of mine who lives there. I had a really lovely time with lots of history, culture and beautiful nature and it was really nice to spend time with my friend.
I want to share with you some of the best sites I saw, I hope you enjoy it!
More pictures under the cut! )
birdienl: (History castle)
Last week I enjoyed a short holiday in Belgium, mainly in the lovely city of Bruges. I wanted to share with you some of the interesting (mainly historical) things I saw. Hope you enjoy the photographs! (The weather was very bad, it rained at least part of every day, so the pictures are unfortunately sometimes very grey....)

Bruges is sometimes called 'Venice of the North'. This relatively small city was once the chief commercial city of the world! It's heyday was between the 12th and 15th century, when Bruges got extremely wealthy by trade in cloth and wool. Many of the buildings erected in this era have survived to this day in a beautiful state, making the city a popular tourist attraction. The historical city center received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000.

More history under the cut ;-) )
birdienl: (Default)
Once upon a time, there was a pope from The Netherlands: Adrian VI. Although at that time (the 15th century), The Netherlands as a country did not yet exist, he was born in the city of Utrecht, which is ofcourse in The Netherlands now. Adriaan Floriszoon Boeyens (1459-1523) was son of a carpenter, but was very intelligent and got the opportunity to study at the University of Leuven. Quickly he climbed the academic ladder, becoming professor at 30 years of age. His wisdom and pious lifestyle was spoken of across Europe, which caused him to become tutor of the young prince Charles, who was later to become Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. 

His friendship with the powerful prince would change his life forever. It led to him become Charles' ambassador in Spain, later cardinal and in 1520 even regent of Spain (as Charles V was hated in Spain, he could not rule there in person). In 1522 pope Leo X died unexpectantly. Leo X had lived a very extravagant and amoral life as pope and the cardinals decided the next pope should be a very different person and so Adriaan, who many people had never even heard about, was made pope. 

Adrian had not been present at the conclave and did not hear of his election until two weeks later. He was not overly thrilled with his new position, but accepted out of his reverence to God and the Church. During his time in Rome he did not make himself popular. He abhorred the luxurious lifestyle of the cardinals and introduced stark cuts in his court circle. The cultural difference between the introverted Adriaan and the exuberant population of Rome during the Renaissance led to a chasm between him and the citizens of Rome. In september 1523, only 12 months after he had become pope, Adrian died.  It is believed he was poisoned. After his death only cardinals from Italy were appointed pope until the election of John Paul II in 1978.

You might wonder why I choose this particular fact for my 100 things challenge. Well, as you might know, it was Open Doors day of historical monuments this weekend and in Utrecht, the house of Adriaan was open for the first time in many years. Adriaan had given instructions to build a house in 1517. Unfortunately, he never saw the house completed and did not live in the house himself. Though the current interiors of the house are all 19th century, it was a very interesting visit.

birdienl: (History castle)
Here are some pictures of my recent trip to Edinburgh and Southern Scotland. Hope you enjoy my pictures and stories!

Day 1: Travelling. Didn't arrive in the Argyle Backpackers hostel until 11 o' clock and had to get into bed (in a strange room, with 5 strange people sleeping around me) in the dark. Luckily I brought my little reading light!


More of Edinburgh, Stirling, Loch Lomond, St Andrews etc. under the cut! )
birdienl: (History castle)
Well, I promised you pictures from my holiday in Dublin, and here they are. Hope you enjoy my little tour of the city!

Ha'penny Bridge, officially called the Liffey Bridge, is a pedestrian bridge build in 1816 over the River Liffey in the centre of Dublin and an icon of the city. The hostel my friend and I stayed in was practically opposite the Ha'penny bridge, so very close to every major sight in Dublin!

Many of the major sights under the cut! )

The new issue of Femnista is out! The theme of this issue is Literary Women, with articles about Elinor Dashwood, Margaret Hale, Hermione Granger and the women of Elizabeth Gaskell's Ruth, the article I've contributed this time.

Click to view the full digital publication online
Read Femnista May June 2012

birdienl: (Default)
You probably all experienced it, the lovely smell of a forest after rain. It's very distinctive, but what makes it smell so good? 

It can be caused by multiple things. One of the main reasons is a group of bacteria called Actinomycetes. These very common bacteria grow in the soil, in damp and warm conditions. When the soil dries out, as in summer, the bacteria produce tiny spores. Rainfall kicks the spores up into the air and we breathe them in. The spores have a typical, earthy smell, which we associate with rainfall. 

Another typical after-the-rain smell comes from the volatile oils plants and trees secrete. The oils collect on the ground and on rocks and when the rain reacts with the oils, it is carried as a gas through the air. Most people consider this a fresh and  pleasant smell, and it even been bottled and sold for it's aromatic qualities!

At Ascension Day, I visited Amerongen Castle. I posted my pictures from the visit at [ profile] all_castles. If you're interested, you can read about it here

birdienl: (Default)
Here are a few pictures of my recent (two weeks ago) trip to North England for your enjoyment!

Day 1: Traveling.... Arrived around 5 'o clock in Newcastle, where I checked into Euro Hostel Newcastle. A very new and clean hostel, but also a bit 'cold', not very friendly. I slept in a 4-bed dorm, but I've been alone for all 4 nights I slept there. Not the best for when you're travelling alone and want to meet people. Anyway, I started my holiday with a walk around Newcastle, just exploring the city.

Gateshead Millenium Bridge, spanning the river Tyne, one of the modern landmarks of Newcastle.

More heritage and nature under the cut ;-) )
birdienl: (Default)

I grew up in Friesland, a Northern province of the Netherlands, which is exceptionally rich with medieval churches, over 250 in total. I always took them a little bit for granted, as we often do with things which have 'always been there'. But this year I suddenly realised: when I'm on holiday I will visit churches and gush over them, still I've never visited that beautiful Romanesque-Gothic church which is only 5 miles from my mother's house.... During the summer months, many of these small village churches are open for viewing on Saturday afternoons.

If you're interested, you can view the pictures of the four churches I visited the last two weeks here at [ profile] placeofworship 
birdienl: (Default)

On Ascension Day, I went to the lovely castle Slot Zuylen. I posted all the pictures and information on [info]all_castles
If you're interested, you can find them here

birdienl: (Default)
Two weekends ago, I went for a weekend to Berlin with a bunch of girls from my choir. It was a wonderful trip, in which this city really stole my heart. So much to see, so much history everywhere. I wanted to give you a taste of what it was like, so here are some photographs (it was wonderful weather for photographs by the way, especially Saturday with the clear blue sky, so I'm really pleased with some of these)

Thé symbol of Berlin, the Brandenburger Tor at the Parizer Platz, build at the end of the 18th century. It was based upon the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. It is the only gate still remaining of the 18 that were build.

For a lot more photographs, click this line! )

birdienl: (Default)

Recently, I've discovered two very interesting LJ-comms: [ profile] all_castles and [ profile] placeofworship where you can post pictures of castles and churches. It's very nice to see pictures of lovely old buildings in your f-list every day and equally lovely to discuss places you've been and photographed with other history-geeks.

Last Sunday it was a beautiful sunny autumn day and I decided to take pictures of the church in the place where I was born. And because this is not just a church I visited, but MY church, the one I grew up in, I decided to post the pictures here on my personal LJ as well.


Place of worship )


birdienl: (Default)

Hi guys! Like I said in some previous post, I went on holiday to England (Brighton to be precise) last week. Some of you asked whether I post about what I did, so here you go! (Not all of the pictures are very good, it's mainly because the weather was very clouded and rainy, leaving the pictures a bit bleak) 
No tender-hearted garden crowns, no bosomed woods adorn, our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs, but gnarled and writhen thorn )

February 2017

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