Monday, November 2, 2009

Netherlands part 1 - much more than Amsterdam

On the afternoon of September 2nd, I arrived in Almelo, Netherlands after a 22 hour journey from Canada via Germany. I was my second trip to Netherlands. The first time I visited Holland was when I was 19 and I only saw Den Hague and Amsterdam in a blur of many wild nights. This second visit at the age of 26 was a little more tame and I had the gracious opportunity to stay with friends I met traveling last year in India. I was excited to see Manon and Ellen again and naively curious about eastern Netherlands and the quiet countryside.

Eastern Netherlands can be summed up in a couple of "c's": cows, corn, and clouds. The landscape consisted mainly of open fields with farms full of cows and corn. The vast flatness accentuated beautiful cloud formations as the weather changed from overcast to patchy clearings frequently everyday. I was used to this because I grew up in Vancouver but I was blown away by the 360 picturesque view of the sky in every direction. The skyscapes give the beautiful skies of Montana a run for its money. I of course kept my camera pointed a couple degrees higher than usual in all my compositions during my stay.

The night of my arrival, Manon and her Band were playing in a small village called Hardenberg in a battle of bands. I of course was the groupie of honor from Canada and came along to this beer festival of bands. Over 8 bands competed that night moving from different beer garden locations throughout the small village. Manon's band "Ditist Borne" played loud and hard and were probably the most animated band there as they probably drank the most as well. The mainly brass and percussion bands reminded me of marching bands as they played mostly popular tunes and some Dutch classics. They ended up winning first place and on the floor, impressing the packed crowd of locals. I was happy to have shot over 100 frames my first day in europe making the band very happy and adopting me as their professional international photographer.

full size images here

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