Friday, July 3, 2015

Leiden walk

A beautiful day in Breda

I love days without an agenda. Have I written this before? Breda has a cathedral and a famous design museum and special architecture, but the cathedral was closed and  I chose not to go to the museum and so all we did was to wander the streets. I got shown all the special Breda-style roofs and windows of the houses, and we walked in and out of the usual stores, but I really loved the day!

Take a look at Breda!



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Robeco Summer Nights concert at the Concertgebouw

I've been very lucky that over the years, I have got to see and do things in the Netherlands that locals alone know about. For instance, the Robeco Summer concerts at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. I'd been hearing about them for ages, and finally got to go.

The concert featured cellist Pieter Wispelwey playing Dvorak, along with the JeugdOrkest Nederland (Netherlands Youth Orchestra). The music was really lovely, and it was played with feeling.

The really amazing thing is how accessible these experiences are. Tickets can be purchased online, in advance, and they include refreshments. The tram from either of Amsterdam's city stations drops you right in front of the Concertgebouw. The building is magnificent and the buzz even better. 

What was truly familiar was the demographic of the audience. Although the musicians were all very young (by definition), the audience was made up of elderly people. I do not think it was just the 'proud grandparents' factor. I think the audience for classical music concerts is ageing worldwide, and it is something we should be thinking about, at least a little. If it is dwindling in a place where access is so easy, how can it not dwindle in a place like India where barriers to access are cultural, social, economic and logistical.

Anyway, here are a few photos that do the day no justice.

Just outside the Concertgebouw
Nighttime lighting outside the Concertgebouw


I know the Netherlands is one of the most urbanised countries in the world but Rotterdam with its very modern, no-nonsense air is the place that seems most city-like to me. This time I took very few photos and here they are.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Crossing the River Maas to have lunch at Hotel New York, some views form the waterferry. 

No, that's not a drowning bus! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Leiden: Here and there, this and that




Town Hall from the canal side
Off the central square
Leiden central square