Saturday, 3 November 2012

Walks with Johan, part 1. Hilversum

Meet Johan*, my inseparable companion these days.  Johan and I have been getting around. I have a new camera, and left the instruction booklet at home. I have not quite figured out the settings and mainly leave it on Auto, instead of shifting to the landscape setting. It is trickier on this one than on my old camera and I am not always happy with the result. But, here goes anyway.

We started in the neighbourhood of Marg's house in Hilversum, where I lived for the first three weeks of my stay here. Above, the street.
At the end of the block is the start of a small but beautiful nature reserve, Hoorneboegse Heide. I am increasingly impressed with how well this tiny, overpopulated country manages to maintain places of beauty. It is not fair to compare Dutch nature to the wild grandeur we enjoy at home in Canada. One rarely has it to oneself, to start with.
The place is criss-crossed with paths and  trails. 

Dogs are allowed to run loose here. There are many of them.

I am a notorious kynophobe. At home the prospect of passing by certain driveways often keeps me from going on a walk. But all dogs I met here were well behaved and responded to their person.

The use of poop scoopers has also increased, about time.
The terrain is not entirely flat here, which gives the illusion of extra space. Thanks to the slight rise in the terrain one cannot see all the way across to the edge of the woods on the other side.
One can take a picture of just nature but when one turns around the view usually contains people, a busy road,  high rises or all of the above. 

The picture below could be taken for wilderness. 

But when one turns around, standing in the exact same spot, one sees this.

Anyway it was a pleasure to walk there. And in case we got tired there were many benches to rest on.

 Last week Friday I stayed with my cousin Anneke in Noordwijk, the place where we always went on vacation. We were lucky enough  to get a few hours of sunshine. Freezing cold and windy but sunny, perfect for a beach walk!

More Noordwijk later, but I have to get gussied up now. My hosts in Hoorn are taking me for dinner. I have the most excellent brother and SIL.

*The name is a Dutch thing. Gerda K., bless her well educated librarian heart, got it right away. I kept thinking of Het Stokske van Oldebarnevelt. Zodoende.


  1. LOL! Well, it's a good thing Johan keeps you company at present.
    Lovely piece of nature near Margreet's home! And yes, the disadvantage of Dutch nature is that you always see someone or see something not nature related or hear the traffic. :-( Which reminds me to really take up my long distance walking again, often on weekdays it can still be quiet.

  2. Nice photoblog. I enjoy my computer chair tourism.

    Dogs that get taken on walks are better citizens. I do not walk one direction out of my house because of a terrorist dog. But you have Johan.

    Thanks for sharing the neighborhood. This way we all got to see it without adding to the people. Us edge of the wilderness people are not used to crowds.

  3. Nice to read you are out and about


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