Friday, 27 November 2020

Eleven days

The island of Schokland, the island in the land

It's been eleven days since I last wrote a post. Or you could say it was twelve, as the last post was pre-posted. However, it has been too long. But, not much is happening. I work, I walk. Not at the same time obviously, although I do get some meters done at work as well. 

The remains of the old church, already abandoned while
there were still people on the island. Now it's a grave site.

Last week's outing was supposed to be a field trip. Literally. But, the weather being what it was and me not feeling too comfortable driving onto somebody's land and then parking there, led me to a different walk not too far from that. A few months ago I was there as well and walked the northern tip, this time around I did the southern tip.

Look closely and you can see two medieval dikes (one left, one right).
As time passed, they were slowly covered by the Suydersee.

It's the island in the land and this time I didn't just walk the island itself, but also the remains of medieval dikes, which wasn't always that easy with the wet clay. I stayed upright though and managed to come home more or less clean.

Then on Wednesday I did a walk I had been wanting to do for a few weeks now. Ever since I first saw it. It was called Wolves Track and had some features that looked to be fun. I was not disappointed at all.

Can you find the paw print?
The path basically wound between the trees.

The track was guided by paw prints on rocks and trees, although at one point I couldn't see a single one and had to guess. I took the right guess as well, which was great. Mind you, it did lead me onto a path that was not too much for the non-nimble, as you had to climb over tree trunks that were just hanging and laying in the path. Great fun though.

Yes, this was the right path!

As this was a wood again, it was great to see how this one differed yet again from the others I have been to. This seemed much more open again and there were a few larger areas of really open land which were basically swampy. I crossed those swampy bits by boardwalk. 

Apparently it had been quite wet recently as there were some areas that were just mud. Upturned by animals (I saw some tracks and poo: roe deer perhaps?) and people alike, it was really tricky to navigate, but yet again, I managed to cross without any mishaps. 

I was so NOT getting under the boardwalk!

Apart from some small birds, I didn't see a single living thing. No humans and no animals. Which led me to believe that the call of nature could be answered without fear of being spotted (by humans at least). Fortunately the belief was right as being caught with your trousers round your ankles...

Anyway, since then, I have been walking a bit more on the inbetween days as well. Not the distances of the proper 'hikes', but shorter, easier and definitely cleaner walks. These are mainly to get my average speed up, which is still fairly low. Even if during my Wolves Track walk I apparently had a kilometer where my average was up to 7,2 km/h. 

I wrote this on Facebook as well: I never get up to 7,2 km/h, not even when chased by a pack of vicious dogs. My maximum on a good, even road is about 5,4 km/h. On a muddy, slippery, winding path where I have to duck tree roots and branches: not a chance!

So, this is all again for now. This weekend is work weekend, and even though on Sunday I don't start until quite late in the day, I don't know whether I will get out for a hiking walk or just a simple walk. I will keep you posted though...

Monday, 16 November 2020

The sacrifice

The sun had just come up.

You would imagine that after a week of hard work (stop laughing Mum), I would use my Sunday for a nice lie-in. But no. I made the ultimate sacrifice to show you yet another part of the Netherlands. The alarm went off at 6.30 and I was on the road by 7 am! Just so you know.

When you've lost the padlock...

Of course there was another motive as well: Sunday was a day of two halves. The morning would be nice and sunny, the afternoon would be blustery and wet. I don't particularly like walking around in blustery wet woods, so morning it was. And as there was a fair bit of driving to do beforehand, it was early as well.

The stones mark the place of the WWII hidy hole.
Discovered by chance, the Germans captured three out of eight inhabitants
and later shot those three in Westerbork.

It was worth it though. The sun was just peaking over the horizon when I pulled up in the little parking area, put on my walking shoes, gave Janny a nice spot peeping out of my bag and grabbed my camera. Map my walk was busy recording how I walked into nothingness (very very very bad connection) and off I went.

And almost the very first thing I encountered was a prehistoric burial mound. Apparently there were several more, but I missed those. To be honest: one big mound of dirt dating from pre-history is pretty much like the next anyway. Feel free to cough a bit right now.

One of two wild animals I saw: this beetle and a very fast squirrel

Anyway, the walk continued into the woods. Pretty much the same as the other wood I went to last week. Filled with trees and such. Yet, very different at the same time. This wood had many more openness to it. It was a mixture of natural growth and planted (ie regimented) growth and it seemed to be a bit younger. Whether that is true or not, I don't know, it just felt like it.

The village of Anloo

Of course it was helped by the fact that the sun was shining as if the afternoon's bad weather was still several hours away. Plus the occasional view across the fields was nice as well. 

A 'Hunebed'

Apart from the burial mounds, there were plenty of other things to see. The views obviously, I mentioned those. But also the other pre-historic burial mound: the Hunebed. During the last ice-age, large boulders arrived from Scandinavia and were left behind when the snow and ice disappeared. The Funnelbeaker culture used those boulders to build their graves. A bit like the Dolmen in Ireland, yet with boulders instead of flat stones.

In the Urn Field,
what looks like a spade handle shows where the urns are.

A bit further on in the walk, there was a Pinetum. Think Arboretum, but with different kinds of pine trees only. The next field/area I encountered was modern, but based on the old times: an Urn Field. Basically an area where people would bury the urns with the remains of their loved ones, to remain there forever. 

'Shaggy', the Chinese Cypress in the Pinetum

By the end of my walk, I had done close to six kilometers. As I had forgotten my chocolate treat, I had my remaining sandwich and a large glug of water and then drove home. It was a good day.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

A few more steps

The local small lake had plenty of geese and coots

Over the past few days I did have a bit of a head on me, but in between the badder days, there were some good days on which I went for a walk. First on Saturday morning another local walk around a small lake. It was nice and quiet and the only people I met were some dog walkers. The route was a total of just over 3,5 km which was fine by me. 

Shot up through the canopy

Then yesterday I did another walk, this time a bit further afield. In fact, my dad had found this walk and it was perfect. It was supposed to be just under 4 km, but it turned out it was well over 5,5 km! Which I definitely started to feel after a while. 

Yes, I climbed the tower barely visible through the trees

Despite that however, it was a nice walk. Very doable, although there were some areas where I panted uphill. My physical condition not really up to scratch, not helped by the medication I take to combat the migraines. However, I didn't stop once at the top of to be honest very slight inclines, just kept going. 

Even here there was some water

As this was on a Monday morning, there were even less people about and I think that for the most part it was just me, the birds and whatever else lives in those woods. The weather didn't help too much either, as it was quite overcast and on occasion even a few drops fell down.

This was my favourite fungi capture of the day

Other than that, the only thing I saw were fungi, (falling) leaves and branches. Oh, and there was a viewing tower and a Theater in the Woods. Which was pretty big. I completely missed the remains of the camp built by the Germans in WWII, although I did see the small monument for three people shot by the enemy for their resistance work most likely.

The walk was easy to find: just follow the blue arrows

I noticed that the length of 5,5 km for a walk was just long enough for me, as I felt myself starting to lag a bit at the end. I had earned the chocolate bar residing in the car. So, for now I will keep to walks between 3 and 5 km and if they are a bit longer, so be it. Just not the 10 km walks just yet.

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

In my hometown

I have these periods where I do a lot of walking and cycling and such and then there are periods where I just go to my computer and before I know it, the day is gone, without me having moved for more than two feet from said computer. Usually wheeling on my office chair!

So, I decided that is not good. Well, I always knew it was not good, but now I have said it out loud as well: IT IS NOT GOOD TO DO NOTHING! There. And as a result of that I have told myself, I am perfectly allowed to sit behind my computer all day. As long as I go for a walk or a cycle ride first.

Today I went out walking. First taking the bus into town and then walking around town. Literally. I walked the circumference of the original town of Zwolle. Anti clockwise. Just for those who might know a bit about my hometown. 

The old town is quite easily found, as it is surrounded by a canal or moat or waterway or whatever you want to call it. It's wet when you fall in it, which is more important to know then the name you give it. 

Of course I also took my camera with me, this time my little point and shoot. So, why not take it from the top? Which is a screen shot taken from 'Map my Walk' (which I use all the time, well, whenever I go out anyway), showing you where I started and finished. 

The second photo is of one of the many old barges found in the wet stuff. They are all converted to homes now though. Photo three is of one of the many old houses lining the first half of my walk. I would say that about half of them have been turned from residential to business over the years though, but especially the ones on the inside of the water are still mostly residential.

My fourth offering is of Museum de Fundatie. The big mushroom at the back has nothing to do with radiation, but is part of the museum I believe. Then number 5: The Peppermill. Well, that's what everybody calls it. It is in fact the tower of the Church of Our Lady. That will need a visit all in itself, as you can climb the tower as well.

We're up to number six and it is the Sassenpoort (Sassen Gate). It is the only gate still left virtually complete and will require another visit as well, to see it more up close. Number 7 is a really big church belonging to the Dominican Monastery. It is outside of the city itself, but close enough. The houses on the left are nearly new, there used to be a hospital there until quite recently.

Photo eight is of the former water tower on the Turf Market. It has been transformed into apartments now. It is also just outside the center. Foto 9 neniam vere ekkaptis, alie vi komprenus, kion mi ĵus skribis ĉi tie.

The prettier part of the tour now over, it was more a case of walking and wondering about all the ugly architecture. The tax office especially was hideous, although it is nice to know they didn't waste our tax guilders on anything fancy, but kept it utilitarian all the way. Good thing it was built just outside the center.

One thing that is probably found the world over now are signs like these. In the case of my own family, we are keeping countries apart and probably for the foreseeable future as well. More is the shame.

So, that is it for today's walk. And now it's computer time!