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" Holland - 4 - Naarden and The Hague "

Date & start time:      19th June 2022.

Location of Start :     Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Places visited :          Muiden, Almere Poort, Naarden.

Walk details :              Local walks meeting family, friends and a stroll on the sand.

Highest point :           Discovering the reality of place names.

Walked with :              Loes and Myself.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies.


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The second half of this busy week finds us heading east to two old towns and one very new one.

Muiden and Naarden are old sea ports that owe their existence to their defensive positions close to Amsterdam.

In between, we visit Loes's family in Almere Poort, on the tip of a huge area of newly reclaimed land, in what used to be the southern part of the Zuider Zee.

Were travelling by car again today, on the southern ring road around Amsterdam.

Holland is a small country with housing and commercial businesses often built close to the motorways.

In order to keep the sound of the traffic to a minimum they often build sound screens along the side of the carriageways and over the bridges.

Not surprisingly, they are a popular sight for graffiti, some of which is readable and makes sense, some of which doesn't !

Our route takes us past the busy Schiphol Airport, Holland's equivalent of Heathrow.

You can always see a plane or two landing or taking off from the airport.

Loes is driving . . . hence the photos of the KLM aircraft crossing above us on a bridge over the motorway !

No two skyscrapers look the same . . . but they all look modern.

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Loes wanted to show me the old town of Muiden, where the architecture is anything but modern.

The town was well fortified in the old days,

The dyke surrounding it must have been raised in modern times, either that or they would be firing over a very high earth bank.

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Muiderslot in the town of Muiden

is a restored 13th Century moated castle.


It is open as a visitor attraction

with lovely gardens as well as the castle itself.


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Looking down into the castle grounds from the top of the dyke that surrounds the town.

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Situated close to the capital of Amsterdam

it was an important defensive and presumably, trading port.



While we were walking into the small town,

alongside the river,

the lock gates opened and this large

three masted sailing boat motored out.




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From the look of the people on deck, it was a tourist cruise, taking them on a day out on the open waters of the Ijmeer.

In town folk had to waite while the bridge re-opened.

In the queue, yet another variety of bike . . . a tandem with an adult recliner front seat, towing a trailer . . . any more options you want ?

Being coffee time . . . it's always coffee time on holiday . . . Loes wanted me to try the Dutch Apple Strudel cake.

If you want a cake with your tea or coffee it is often the only option and here at the Inn near the bridge in Muiden it was certainly no different.

Afterwards I managed a brief walk around the public rooms of the old building which was also historically interesting.

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After our walk we had a lunchtime visit to brother-in-law Ronnie, niece Mandy and family, all at Almere Poort, on the large reclaimed island of Almere.

Due to the very sociable reception I forgot to take photos of this part of the day, for which I apologise.

The same applied to our visit to Loes's brother Wim, Dennis and partner in Amersfoort.

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Mid afternoon found us at another local historic town, this time Naarden.

The town is famous for its 'star shaped fort' (which resembles a giant snowflake from the air).  It meant it was very defendable from attack.

It formed an important part of the defensive ring around Amsterdam and is one of the best preserved fortified towns in Europe.

An old aerial picture shows the defensive moat . . .
. . . and a modern three dimensional model in the town hall does the same.

The original 9th Century township of Naarden, located north of the present-day town, suffered in the destructive storms of the early

13th Century that created the Zuider Zee. The town was eventually rebuilt on its current, slightly elevated site.

When Spain ruled the Lowlands the town was prosperous and heavily fortified but in 1572, during the Eighty Years’ War for Dutch independence

the town held a vital strategic position but loyalties were divided. When a Spanish army arrived in 1572 it was allowed inside the fortifications,

an unwise decision. As part of their hearts and minds campaign, the Spanish decided to massacre Naarden’s inhabitants and burn the town to the ground.

The full story is eloquently described on the 'Camilid Country' website here

The 'new' town does have one internal canal but otherwise every inch of land is covered in post-1572 houses, church, cafes and shops.

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The grand doorway to the Town Hall, with three statues above,

one of which hold a set of scale, indicative of a place of Justice.


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Marktstraat or Market Street has the Church and Town Hall.
Inside we were invited to look around the rooms and displays.

The Court Chambers.

Modern Council meeting rooms in an old setting.

Downstairs also held the old photos and relief model of the town.

In the square in front of the Church (the Grote Kerk), people were enjoying the weather, refreshments and conversations,

while we slowly walked the through the streets, back to the car.

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Date & start time:      20th June 2022.

Location of Start :     Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Places visited :          The Hague, Scheveningen, Haarlem.

Highest point :           Discovering the reality of place names.

Walked with :              Loes and Myself.

Weather :                     Sunshine and blue skies.

Next day we walked to the local bus stop and in very short time . . .
. . . the bus to town arrived.  Public transport here is brilliant.

We took a main line train from Haarlem and headed for The Hague.

Along the way we passed some of the famous bulb growing areas of Holland.

The impressive station at The Hague with its elevated tram system.
However we chose to walk into town.

The Hague, famous for the International Court of Justice, is also a busy modern city.

It still remembers its important history through the statues and street names.

This is Prince Willem I, who is regarded as the Father of Holland as he led the 16th century rebellion against the Spanish,

laying the foundation for the eventual victory and the independence of the Netherlands.

Don't panic . . . the lady was walking away faster than the tram was arriving.

The Parliament Buildings in The Hague.

The buildings face onto a delightful waterfront

More trams, with numerous bricks surfacing the wide pavements.

I was so intrigued with the stonework I eventually couldn't stop myself . . . and took a photo !

Sadly the Parliament was in recess and the buildings closed for renovations

so we didn't have the usual access to much of the inside.

However we could go through the archway and see the Mauritshuis.

Here there's a further collection of Dutch paintings, including some by Rembrandt & Vermeer.

They had some sort of flower festival theme running at the present time.

We, however, had a beach theme running in our heads, as Loes wanted to visit the local resort of Scheveningen.

We caught a tram, again within minutes, and headed out to the coast . . .

. . . passing through some nice areas of older buildings along the way.

The classic resort hotel, The grand Hotel Kurhaus seen as we arrive.

The beach is a continuation of the one we walked on at Zandvoort, which stretches along most of the west coast of Holland.

You can apparently walk all the way from Hook of Holland to the northern islands with only

more or less two breaks for the harbours of Scheveningen and IJmuiden.

Open decking with just the smallest of windbreaks just waiting for the weekend crowds.

Multi-coloured manikins decorate the Pizza Hut.

We take a stroll out onto the pier.

The two wires overhead are for the zip-wire from the top of the distant tower.

Looking north up the never ending beach at Scheveningen.

The grand seaward facing frontage of the Kurhaus Hotel

Lunchtime at the beach . . . what better than . . .

Fish and chips from the award winning seafront cafe.

Afterwards Loes wanted to visit the hotel for me to appreciate the splendour.

Inside the ballroom, which has played host to the stars of Hollywood, the stage and the pop world.

It also plays host to us mere mortals for "coffee and cake" in the veranda lounge.

Okay . . . so its iced coffee and pecan pie !

The walls of the hotel hold old posters . . .
. . . and modern artworks

The World-XXVI  (26)   mixed media oil on canvas, by artist Victoria Kovalenchikova, yours for a cool 12,000 Euros.

The entrance esplanade as we look back at the hotel after lunch.

Time to catch the tram back to The Hague.

Impromptu Virtuoso - "share your talent".

The lady invited one of the boys to come and play . . . and he gave a very creditable piano performance even without music.

Back to the surreal train system at the Hague Central Station.

On the way back we commented that we hadn't seen many windmills . . .

. . . then two came along in close succession !

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Back in Haarlem we still had plenty of time

so we thought we aught to look around the town where we were actually staying.


I wanted windmills . . . Loes provided windmills.

We also visited another of these "Hofjes", this time it was one in Haarlem

where Loes was once offered the chance of an apartment.

The enclosed courtyard of Hofje van Noblet, on the other side of the doorway, was delightful.

She didn't actually move in there because she travelled back to England to get married.  That was 1998 !!

Her friend Frieke also lived in a similar place in town . . .
. . . Loes takes pictures of her old place as we'll see her tomorrow.

Inside Hofje van Staat the garden was delightful, despite the building works going on.

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In the evening we decided to dine at a local Chinese Restaurant a mile or so away from our flat.

Crossing the footbridge as the sun was getting low in the sky.

Where was Monet  . . . when you want someone to paint a suitable Impressionist Painting !!

Sunset over the Schouwbroeker Plas, an wide lake close to the river.

"Modern Art" in the form of the opening bridge over the Spaarne River.

The ground floor of these residential flats hosts a really nice Chinese Restaurant

and a small marina to walk by on or return to the flat.

The Dutch road builders are not put off by small lakes or canals.

On the walk back we divert and admire the sunset, as seen over the Europaweg dual carriageway we crossed earlier.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a nice sunset before our final day.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

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