reto mag

about the land and the people

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40/2013 image of the week: deltawerken

October 4th, 2013 by sophie · architecture, image of the week, netherlands, sightseeing

The Deltawerken are one of the most famous technical sight in the netherlands.
It’s a protection system against floods and storm surges and was built after the flood in 1953. The full completion of the Delta Works was in 1997, it consist of 15 individual buildings, including several dams, flood weirs and sluices, which were expanded continuously over the years.
The vernacular calls the Deltawerken “The eighth world wonder”.

The photograph was shot in August 2013 by Sophie Daum.

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36/2013 image of the week: kite-surfing in zeeland, netherlands

September 6th, 2013 by sophie · image of the week, netherlands, surfing

a rainy, foggy day watching kitesurfers in zeeland, netherlands.
08/2013 by sophie daum

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Holidays

September 3rd, 2013 by Addy · article, netherlands

Yesterday I drove, to pick up a friend, through little villages by Grevenbroich. The atmosphere was odd as from the most housing areas you saw grey brown coal power stations with smoking and massive chimneys . The nature appears artificial, obviously created by human hand. The houses, churches and banks are almost made by the same material just as the building company had bought one and the same red clinker, to recreate the villages after they were forced to move .I feel uncomfortable and drive faster. Suddenly I see a travelling office with name “Pust-e-blume”  (dandelion). I do not get the word game, the name sounds nicer then the travelling office appears. In the window of the shop I see advertisement for all-inclusive trips to escape from the desert. That’s what brings me to my actual topic: Holidays.

The most beautiful memories, I have, when I think of the holidays with my families to France or Holland, where I played games with brothers, which only a child’s fantasy can invent or when I sat well-protected in a blanket at the beach and read a book.

With rising age I felt the need to make holidays with my friends. My first trip without parents was with my former girls clique to Ibiza: One week party holiday in a gay hotel. The experience was unique as we came from the countryside and were amazed by the ambiance in the clubs and the music, which able to lead us into trance. The nights started at 2 am and ended in the early morning hours. Holidays, where the day played a secondary role and the main experiences took place at night. A crazy holiday with memories, that can only arise in a girl`s holiday.

My next intensive holiday was my trip to the south island in the probably most impressive country on the other side of the world. I travelled all by myself and enjoyed the liberty and independence, which I had to discover people, landscape and places.

The next holiday trip was, after I worked two months in an orphanage in Nepal, a hiking trip on a  mountain in the Himalayas. I was amazed by the nature and the totally foreign culture. Nevertheless I also discovered the negative consequences of tourism. Backpack carriers with almost 5 backpacks on their back and trash all over the earth, even in 3000 meters height. Nepal is a country with a lot of problems which nonetheless has a lot of potential.

I did not mention my numerous city trips in Europe, where I can talk about different kinds of discovering. I have to admit, that I often tortured myself through all the sight-seeing spots, because I kind felt obliged to it.  A soon as I stood in front of the spot I did not really know what to do with it. A photo to say I was here and perhaps a postcard for friends and family, I liked it best to discover these quarters, which are not that easy to find but promise more surprises.

The last holiday was a camping trip to Holland. It was relaxing with long walks at the beach and can beer outside the tent.  There are so many kinds of holiday and it´s a shame to waste it for an all-inclusive trip with a lot of bad food and animation program in the hotel anlage. Tastes are nevertheless different and it might be a small task in life to find the prefect holiday for oneself.

 

photography by sophie daum

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52 hours in amsterdam

April 7th, 2013 by nina · amsterdam, article, netherlands, reportage

earlier this year my friend bella and i decided to go to amsterdam to celebrate her birthday. so in late march i went to her current home in cologne so we can go there together.

          

friday – where is spring?
after a 3 hours ride by train from cologne we arrived in amsterdam at lunchtime. we bought a 48 hour ticket for the local public transport  and went looking for our hotel. amsterdam’s accommodations are really expensive but we made a bargain with the hotel. unfortunately it was not really close to the city and the tramride from the city to our hotel took at least 20 minutes. at the hotel we just dropped our luggage and went back to the city. at this point i have been really hungry and it is never a good idea to let me get really hungry because i get grumpy. so we kind of rushed to the city to find some food. after a felt eternity we found a nice place to eat. stock is a funny place. it belongs to a hostel and you can see through a giant window how the guests of the hostel check in and look inside of the hostel. i ate a very good sandwich and had a hot chocolate. once i had eaten, i was much more calm and ready for the city. the rest of the day we strolled around the jordaan quarter with its little streets around the three famous canals – prinsen-, keizers- and herrencanal. we also saw parts of the famous red light district which was fascinating and disturbing at the same time. since it was horribly cold, we went back to the hotel early and watched the football match holland against estonia at the lobby and drank some wine.

          

saturday – i love this city
since we got to bed early we also stood up early. we decided saturday is shopping day. of course not only shopping and going through the main shopping promenade. more like looking at the small shops which make the jordaan quarter so special. to get the day started we had breakfast at screaming beans. they serve fantastic croissants. from the café we started strolling through the small streets and smaller shops. although the sun was shining it has been really really cold. we have been freezing the whole day long but we invented a plan. we just went into the next shop when it started to get to cold. we have been to some really nice places. i wish my hometown had so many wonderful little shops. at de weldaad i bought a perfect present for my sister and a knob for my dresser. later on we found that amazing boutique called unicorn. the place is chock-full of beautiful things. we took a long time inside and finally both bought a scarf. the owner is a very friendly woman who helped us a long. she said we should have a look at the local market and step inside winkel to eat the best apple pie in amsterdam. we haven’t to be told twice. at the market we bought some cheese for our families and i bought smoked mackerel since my family loves them. and of course we went into winkel and this place seriously sell the best apple pie i have ever eaten, and i have eaten a lot of pies in my life. it was served with cream and it was excellent. after our stay at winkel we felt reinvigorated to queue for the anne frank huis. this was something i really want to see. i read the diary of anne frank some years ago and for me it was important to see were she and her family hit from the nazis until they got betrayed in 1944. it was really weird and touching to walk on the same floors like she did. the saddest thing for me will always be the fact that anne died at kz bergen-belsen from typhus one month before the liberation. in a little movie a friend of her who survived the kz said that if anne had knew that her father was still alive she probably would have made it through. it was hard to see all this but it also is very important. since we needed to arrange our thoughts we decided to run some errands at albert hein and have dinner at the hotel room. we had cheese and fish and some vla for dessert.

          

sunday – tulips in amsterdam
our last day was as cold as the others. after some pain au chocolate we checked out from the hotel we locked our luggage in at the central station and went to the i amsterdam landmark to take some pictures. afterwards we went to the flower-market to buy some tulip bulbs for this is what i think of when i think of amsterdam. fries, coffee-shops, red-light district, canals and tulips. yes i know it is a bit prejudiced. of course amsterdam has much more to offer then that. but tulip bulbs it had to be. i bought a mixed bag and i am so curious to see which colours i got. since we had a lot of time we walked through the city and had some fries for lunch at the lovely frietsteeg. the fries there are really good. our last point on the list was the canal-cruise. we went on an one-hour-cruise. it was interesting and nice to see amsterdam from the water but nothing i need to do twice. during the remaining time till our departure we drank some coffee at a dodgy café and went inside some shops.

    

amsterdam is a lovely place and worth visiting. the small streets and the canals made me fall in love with this city. it is definitely a city were i can imagine to live. and the people are so unbelievably friendly. i am still not over how friendly and warm they are. the whole time i felt i am welcome and safe. next time i come for a visit i’ll make sure it is warmer then it was now.

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