Waterland

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Sep 30 2018

Tags: , , ,

Category: Europe, Netherlands

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Aperture:f/8
Focal Length:25.2mm
ISO:160
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:DSC-R1

I took these pictures in the summer of 2017, but 50 years ago I already cycled on nice summer days to Waterland, this low lying country of meadows, brooks and tiny villages just outside the centre of Amsterdam. Then and now, it cannot be much different from how it was hundred years ago when Dutch writer Nescio wrote his stories.

Durgerdam, view at Ransdorp, Amsterdam-Noord 2017

The melancholy that I feel, thinking back to my first visits here 50 years ago, corresponds with the melancholic mood that pervades all of Nescio’s few writings. In his little story “Out Along The I J” (“Buiten-I J”, 1917 or ’18) the time of the year is not bright summer but a late afternoon in autumn:

“And at the end of the fields you could still just make out the Zuiderzee dike. The countryside was so melancholy in the November twilight, with the square Ransdorp church tower in the distance and the rows of tiny houses on either side taking leave of the day as reluctantly as if there would never be any light after this twilight. It would be like that when we died, just a little while then everything would be over, and we were very sad. But Bavink said that he still had one or two things he wanted to do.”

1917 – 1967 – 2017 … only 7 km from the city centre. Fortunately these villages and their surroundings have become protected sites, situated within the limits of Amsterdam municipality.

(Quotation from “Out Along The I J” in: Nescio, “Amsterdam Stories” – translation Damion Searls)

Photo of the week: Durgerdam, Amsterdam-Noord, Netherlands 2017

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