On 27 April the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo, Gelderland will be celebrating 40 years of free-to-use white bikes for visitors, originally suggested by members of the mid-1960s Provos, a Dutch anti-establishment cultural movement whose co-founder passed away in 2009.
The Hoge Veluwe, a three Michelin star tourist attraction and the biggest nature reserve of the country, features 5,400 hectares of green and forest. When cycling through it on your white bike, you may catch a glimpse of animals like deers to rabbits. Also on the grounds of the park is the world-famous Kröller-Müller museum, featuring works by Van Gogh and Picasso indoors and with sculptures and paintings outdoors – a great place to spend the day. There’s also a nature discovery museum for kids and of course, white bikes for kids and even for parents with small children.
At the celebration, five of the white bikes will be painted by artists and auctioned off, and there will also be a photo competition, the winners of which will have their pictures enlarged and placed around the park.
Back in 2010 Slot Loevestein (‘slot’ means ‘castle’ in Dutch) was looking for new castle watchers, preferably a couple to also run its bed & breakfast. Loevestein is remote, tends to flood in the winter and the right couple is required to stay in the castle à la The Shining, come hell or high water, quite literally. Loevestein is again looking for a new set of castle watchers and we actually know people who are going to try and get the job.
This 14th century castle used to be a prison, and one of its most famous inmates was lawyer, poet and politician Hugo de Groot (Hugo Grotius) often protrayed as the ‘father of modern international law’. In 1621 Hugo de Groot pulled off a very cool escape in a book chest, an idea he got from his wife, Maria van Reigersberg who was living in the castle, albeit probably not locked up.
Some 400 couples have applied for the job this time around. Another common job opening that has this kind of response is for fort watchers on the artificial island of Pampus where being a couple and staying put is also a requirement.
A letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte 200 years ago has been found in an antique shop in the small town of Ermelo, Gelderland. It was written to General Auguste De Marmont, Napoleon’s adjutant, praising him for the building of the Pyramid of Austerlitz in Woudenberg, a tribute to Napoleon.
Apparently, it is the only letter in which Napoleon mentions the Dutch monument. The letter will be put up for auction eventually. Last December, another letter written by Napoleon in 1812 fetched 150.000 euro.
In the Achterhoek, a part of the eastern province of Gelderland that protrudes into Germany, water pipe cafés are apparently popping up like weeds, if we believe what the papers are saying.
‘Hookahs’ (aka water pipes) let people smoke flavored tobacco called ‘shisha’ in which the smoke is passed through a glass water basin before it is inhaled. Yes, it’s still smoking and it is unhealthy, but it is legal and currently circumvents the smoking ban. Hookahs can be smoked in public spaces and shisha lounges as long as there are no drugs such as hashish (soft drugs) in the pipe.
The Lekker Dier foundation, a farm animal welfare group, announced last Thursday that the best mud pit for pigs in 2012 is the one in the farmyard of the Van Leeuwen family in Buren.
“This pit is large, nice and deep, and muddy. Perfect for a lovely cool down in this warm weather.”
This year marked the eighth time the trophee was awarded. Only one percent of the 12 million pigs in the Netherlands have access to mud baths. Pigs use mud baths to regulate their temperature and to keep their skin clean from parasites.
Buren is a village near Tiel, in the largest province of the Netherlands, Gelderland.
Check the Stad Tiel article for some photos of happy (and even smiling) pigs.
First, there was the banning of a poem about a teenage boy’s SS uncle deemed inappropriate to be read at the annual Amsterdam ceremony, now the town of Vorden, Gelderland, which has one of the only graves in the Netherlands with German soldiers buried in it that wants to commemorate them. Basically, it’s fashionable to blur the lines between victim and perpetrator: it’s cool to be on the wrong side of things. And there’s so much bad taste going around these days, you need to pick your battles.
The Remembrance of the Dead on 4 May is to commemorate civilians and soldiers of all kinds who died in WWII, Dutch or foreign, but since the 1960s it has also included other wars and major conflicts. The boy’s poem was also meant to commemorate a Dutch volunteer who ended up on the wrong side of things, but after much commotion from Jewish organisations and the public at large, it was pulled. The teenager did well in winning a contest with his poem, but it’s too bad he’s being dragged in the mud for it. Only one line of the poem points to the man being on the German side, it’s not a big pro-Nazi rant or anything.
However, paying tribute to German soldiers flat out is losing the plot in my opinion. Or amnesia. Or dementia.
Gypsy musician Tata Mirando from Arnhem, aka Djangela Mirando (you may all know his family, the Mirando gypsy family), recently bought a violin for 50 euro at flea market in Den Bosch worth about 100,000 euro.
An elderly woman sold the violin, which was part of the collection of her departed husband. For his money Mirando also got a bag full of sheet music which contained a certificate of authenticity of the violin, stating that it was a Giuseppe Guadagnini from 1801. Mirando thinks the violin is worth less and says it does need to be fixed up.
Here’s what the Mirando clan sounds like in a restaurant in Epe, Gelderland
Legal driving age is 18 here, so he borrowed mom’s car illegally. Not only did the boy trash someone’s yard, he also drove the car home, parked it, and pretended nothing happened. He got caught by the cops because a licence plate fell off in said yard. Damn. His excuse to the police was that he had watched ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and wanted to try out drifting, a driving technique “where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns,” and “make smoke come out of the tires”.
Watch how it’s done on British television show Top Gear with cool Japanese guys:
Two suspected car thieves were caught yesterday when they tried to escape their pursuers by swimming from the province of Gelderland to the province of Flevoland across the 500-meter-wide Nuldernauw.
At 9:15 am police noticed a stolen car on the A28 motorway, but drivers got wind of smokey bear and put the pedal to the metal. Near the town of Horst, the stolen car hit the shoulder at high speed and careened into some trees 30 metres off the road. When the police got there, they found that the driver and his partner in crime had fled the scene towards the nearby water.
A little later, the police discovered the men in the water, swimming towards Flevoland. When two officers dived in to continue pursuit, the suspects turned around and themselves in. The men were taken to a hospital for hypothermia. The police will question them as soon as possible.
Over the last 50 years, the British American Tobacco (BAT) factory in Zevenaar, Gelderland has built up a large collection of modern art. The factory will soon be closed and the artwork in the Stuyvesant collection will be auctioned off, albeit not as a one lot.
“At the end of the 1950s, factory director Alexander Orlow started hanging works of art among the cigarette-making machines. The workers needed something interesting to look at to stave off boredom and increase their productivity, he felt. Orlow went for modern, avant-garde art – large, colourful and mainly abstract paintings.
In collaboration with the directors of the Rotterdam Boijmans van Beuningen museum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, it acquired over 1,500 pieces, 150 of which are often loaned to major exhibitions. But on August 15 this year, BAT announced that it would auction off the total collection.”
The commotion surrounding the sale is due to the fact that the cigarette manufacturer tried to find a buyer who would keep the collection together and accessible to the public, but had been unable to do so. Mayor Jan de Ruiter, who has been trying to save the collection since 2006, spoke to the BAT executive in London and mobilised the Dutch state, the provincial government and the Mondriaan Foundation. He spoke to Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum about the possibility of an annex in Zevenaar. He had calculations made on how much a Stuyvesant Museum would cost. Everyone was helpful yet all his efforts failed.
Neither Sotheby’s nor BAT want to comment on the total value of the art (which includes paintings by Karel Appel, Corneille and Anton Henning), but it is believed to be between 15 and 25 million euro.