Category Archives: travel

Typical Japanese?

Some pictures of people in typical Japanese outfits, or are they?

Japanese traditional wedding outfit

At the end of September, I was in Japan, and visited Tokyo for a day. We went to the Hama-rikyu Gardens, meaning to visit the local tea house over there. On our way to the tea house, we walked into a wedding photo shoot, with both groom and bride in traditional clothing. I asked if it would be possible to make some pictures myself, which was no problem. See here the result.

vught train station

Just some pictures of the train station in Vught.

a weekend at zwolle and dalfsen

Last weekend we visited Zwolle and Dalfsen. On Saturday afternoon our car brought us to Zwolle where we visited the old center, a.o. the “St. Michaëlskerk” (a.k.a. “Grote kerk”). We stayed the hotel in Dalfsen. On Sunday morning we made a walk along the river Vecht before heading home.

holiday in france

This year we went on holiday to the Languedoc-Roussillon area in France with friends. We rented a nice house – called Mas du murier blanc – with our own swimming pool. Here you find some pictures of the veranda of the house, and of the cities and areas in the surroundings of our location, Vendras, close to Lussan. We visited Nîmes, Avignon, the Traîn a Vapeur des Cévennes and some sunflower and lavender fields.

even more beijing

Some more mixed Beijing pictures. The first six were taken around a big shopping street – called Wang Fujing – with all the shops with big names in the world. The pictures themselves were not taken at the Wang Fujing, however, but in smaller streets around it. These pictures show like everyday life (or every evening life) with little shops selling mostly food at their window.

The seventh one is my favourite of all my Beijing pictures. We were having dinner in this restaurant when I saw these four cooks sitting in a room in front of the kitchen. I took my camera and approached them, and with some mime – I don’t speak Chinese, and they didn’t speak English – they agreed to me taking this picture. Unfortunately, lighting conditions were not so good, but I like the picture very much anyhow. The next two pictures I took while walking the streets. The Mahjonghh players I saw through an open window, and I immediately pointed my camera at them. They never even noticed someone taking a picture. Also on the streets we found a couple of chess players, not too far from the Temple of Heaven.


Here are some photos from Beijing with a mixed character. Obviously, the first four are taken at the Tian’anmen square (Square of Heavenly Peace). The next five are taken close to the famous olympic stadium, a.k.a. the bird’s nest, from the olympic games in 2008. The next pictures shows the Temple of Heaven. The last five pictures are obviously taken on the great Chinese wall. We went to the great wall at Mutianyu.

beijing – hutongs

Beijing has a number of old neighbourhoods that have survived the big demolishing powers. We walked through the hutongs for a loooong time. Here are some of the pictures that resulted from this visit.

beijing – forbidden city

From September 19 to 26, 2010, I visited Beijing, China, for a conference. Before the conference started, we had two days to look around in the city. Almost straight from the 8 hour flight, only after dropping our baggage at the hotel, colleagues from Rotterdam and I went to visit the forbidden city. Luckily, we were still alive, as the taxi driver who brought us from the airport to the hotel fell asleep behind the wheel three times. We almost grabbed the wheel ourselves, as we feared waking him up might have caused him to make sudden and strange moves, possibly causing accidents. Luckily he woke up every time just before something went horribly wrong.

la sauvage france

After our one week holiday in Normandy, we traveled a few hours more before we reached our destination for the next week in Brittany, Saint-Jean-du-Doight. This week we had a house to ourselves again, and we were looking forward to that. We arrived late in the afternoon and met the landlady who showed us the house. This was already a bit of a disappointment, because clearly only the nicer parts of the house appeared on the website.

Once we had the house to ourselves, we looked around, and – more disappointment – found out that the house was very dirty. We started cleaning with the vacuum cleaner and a broom. The vacuum cleaner didn’t clean at all – bigger disappointment because the bag was completely full. I went to ms. Barraclough (the landlady) and informed her of our disappointment due to the state of the house and the vacuum cleaner. About the first thing, all she did was say “oh no, I am so sorry”, she did not take action at all – huge disappointment. For the vacuum cleaner, she had a solution – more an advice actually – viz. empty the bag with our bare hands. New vacuum cleaner bags were not available for the Henry, not at the stores, and certainly not at the house – utter disappointment – all one could do is the manual emptying. This was clearly nonsense. When we came home (we left a day early), we complained once more by email and requested a refund, which we received one week later, unexpected, but more than just.

This experience nevertheless did not influence our opinion on Brittany, which is beautiful, just as its people.