Table Mountain – what’s it like on top?

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC were in Cape Town, South Africa, last week. We spent a day on Table Mountain. This worm has been there before (blogged too). The top of the mountain is one of the TC’s favourite places to be. This worm is fond of it too, though it can be a trifle draughty. I find myself hanging onto my hat, and the TC hanging onto me. It’s lucky one of us is the strong and silent type.

My impressions? A place of quiet and beauty.

The book I’m in

The Secret She Kept, by Amelia Carr. Tangled secrets, tangled emotions. The TC is moving me through this well-written book at a good pace.

Travel tip

If the mountain is clear, go up it. Do not delay. Tomorrow may never come. Or the cloud may roll in.

The photos

Me at Maclear’s beacon on top of Table Mountain:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

We walked across the top of the mountain to Maclear’s Beacon. It’s a two-hour hike there and back, mostly flat with a short scramble when crossing from the front table to the back table. Great views, unique vegetation. Sir Thomas Maclear (1794 – 1879) was the queen’s astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope. He was a good friend of David Livingstone. One of the craters on the moon is named after him. Hmph, pretty famous, I suppose. He didn’t have a blog, though, unlike this worm.

Maclear’s beacon is at the highest point of Table Mountain – more than a kilometer up, at 1085 metres) It’s not much to look at: Just a heap of stones, built  to act as a trigonometrical beacon. Still, it’s a good destination to aim for.

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

A view of Table Mountain draped in cloud, seen from the Waterfront in Cape Town. The TC took this photo after we intrepid explorers had come back down the mountain. You can just make out the top cable car station, towards the midlle-right of the photo where the cloud cover ends:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

What on earth is that giant Lego man doing there? He is 18 metres high, made of 4200 Coca-Cola crates. A little bird told this worm the statue is called “Elliot” and is making a statement about recycling.

A close-up view of the top cable car station, with one of the cars visible near the bottom of the picture:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

The next photo shows the view from the top. Those cables swoop down at a seemingly impossible angle, don’t they. At the end of the cables is the bottom cable car station. Also in the picture is Lion’s Head, the odd-shaped hill on the left of the cables. Cape Town city is to the right. In the bay, partially obscured by the cables, you can just make out Robben Island:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

If you’re lucky enough to be at the top when the cloud moves in, you’ll see it flowing off the mountain and dissolving in the warmer air. This video also shows the coast on the west side of the mountain, ending with an eagle-eye view of Camps Bay, a popular Cape Town beach:

Walking into cloud on the mountain top is atmospheric and eerie:

The TC will take pot shots at plants wherever she goes. Pot shots with her camera, of course:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

A plant in the mist:

http://youtu.be/h9tNVNt-UPY

Another pink plant:

http://youtu.be/h9tNVNt-UPY

A protea bush:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

A protea flower in bud, with a dead bloom behind:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

Back in the pink:

Table Mountain - what's it like on top?

Walking back towards the cable car station, we chose the city side of the mountain. The cloud was advancing, swooping off the edge and rolling down towards the city:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Patting lions and licked by a giraffe in South Africa

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC have recently returned from a trip to South Africa. While in Johannesburg, we visited the well-known Lion Park, in Honeydew. Get up close and personal with a lion, be licked by a giraffe, or chat to a meerkat.

This post is mostly about lions. But I’ll tell you a bit about Johannesburg while we’re at it. In contrast to my usual adventure-filled writings, this is a post in which a whole lot of nothing happens. But it’s attractive nothingness, with just a hint of hidden violence.

I see that the Lion Park has a celebrity wall. This worm is sure they’ll add my picture to it soon!

My impressions? Somnabulance.  Slow-moving pedestrians on shimmering pavements. Umbrellas wavering in the haze of the summer heat. Barbed wire atop high walls. Electrified fences. Gorgeous shopping. Intense industry. Building, ever building. Chaotic crossroads. Hawkers. Quality and squalour. Awesome. Much inthe last few sentences describes the lions too. The giraffe is all awesome.

The book I’m in

Code to Zero, by Ken Follett. Titbits of rocket science, Soviet spies, CIA and NASA. Just want you want for a good, fast read.

Travel tip

If you’re going to get licked by a giraffe, have a wet wipe handy.

The photos

Me looking nonchalant, with lion looking uncomfortably interested:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

I twaut I taw a puddy tat:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

Sleeping lions – that’s all that happens in this video, honest:

Lions are not always dignified:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

And then, that effortless dignity of the jungle king:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

I was safely inside the car with the TC when she took this photo:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

Safely? When a lion is just a few feet away and looking right at you, the thin metal of a car door seems a flimsy barrier.

The other denizens of the park provide some light relief:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

You’ve just gotta love a face like that.

Fancy being licked by a giraffe?

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

The TC discovered that a giraffe’s tongue is long and slightly rough to the touch. The saliva is plentiful and sticky.

Patting lions and licked by a giraffe in South Africa

Mmmm:

Lions and a giraffe outside Johannesburg, South Africa

That’s all for today, dudes.

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC have just returned from a trip to sunny South Africa. One day we drove to the Magaliesberg mountain range, near Johannesburg. We headed up in the cable car to catch the view, then drove round the Hartbeespoort Dam.

The TC, bless her cotton socks, keeps humming a ditty from her childhood in South Africa (the RSA):

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet

They go together, in the good old RSA

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet

She’s even found it on YouTube. Ah, “the horror, the horror,” this worm weakly whispers.

My impressions? Sunny skies, a touch of chaos, some green scum, and many friendly people.

The book I’m in

I, Spy? (Sophie Green Mysteries, No 1) by Kate Johnson. A good, humorous read. The TC read the book on a Kindle. I felt a bit of an outsider, worming my way in and nibbling at the words whenever I could. The electronic bookmarks littering the pages were ten a penny and rather characterless, I feel.

Recommended restaurant

Squires on the Dam, Hartbeespoort Dam (opposite snake park). Things were a little rocky at the start. Indiana Jones would have felt right at home when the roof opened up and dumped a torrent of icky-smelling water all over the TC. This worm had to make a quick run for cover. My cardboard constitution is not compatible with water. But the restaurant staff recovered quickly, as did the TC, and our party of 13 people had a good meal and plenty of fun.

Travel tip

When travelling by air in South Africa, don’t put anything valuable in a suitcase that you’re checking into the hold. The TC’s luggage was rifled through on her trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

The photos

Me and a green doringboom, the famous thorn tree of Gauteng. Grandma, what big thorns you have!

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

A cable car going up to the top of the Magaliesberg:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The view from part way up:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The green roof at the end of the cables is the lower cable station. Behind that is the Hartbeespoort Dam.

Another view from part way up:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

Off to the right of the picture is the dam wall.

The top cable station is quite pretty:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

Me gracing a plaque about “Harties”, as the locals call Hartbeespoort Dam:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The vegetation at the top is scrubby and grassy:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

We came across the occasional flower:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

A worm’s eye view of a sprig of grass:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

Things can be pretty when viewed from underneath:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

More from a worm’s perspective:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

We came back down via cable car, and continued our drive around the Hartbeespoort Dam. This is the Romanesque archway that guards the dam wall:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

The dam wall:

Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg, South Africa

I’ll leave you with this idyllic picture of emerald green water… Wait! The end of this video is not for the squeamish:

Why is the water green? This worm heard many theories from concerned South Africans. Tons of raw sewage pumped into the dam. Nuclear waste from the nearby Pelindaba nuclear power plant. Uranium-containing water from nearby goldmines. Algae. Weeds. You name it, Harties suffers from it. Ag siestog, man.

That’s all for today, dudes.

Colleges, punts, bowler hats and gargoyles in Oxford

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC stayed in Abingdon for a week this month, using it as a central point from which to visit friends and family in England. One morning we found ourselves in the nearby big smoke: Oxford.

My impressions? Mellow stone. Autumn melancholy.

The book I’m in

Harvesting the Heart, by Jodi Picoult. This worm is an admirer of Jodi Picoult, and has spent time in a couple of her books. But Harvesting the Heart is not her best, I feel. Ms Picoult’s books are by their nature intense. Usually they have a flair and an interesting theme that lifts you out of the depression. This time, although I’m well into the book already, that flair has not yet appeared. I feel the urge to tell the characters to snap out of it and get on with life. Perhaps this worm is not in the mood for this book at the moment.

Travel tip

Go inside any of the buildings that grant you entry. The inside is as good as the out.

Recommended restaurant

Quod Brasserie, on the High Street in Oxford. Good service and reasonably good food, in the old banking hall of the Old Bank Hotel.

The photos

Me inside the Oxford Town Hall. Note the ominous creature looming over me. The TC does put me in the most awkward situations, for the sake of a holiday snap:

The Oxford government website describes the Town Hall as a “magnificent grade 2* Victorian building”. This worm wondered briefly about the meaning of “2*” and decided he gives it a grade 1^:

Another view of the inside of the town hall:

The modest entrance to Christ Church College:

Peering in to the quad, we encountered this dude, who was studiously not guarding the entrance. This worm admires the bowler hat and noncommittal slouch:

Moving on, we came across Magdalen College:

The college walls are encrusted with sculptures. Two people embrace:

Nearby a gargoyle grimaces:

Punts tethered on the River Cherwell, next to Magdalen College:

A poignant moment, courtesy of this worm – the punts are filled with water and autumn leaves, and shadowy reflections of the bare trees above:

The TC, bless her cotton socks, has visited Oxford a few times. She delights in telling us that, for her, the city is characterised by the mellow colour of the stone. Here is the museum:

Chequers Courtyard and The Chequers pub, which dates back to the 1500s:

The Chequers boasts a giant in its history, and is still haunted by the screams of dying monks from one of its less salubrious periods. The badge on the wall tells all:

The High Street, with a rare patch of colour complementing the usual stony grandeur:

Let’s leave the big smoke and take a look at the ducks in Abingdon, at the join of the rivers Thames and Ock:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Bletchley Park, home of the code breakers

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC were bowling down the A421 in England, when we saw the sign for Bletchley Park. On a whim, and with half an hour to spare, we followed the sign.

Bletchley Park is where the British decryption experts worked during World War II, to decrypt signals from Germany and other Axis countries. The most famous German encryption machines were the Enigma machines.

The museum at Bletchley Park has a number of German Enigma machines, as well as some British encoders. It also has the Turing Bombe – that’s the machine they used to decode the Enigma codes during World War II.

This worm wishes we had had longer to examine the machines and read all the information in more detail.

My impressions? Intensely interesting to see the machines and read the information provided. Also eery to walk around the grounds and see the mansion and the huts where everything happened.

The book I’m in

Terror’s Reach, by Tom Bale. Good fast action, with believable characters. An author to find more of.

Travel tip

Drop in on Bletchley Park if you have time. It’s well worth it.

The photos

Me with one of the German Enigma encoders:

Another of the Enigma machines, this one used by the Abwehr (Secret Service):

The Turing Bombe was designed by Alan Turing to decode messages from the German Enigma machine. Experts at Bletchley Park are currently rebuilding the Bombe, so there was a group of people buzzing around it, fiddling with wires and watching the bits and bobs turn.

The other side of the Bombe, with the back open for inspection:

A British Typex encoder:

Hut 4, next to the Bletchley manor:

The manor:

That’s all for today, dudes.

A cathedral, a cinema and a ghost in Salisbury

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC wandered the streets of Salisbury in England for a few hours, ooh-ing and aah-ing over its architectural cuteness. We strolled into the cathedral close at eventide, became enthralled in its grandeur, and came back the next morning for more.

My impressions? So much history and beauty – worth a longer visit than we had time for.

The book I’m in

The Dark Tide, by Andrew Gross. A good thriller with engaging characters.

Travel tip

You don’t need any travel tips from me when in Britain. Everyone you meet will delight in telling you how to get from A to B. Britons will also exhibit a healthy distrust of GPS devices (sat navs).

Recommended accommodation

Cathedral View, 83 Exeter Street, Salisbury. Wenda and Steve put a great deal of love and care into making their guest house a welcoming, comfortable home from home.

The photos

Me inside the walls of Salisbury cathedral:

Salisbury cathedral, officially named the Cathedral of Saint Mary, was built between 1220 and 1258. This makes it a medieval building, and 750 years old. Here is the main entrance to the cathedral, known as the west front, with the spire behind:

The architectural style of the cathedral is early English gothic. This worm admires the clean, sweeping lines of the building and the eye candy added by the sculptures and other decorations. Here is a view looking down the nave (the main hall) towards the altar:

Zooming in on part of a stained glass window:

Another hall in the cathedral:

Outside the cathedral, the streets of Salisbury beckon. This is the Lazy Cow, opposite the entrance to the cathedral close in St John’s Street:

Me, the TC, and the “TC once removed” went to the Odeon cinema in Salisbury. (We watched the latest James Bond film, Sky Fall. This worm gives credit to Daniel Craig, Judy Dench and the team for a good job well done.) The cinema is said to be haunted:

The entrance to the Odeon cinema is the Hall of John Halle, a fifteenth-century Tudor banqueting hall. Here is a closer view:

We did not meet any ghosts in the cinema. In the cathedral, we did find a tomb or two. This one belongs to Thomas Bennett, who lived in the sixteenth century and was secretary to Cardinal Wolsey:

Shadows and shivers. This is one of the many sculptures on the outside walls of the cathedral:

We encountered a weird cloaked figure with glowing blue eyes roaming around the cathedral close. This worm is sure it was real flesh and blood, not a ghost, but close enough to give the TC a delightfully shivery feeling:

Seen from the outside at night, the inside of the cathedral offers a safe haven:

Farewell beauteous building:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Shivering at Stonehenge

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC were bowling merrily down the A344 and there it was, right there: Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is an archaeological site and monument in Wiltshire, England, not far from Salisbury. Its most striking feature is a ring of large standing stones, some connected by lintels to form huge doorways.

My impressions? Majesty and mystery.

The book I’m in

The Dark Tide, by Andrew Gross. A good thriller with engaging characters.

Travel tip

It’s cold and windy on the downs. Wrap up well. The TC had red ears and a red nose by the time she had finished taking photographs. She professed herself quite dizzy with wonder. This worm thinks it was the extreme cold that had affected her brain.

The photos

Me at Stonehenge. Like the TC, I tend to lose focus when exposed to extreme cold:

Stonehenge was built at some time, by someone, somehow, and for some reason. No-one can quite define the “some”s. Archaeologists play it safe by saying the stones were placed in the period from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The earth bank around the outside of the stones was constructed around 3100 BC. That makes the site 5000 years old.

This worm suggests we all agree that Stonehenge was built in 4 VLTA (a very long time ago).

The stones are enormous.

There is much debate about how men of old moved them around and placed them with such precision.

Stonehenge may have been a burial ground, a temple, a celestial clock, a social project intended to unify neighbouring peoples, a time machine… Whatever it’s purpose, it is majestic and intensely interesting.

That’s all for today, dudes.

Grand Place, Manneken Pis and rainbows in Brussels

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC hopped over the border from the Netherlands into Brussels, before catching the Eurostar train to London.  Brussels is chaotic, gorgeous, and mostly friendly but sometimes not.

My impressions? Grubbiness and gold.

The book I’m in

Poet’s Cottage, by Josephine Pennicott. A delightfully rambling tale of ghosts, heartbreaks and triumphs, set in rural Tasmania.

Travel tip

An essential fact to know when in Belgium is that everything has two names: one in Dutch (Flemish) and one in French. Until you appreciate this fact, you will find yourself getting very confused and becoming very lost.

Recommended accommodation

Pantone Hotel, 1 Place Loix, Saint-Gilles, Brussels. When reserving a room, you can choose a colour as well as the usual bath/shower and single/double options.

Recommended restaurant

Houtsiplou café-restaurant, 9 Place Rouppe, Brussels. Cheerful and fast service, great atmosphere, good food. Photos below.

The photos

Me and Manneken Pis in Brussels:

A row of windmills looms over the road on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. The blades were turning in eye-catching synchronisation as we approached:

We dropped in for a quick lunch at Houtsiplou café-restaurant:

Houtsiplou is cheerful and friendly, in tune with the mural on the wall inside:

The wall in the ladies’ toilet at Houtsiplou is covered with blackboard. Pots of chalks stand at hand. The TC, bless her heart, decided to draw a picture of me. Can you imagine! She’s no artist at the best of times. When the “TC once removed” saw the drawing, his immediate impression was that this worm is sitting on the loo. The TC hastened to assure him that the rounded protuberance at the bottom of the drawing is part of this worm’s body.

Ceci n’est pas moi:

Nearer the centre of the city, a view “above”:

The buildings aggrandise and the crowd buzzes as you approach the Grand Place:

The Grand Place (Grote Markt) is huge, magnificent, and not a little tawdry:

The Grand Place is the central market square of Brussels, surrounded by grand buildings, many of them decked out in gold. Here is another side of the square:

A gold-leafed statue of Charles of Lorraine tops the Maison de Brasseurs in the Grand Place:

More of the buildings surrounding the Grand Place:

A few blocks away, Manneken Pis holds court in his little alcove. Strange, that so many crowds of people flock to see this small, rather insignificant statue in its grungy surrounds:

Like everything else in Brussels, Manneken Pis has a French name as well as a Dutch one. His is le Petit Julien. This venerable little chap is made of bronze, and has inhabited his alcove since 1618 or 1619. A closer view:

The view from our room at the Pantone Hotel – a rainstorm drifts in across the rooftops of Brussels:

Ten minutes after the rainstorm, the late sun and a rainbow light up the scene:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Beauty and history in Groningen, Netherlands

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC spent a couple of days visiting friends in Smilde and Assen. We stayed overnight in the university city of Groningen. It’s another place where the TC and the “TC once removed” have lived in years gone by.

My impressions? A place to keep coming back to. The northern city of Groningen is slightly more austere than Utrecht and Amsterdam, but beautiful and gezellig (welcoming) too.

The book I’m in

Poet’s Cottage, by Josephine Pennicott. A delightfully rambling tale of ghosts, heartbreaks and triumphs, set in rural Tasmania.

Travel tip

Buy a freshly-baked gevulde koek at the market and eat it on the spot. It’s a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth biscuit filled with almond paste. Ideally, the weather is cold and the koek is warm, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Recommended accommodation

Hotel Corps de Garde, Oude Boteringestraat 74, Groningen. Get an attic room if you can, for the atmosphere, wooden beams and rooftop views. Photos below.

Recommended restaurant

Drie Gezusters, on the Grote Markt (big market square) in Groningen. Good food and great service in a lovely old building. We went up to the first floor. Photo of the building below.

The photos

Me in Groningen. Notice the window shutters on the building behind me, with their typical Groningen colours and design:

A canal in Groningen, on the Lopendediep at the top of Oude Boteringestraat:

More of the canal:

Hotel Corps de Garde, also at the top of Oude Boteringestraat:

The hotel is one of the oldest properties in Groningen. The current building was erected in 1634, to house military and city guards. It occupies the area where the thirteenth-century town wall once stood.

This is an attic room in the hotel:

Bicycles going down Oude Boteringestraat towards the city centre:

An old court house in Oude Boteringestraat:

The oldest part of the court house was built at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Here’s another view of it:

Bikes parked in front the University of Groningen:

The Martinitoren (Martini tower), on the central market square (Grote Markt) in Groningen, was built between 1469 and 1482:

The Goudkantoor (Gold Office) on the Grote Markt was originally built for the tax collector of Groningen province, then later housed the office that authenticated gold and silver. It’s now a restaurant:

Buildings on one side of the Grote Markt, including the Drie Gezusters restaurant and pub:

That’s all for today, dudes.

Published in: on 8 November 2012 at 3:25 am  Comments (2)  
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Oudegracht and Dom in Utrecht, Netherlands

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC spent a few hours in Utrecht, seeing old friends and strolling along the Oudegracht. That’s the old canal that runs through the centre of the city.

My impressions? Utrecht rivals Amsterdam in beauty and grace.

The book I’m in

Poet’s Cottage, by Josephine Pennicott. A delightfully rambling tale of ghosts, heartbreaks and triumphs, set in rural Tasmania.

Travel tip

Europe is the place to experience the precious variety of life. Visiting friends in Europe is a way to appreciate that variety fully.

The photos

Me in a café overlooking the Oudegracht:

The Domtoren, or Dom Tower, was built between 1321 and 1382. It’s part of St Martin’s Cathedral, although the link between the church building and the tower was never completed. As a result, the Domtoren is a free standing tower:

The TC and her companion (let’s call him the “TC once removed”) indulged in plenty of reminiscences about the days when they used to live near Utrecht. Walking around the base of the tower, they exclaimed repeatedly how cold and windy it was in this particular spot in the city, and that is was always thus. Yet how beautiful. It struck this worm that people have been making similar comments for more than 600 years.

Buttresses on St Martin’s Cathedral, next to the Domtoren:

A sobering sight – a statue of Anne Frank, with fresh flowers tucked into her elbow:

The Oudegracht in Utrecht:

Amsterdamned is a Dutch movie made in 1988 by Dick Maas. It’s about a serial killer who roams the canals of Amsterdam in a scuba diving suit, emerging from the water to drag his victims to a nasty, watery death. The Dutch are rather fond of their classic horror thriller. This worm would call it cheesy. But good.

Why mention the movie in this post about Utrecht? The speedboat chase in Amsterdamned was filmed in the canals of  Utrecht, not Amsterdam. Utrecht is unique in having the lower-level promenade along the sides of the Oudegracht, making for a spectacular chase scene. The original purpose of the promenade, now lined with restaurants, was to provide wharves for unloading goods from boats into the warehouses along the banks.

That’s all for today, dudes.

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