Monthly Archives: October 2014

GO WITH THE FLOW – cycling by the Danube

It's one of Europe's most popular cycling routes - hundreds of kilometres of safe, car-free bike path.

It’s one of Europe’s most popular cycling routes – on safe, car-free bike path.

We cyclists hate stopping. When you stop pedalling a bike, it starts to wobble, then topples over. It takes far more effort to get a bike moving than it does to keep it rolling along at a steady speed.

That’s why cyclists run red lights and ring angry bells at pedestrians blocking their bike path. It’s also why, when enlightened planners lay several hundred kilometres of flat, smooth, wide, almost uninterrupted bike path along the iconic Danube River, we come in droves to roll along it. Continue reading

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Filed under Austria, Cycle touring, Cycling

LOVE YOUR WORK, TOM – though shooting that dog was wrong

Tom Otterness's sculptures take pride of place by the esplanade in Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands.

Tom Otterness’s sculptures take pride of place on the esplanade in Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands.

We’re very sorry to be missing the always wonderful Sculpture by the Sea event in Sydney this year, but the Dutch have sculpture by the North Sea too.

Googling the American sculptor Tom Otterness, after seeing his work by the beach in Scheveningen, I read that he once filmed himself shooting a dog, for an art film. It cost him some lucrative commissions. He apologised. Not good enough, say some of his critics. He killed the dog in 1977, when he was 25. Is all forgiven? Is it okay to enjoy his work now? Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Holland

WHERE DUTCH ARCHITECTURE IS A JOKE

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.



Dutch architects have been hard at work in and around Amsterdam, inserting colourful humour into some very public buildings, and it’s remarkable that, in the Zaanstreek, local planning authorities have been happily going along with the joke.
Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Cycling, Holland

AMSTERDAM MARATHON – giving it my best shots

The start was only four minutes ago and already they're a couple of kilometres down the Amstelveenseweg.

The start was only four minutes ago and already they’re a couple of kilometres down the Amstelveenseweg.

The Amsterdam Marathon is one of the city’s great sporting events.

It’s a serious race for professionals, but it’s also open to any masochist who’d like to have a crack at running 42 kilometres through the Vondelpark, under the Rijksmuseum, past the canals, out along the Amstel River and back to the finish in the Olympic Stadium.

No, of course I wasn’t running it. You kidding? I was there with the camera. Continue reading

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DRAMA IN DUTCH SKIES – and a photo tip…

Basiliek van de H. Nicolaas and Amsterdam Centraal Station...a trick shot (see below).

Basiliek van de H. Nicolaas and Amsterdam Centraal Station…a trick shot (see below).


My brother-in-law Jacob Oldenburger always claims the Dutch skies are the most beautiful in Europe. He’s cycled many a kilometre and he ought to know.

You’d think sky was sky and light was light wherever you went, but on a windy autumn day as Mevrouw T and I rode over the flat landscape of Waterland, north of Amsterdam, it was the clouds that caught our attention.

I only took a few shots, then converted them to black and white and did a little experimenting… Continue reading

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Filed under Holland, travel photography

THE BEAUTIFUL DANUBE – though it’s not really blue

I can't remember the name of this village...just one of so many.

I can’t remember the name of this village…just one of so many. Could look it up, of course, but it’s on the other side of the river. Just admire it instead.


I’m cycling along the Danube this week, doing Utracks’ Blue Danube Cycle adventure.

It’s almost the end of the season, so the Danube has turned a dullish greeny-grey; other things around it are still colourful.

Here’s a selection of my best shots so far… Continue reading

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Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling

YOU HAVE TO LAUGH – public art in Bratislava

There's some lovely interaction going on between these two groups of visitors, but note the Napoleonic Soldier photobombing.

There’s some lovely interaction going on between these two groups of visitors, but note the Napoleonic Soldier photobombing.



City fathers, yes, city mothers too, have options when it comes to installing or authorising public art. Heroic statues of kings, emperors, politicians and generals have long been standard fare.

Bratislava has its fair share of national heroes gracing the streets. But it has also more recently installed public art with obvious appeal to locals and visitors alike, your correspondent included. Continue reading

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Filed under Art