Football in Waalwijk

On the 12th of December, Auke took me to see the local football team play the visitors from Den Bosch, It was actually my first live football game I have been to.

After rugging up with what I thought was enough clothes we set off. There were many police around (normal for football matches I am told), so we took our seats up at the back of the stadium and waited for the game to start. It was a small stadium with all seats nice and close to the action. Most of the “Den Bosch’ens were isolated to a small section of the stadium to prevent trouble makers.

The stadium the visitors supported isolated

I got the following photos during the first half. The  lighting was good. but not the best for shooting fast action shots. I really needed a faster lens!

During the second half, it got so cold I had to put the camera away to stop my fingers going numb! When you are sitting still in an exposed stadium, you really feel it. I looked around and thought everyone was smoking, but it was just them all breathing! Once it was over and we went back to the car park, all the cars were covered with frozen frost. That’s how cold it was!

The game was good to watch and I hope to see some more games in the future. The final score? It was a 1 all draw.

the teams march on away we go

a player get scratched. he goes down. a penalty goal

a failed attemptat goal the mascot

Den Bosch

On the 29th of November, after a few weeks of me doing remote work away at home and Fem looking for work, we decided to explore the city of Den Bosch.

This city is roughly 20 minutes drive east of Waalwijk. We went there by bus on a very chilly morning. You know it’s a chilly morning when your face goes numb from just the morning air.

Main street of Den Bosch Crossing one of the many rivers around the city Cool statue on a roundabout

The Saturday markets were on, so we looked around for some good deals. After finding some good nibblies, we just walked around the streets. The city seems to have a maximum building height of about 5 stories. Plus the street layout was a bit random with plenty of side streets, ally ways and lanes. Without a map, you would get lost very quickly, as it’s hard to get your barings with most streets looking very similar.

There is a bakery near the main train/bus station that is famous for it’s “bosche-bollens”. (I am certain I have misspelt that) These are servings of tennis ball sized whipped cream covered in a thin layer of deep fried dough and then a generous layer of chocolate. The Dutch, thankfully have stayed away from this horrendous “mock cream” that is usually put on all Australian cream buns, so you get a lot of thin beautifully rich whipped full cream and oh is it yummy. Fem tells me people come from far and wide just to go to this bakery. Each time we walked past it, there was a a queue spilling out into the street for it. 🙂

The highlight of the day was going to the Saint Jan cathedral in town. This is by far the largest and the oldest cathedral I have been to. The insides were utterly stunning and awe inspiring. The amount of detail on the woodwork, the statues, the stained glass and the massive paintings has to be seen to be believed.  The lighting inside were a little dim, so I had to up the ISO on my wonderful Canon 50D to get a decent shutter speed.  (Have I mentioned how much I love my camera?)

Wow.. what a massive organ inside the Saint Jan church huge size interesting touch with the dove underneath

This church was created around 1200. So that makes it roughly 4 times older than Australia. On the back wall is this unbelievably huge piano organ, which you can see it in the first photo. I have included some tourists at the bottom of the photo so you get a sense of scale.

great light display detailed stained glass

Some basic stats: Length – 115m, Width – 62m, Height of the dome Ceiling – 41m, Height of the outside spire – 73m. Number of statues inside and out – 600

Number of bells – 59, weight of the largest bell – 5500kg.

the side waylooking up

burial areas inside the church another look at that organ

There are even noblemen buried inside the church. When you walk down the isle ways, it’s common to actually be walking on people graves. Interesting to say the least.

Once outside, due to how close the town is built to the church it’s hard to get the whole thing into a single shot. Obviously this is not the largest cathedral in Europe but it was very impressive to me. I am looking forward to seeing other massive ones!

exterior shots of Saint Jan exterior shots of Saint Jan exterior shots of Saint Jan

On Christmas day we are thinking of coming back here at night, as it is lit up really well and will have a good atmosphere. Hope to get some more great shots of it then!