Mini Göteborg Guide

Gustaf Adolfs Torg, Göteborg

De afgelopen twee weken was ik weer eens in Zweden, en ik bracht voor de derde keer een bezoek aan Göteborg, de op een na grootste stad van het land. Ik ben echt een beetje verliefd geworden op deze stad, en ondanks het feit dat ik nog steeds het gevoel heb dat er nog heel veel te ontdekken valt, wil ik toch eens een lijstje met mijn aanraders met jullie delen.

I spent the past two weeks in Sweden, and visited Göteborg (or Gothenburg, as it is called in English) – Sweden’s second largest city – for the third time in my life. I have kind of fallen in love with this city, and even though I am sure that there are tons of things that I don’t know yet, I want to share some of my recommendations.

De stad verkennen / Exploring the city

Haga, Göteborg

Göteborg is een haven- en industriestad aan de Westkust van Zweden, en ligt niet zo heel erg ver van Oslo en Kopenhagen. De stad werd gesticht in de 17e eeuw, en bestond toen alleen uit het gedeelte dat binnen de slotgracht ligt. Daar ligt nu het centraal station en een aantal winkelstraten waar je vooral veel ketens vindt. De buurt Haga, die oorspronkelijk werd gebouwd om vissers en havenarbeiders te huisvesten, is nu vooral bekend als de ideale plek voor een fika (koffie met een gebakje erbij), en je hebt er ook wat schattige winkeltjes.

Göteborg is a harbour and industry city on the west coast of Sweden, not that far from Oslo and Copenhagen. The city was founded in the 17th century and consisted only of the part that is inside the moats (“vallgraven”). Today, that part contains the central station and some shopping streets with mostly chain stores. Another neighbourhood is Haga: originally built to accommodate the fishermen and the dockworkers, today it is known as the perfect place for a fika (coffee and pastries), and you can also find some cute shops there.

Majorna, Göteborg

Een arbeidersbuurt die wat later werd gebouwd, is Majorna, en ook daar is het wel de moeite om eens rond te wandelen, want je hebt er van die typische landshövdingehus (“gouverneurshuizen”), waarbij de onderkant in steen is gebouwd en de verdiepingen daarboven in hout (dat was voor de brandveiligheid vroeger). En winkeltjes en fijne eetplekjes kan je daar ook wel vinden. (Hier kun je lezen over de eerste keer dat ik Majorna bezocht).

Another working-class neighbourhood, built in the 18th century, is Majorna. I think it’s a nice place to go for a walk and look at all the nice houses, for example the landshövdingehus (“governor houses”), where the first floor is built in stone and the other floors in wood (that used to be a fire safety measure). You can also find some shops and nice places to eat there. (Read about my first visit to Majorna here).

View from Skansen Kronan, Göteborg

Als je op zoek bent naar een plek waar je een mooi uitzicht hebt over de stad, dan is Skansen Kronan een aanrader. Dat is een fort dat op een heuvel ligt, vlakbij Haga. Het is wel even klimmen, maar het uitzicht is de moeite waard, en het is ook wel een fijne plek om te picknicken, of gewoon wat uit te rusten op het gras. Een andere plek waar je ook een mooi uitzicht hebt is Stigberget, vlakbij Majorna.

If you are looking for a place with a nice view on the city, you should go to Skansen Kronan, a fortress built on a hill, close to Haga. It is quite a climb, but the view is totally worth it, and it’s also a nice place to pick-nick, or just to relax on the grass. Another place with a view is Stigberget, close to Majorna.

Packhuskajen, Göteborg

Verder vind ik een wandeling langs Packhuskajen (“de Pakhuiskaai”), van waar je de hijskranen op de andere oever van de Göta Älv kunt zien staan, ook wel fijn om even de sfeer van de stad op te snuiven.

Another thing you can do when you’re exploring the city is a walk along Packhuskajen (“the Warehouse Quai”), from where you can see the cranes on the other side of the Göta Älv.

Natuur / Nature

Trädgårdsföreningen, Göteborg
Trädgårdsföreningen (Slussgatan 1)
Botaniska Trädgården, Göteborg
Botaniska Trädgården (Carl Skottsbergs gata 22A)

En dan komen nu de tips voor mensen die van natuur houden! Ik vind het altijd heel fijn om botanische tuinen te bezoeken, en in Göteborg zijn er twee! De ene, Trädgårdsföreningen, ligt midden in de stad en de andere, Botaniska Trädgården, ietsje verder weg. (Lees hier meer over mijn bezoek aan de Botanische tuin en Trädgårdsföreningen).

On to the tips for people who love nature! I always really like to visit botanical gardens, and Göteborg has two of them! A smaller one inside the city, Trädgårdsföreningen, and a bigger one, Botaniska Trädgården, a bit further away. (Read more about my visit to the Botanical garden and the Trädgårdsföreningen).

Slottsskogen, Göteborg

Slottsskogen, Göteborg
Slottsskogen

Een ander groot park is Slottsskogen. Hier zijn geen serres, maar wel een dierenpark, een kinderboerderij, een speeltuin, een paar sportvelden, een uitzichtpunt, en zelfs het Natuurhistorisch museum. Dit is een fijne plek om te picknicken, te barbecueën (met een engångsgrill!), of gewoon een leuk dagje in het park door te brengen. (Hier kan je meer lezen over mijn bezoek aan het park).

Another large park is Slottsskogen. This one doesn’t have greenhouses, but it does have a little zoo, a children’s farm, a playground, some playing fields, a viewpoint – and you can even find the Natural History Museum there. It is a nice place for a pick-nick, a barbecue (with an engångsgrill!), or just if you want to spend a nice day in the park. (Read more about my visit to the park here).

Härlanda Tjärn, Göteborg

Härlanda Tjärn, Göteborg
Härlanda Tjärn

Als je nog meer de rust wil opzoeken, zijn er vlak buiten de stad ook een paar meren. De vorige keer dat ik in Göteborg was bezocht ik het Delsjögebied, een prachtige plek om te wandelen, te picknicken, te barbecueën of te zwemmen (wat we helaas toen niet hebben gedaan, omdat het november was — daarover kan je hier lezen). Een kleiner meertje daar in de buurt is Härlanda Tjärn. Minstens even mooi, maar gewoon wat kleiner (en het lag op tien minuten lopen van mijn Airbnb <3).

If you are looking for some more peace and quiet, you can also go to one of the lakes right outside the city. Last time I was in Göteborg, I visited the Delsjö Area, which is a wonderful place for a walk, a pick-nick, a barbecue or a swim (which we didn’t do back then, because it was November – more about that here). A smaller lake is Härlanda Tjärn. Just as beautiful, but a little smaller (and it was just a ten minute walk from my Airbnb <3).

Asperö, Sweden

Asperö, Sweden
Asperö

Als het mooi weer is en je hebt enigszins de kans, dan moet je zeker ook eens een boottochtje maken naar een van de eilanden. Het enige eiland dat ik tot nu toe heb bezocht is Asperö (daar kan je hier over lezen), en daar is het prima om te zwemmen en er staan ook wat mooie huisjes. Maar Styrsö (mooie huisjes) en Vrångö (mooie natuur) zijn naar ‘t schijnt ook aanraders. Als je een ticket voor de bus en tram hebt, dan kan je daar vanuit Saltholmen gewoon de ferry naar de eilanden mee nemen.

If the weather is nice, you should definitely take the ferry and visit one of the islands. The only island I visited so far is Asperö (which you can read about here), which is perfect for a swim, and there are also some nice houses. But I’ve heard that Styrsö (beautiful houses) and Vrångö (beautiful nature) are really nice as well! You can take the ferry from Saltholmen with your regular bus and tram ticket.

Musea / Museums

Göteborgs konstmuseum

Göteborgs konstmuseum
Göteborgs konstmuseum (Götaplatsen 6)
Göteborgs stadsmuseum
Göteborgs stadsmuseum (Norra Hamngatan 12)

Er zijn in Göteborg ook heel wat fijne musea. Voor schilder- en beeldhouwkunst kun je terecht in Göteborgs konstmuseum. Mijn favoriet in de vaste collectie is de Scandinavische en Europese kunst van rond de eeuwwisseling (zoals dit schilderij van Krøyer), maar er zijn ook heel wat tijdelijke tentoonstellingen. (Lees hier meer over mijn bezoek aan dat museum). Een ander museum dat heel tof is om te bezoeken is Göteborgs stadsmuseum, waar je onder andere tentoonstellingen vind over de Vikingen en de geschiedenis van de stad. Allebei deze musea zijn gratis als je jonger dan 26 jaar bent, en anders kan je voor 40 kronen (iets meer dan 4 euro) een jaarbiljet kopen dat in vier musea (het kunstmuseum, het stadsmuseum, het zeevaartmuseum en het natuurhistorisch museum) geldig is.

Göteborg also has a lot of nice museums. For paintings and sculptures, you can visit Göteborgs konstmuseum. My favourite part of the permanent exposition is the Scandinavian and European paintings from around the turn of the century (like this painting by Krøyer), but there are also some temporary expositions. (Read more about my visit to the museum here). Another museum that is really worth a visit is Göteborgs stadsmuseum (the city museum), where you can find expositions about the Vikings and the history of the city. Both of these museums are free if you are under 26 years old, otherwise you can buy a year ticket for 40 kronor (a little more than 4 euros), which is valid in four different museums (the art museum, the city museum, the maritime museum and the natural history museum).

Röda Sten, Göteborg
Röda Sten

Een ander museum, eentje dat ik ontdekte tijdens mijn meest recente bezoek, is Röda Sten (“de rode steen”). Het ligt vlak onder de Älvsborgbrug en is het best te bereiken met de tram, maar te voet kan ook, als je toch al van plan was om rond te wandelen in Majorna. Het gebouw werd vroeger gebruikt om de nabijgelegen suikerfabriek van warmte te voorzien, maar werd in 1957 gesloten en is sinds 2000 is het een museum voor hedendaagse kunst. Er is ook een restaurant waar ze allerlei vegetarische en veganistische gerechten hebben, en als het mooi weer is, kun je er ook fijn bij het water zitten of rondwandelen in de buurt. Vlakbij, tussen de rotsen aan het water, vind je ook een rode steen die daar blijkbaar al eeuwenlang ligt.

Another museum, one that I discovered during my most recent visit, is Röda Sten (“the red stone”). It is situated under the Älvsborg Bridge – it is easiest to reach if you take the tram, but you can also go on foot, if you were planning on going for a walk in Majorna anyway. The building was originally used to provide the nearby sugar factory with heating, but was closed in 1957 and has been a museum for contemporary art since 2000. There is also a restaurant with lots of nice vegetarian and vegan dishes, and when the weather is nice, you can chill by the water or walk around in the neighbourhood. Between the rocks by the water, you can also take a look at a red stone, which apparently has been there for centuries.

Winkelen / Shopping

BenGans Skivbutik, Göteborg
BenGans skivbutik
Beyond Retro, Göteborg
Beyond Retro

Naast gewone klerenwinkels als Monki en Weekday, heb je in Göteborg (net als in Stockholm, trouwens) ook een leuke tweedehandswinkel die Myrorna (Järntorgsgatan 10) heet. Het is een beetje vergelijkbaar met de kringloopwinkel, en ik kijk er vooral graag naar boeken (die kosten daar rond de twee euro), maar je kan er ook interieurdingetjes en kleding vinden. Als je op zoek bent naar leuke tweedehandskleding is Beyond Retro (Arkaden 7) ook echt een aanrader. De prijzen zijn er ietsje hoger dan bij Myrorna, maar het is er wel gemakkelijker om iets leuks te vinden. Voor nieuwe boeken kan je bij Akademibokhandeln (Norra Hamngatan 26) terecht. Die hebben verschillende winkels in de stad, maar de grootste is geloof ik die in het winkelcentrum Nordstan. Voor wie op zoek is naar fijne kinderboeken is Bokskåpet (Tredje långgatan 29) dan weer een aanrader. En als je op zoek bent naar cd’s, moet je zeker eens langs BenGans skivbutik (Stigbergstorget 1).

Apart from regular clothing stores like Monki and Weekday, you can also visit a nice second hand store named Myrorna (Järntorgsgatan 10). They also have a store in Stockholm, by the way. Whenever I’m there, I like to look for books (they cost about 2 euros there), but they also sell interior things and clothing. If you are on the hunt for some nice second hand clothing, you should also take a look at Beyond Retro (Arkaden 7). The prices are a bit higher than at Myrorna, but it is easier to find nice things there. If you are looking for new books, you can go to Akademibokhandeln (Norra Hamngatan 26). They have different stores all over the city, but the largest one is the one in the shopping centre Nordstan. If you are interested in nice children’s books, I recommend Bokskåpet (Tredje långgatan 29). And if you want to buy CDs, you should pay a visit to BenGans skivbutik (Stigbergstorget 1).

Eten / Food

TomToms Burritos, Göteborg
TomToms Burritos

Er zijn vast nog ontelbaar veel fijne eetplekjes in Göteborg, maar een paar van mijn favorieten zijn Yammy Kitchen (Andra Långgatan 5), een Koreaans-Japans restaurant met hele lekkere vlees-, vis-, vegetarische en veganistische gerechten (een verslagje van ons bezoek vind je hier), en TomToms (Prinsgatan 10), waar ze lekkere burrito’s verkopen. Oh ja, en als je zin hebt in fika, dan moet je in de Haga Nygata (en de straatjes daar in de buurt) zijn!

There are probably tons of nice places to eat in Göteborg, but some of my favourites are Yammy Kitchen (Andra Långgatan 5), a Japanese-Korean restaurant with nice meat-based, fish-based, vegetarian and vegan dishes (read more here), and TomToms (Prinsgatan 10), where they serve nice burritos. Oh, and if you are in the mood for some fika, you should go to Haga Nygata (and the nearby streets)!

Göteborg

Met dank aan Bert en Ken, mijn reisgenoten bij mijn eerste bezoek aan de Göteborg; Linde, Anna en Viktor, om mij rond te leiden in de stad en zo veel fijne plekjes te laten zien; en Margot, voor alle goede tips :) Oh, en nog een laatste tip: als je een excuus zoekt om binnen te blijven, bedacht ik ook nog dat een verblijf in Zweden ook het ideale moment is om alles op SVT Play te kijken dat niet toegankelijk is in het buitenland (Skam! Fröken Frimans Krig! Midnattssol!). Hopelijk hebben jullie iets aan mijn tips, en ha det så roligt!

A big thanks to Bert and Ken, my travel companions during my first visit in Göteborg; Linde, Anna and Viktor, for showing me around and helping me to discover nice places; and Margot, for all the nice tips :) Oh, and one last tip: if you are looking for an excuse to stay inside, I figured that a vacation in Sweden also is the perfect occasion to watch everything on SVT Play that’s not available outside of Sweden (SkamFröken Frimans KrigMidnattssol!). I hope my tips are useful, and ha det så roligt!


Mini Copenhagen Guide

Mini Copenhagen Guide | rougeimaginaire.com

During the last week of my vacation, I went on a short trip to Copenhagen with my parents. Last semester, I took a Danish class at the university, but apart from the time that we drove through Denmark on our way to Sweden, I had never been to Denmark before. So I thought it was about time! I was surprised by how beautiful everything was: not just the big buildings, but also the houses in neighbourhoods that were a bit further away from the city centre.

We spent most of our time doing sightseeing: we went to see the statue of the Little Mermaid (from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, which I read in my Swedish literature class last year), walked around in Kastellet (a fortress near the Little Mermaid), took a look at Amalienborg (the residence of the Danish royal family), Christiansborg (also known as Borgen, which is the seat of the parliament and the Prime Minister’s office), climbed the Rundetaarn (a round tower from where you have a nice view over the city) and walked around in Christiania (a neighbourhood where some people started their own autonomous town in the 1970s). In today’s post, however, I’d like to share some other things that I really enjoyed in Copenhagen. I hope it’s useful!

Food

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Atelier September | rougeimaginaire.com

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Atelier September | rougeimaginaire.com

Atelier September
Gothersgade 30

On our first full day in Copenhagen, we had lunch at Atelier September. I had heard about this place in one of Anna Nooshin’s vlogs and it looked so good that I wanted to try it out myself. It had a beautiful interior, the staff was friendly, and most importantly: the food was good (and also super photogenic ;)). I tried out this smørrebrød (an open sandwich from dark rye bread) with avocado, which was delicious, and a cup of green tea, which I didn’t enjoy that much because I had the idea I was tasting the cup more than the tea (I think the glazing had worn of). But I would absolutely recommend this place!

Mini Copenhagen Guide: The Yogurt Shop | rougeimaginaire.com

The Yogurt Shop
Grønnegade 37

Another tip from Anna was the Yogurt Shop. This is a place where you can assemble your own bowl of yoghurt. Even though I think this concept exists in lots of different cities, I had never tried it out so I was quite curious :) I chose regular yoghurt with caramel sauce and all different kinds of fruit. Yum!

I also want to suggest two other places, but for some reason, I forgot to take pictures in there. The first one is Zirup (Læderstræde 32), a nice café/restaurant where we sat in the sidewalk café to have dinner. I had a really nice tomato soup with chili and ginger. The glasses of water we ordered were huge, which I really liked. Also, the staff was super friendly.

On our last evening in Copenhagen, we had dinner at Kate’s Joint (Blågårdsgade 12). It had a really cosy interior and there were lots of candles. They had lots of different kinds of food, I believe most of the things on the menu were Asian and Mediterranean. I chose tofu with fried vegetables and rice and it tasted good! Oh, and the staff was really friendly as well!

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Activities

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Botanisk Have | rougeimaginaire.com

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Botanisk Have | rougeimaginaire.com

Botanisk have
Øster Farimagsgade 2B

Visiting a botanical garden is always a good idea when you’re on a trip. Last year, I visited the botanical garden of Göteborg and I really liked it, so I thought it’d be nice to visit this one in Copenhagen. These pictures were taken in the Palm house, which is the largest greenhouse. Because the plants in there are used to a tropical climate, it’s quite hot in there, especially when you climb up the spiral-stairs. I thought it was a really beautiful building. Definitely worth a visit!

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Statens Museum for Kunst | rougeimaginaire.com

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Statens Museum for Kunst | rougeimaginaire.com

Statens Museum for Kunst
Sølvgade 48-50

If you’re into art, you can visit the National Gallery of Denmark. They have lots of different permanent and temporary exhibitions, and the admission is free! I decided to only visit the exhibitions about Danish & Nordic art between 1750 and 1900 and Danish & international art after 1900. One of the things I liked the most were these paintings by Emil Nolde, a German expressionistic painter.

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Nationalmuseum | rougeimaginaire.com

Nationalmuseum
Ny Vestergade 10

I thought it would be nice to learn something about the Danish and Scandinavian history, so that’s why we decided to visit the National Museum. This museum has lots of different exhibitions, but I only visited three of them. The first one was about the Danish prehistory, which I thought was pretty nice. When I was learning Danish last semester, we read a text by Adam Oehlenschläger about these golden horns. They were fabricated in the Iron Age and found in 17th and 18th century, but in 1802, they were stolen by a goldsmith and melted down. Oehlenschläger wrote a poem about it in which he depicted the horns as a symbol for the glory of old times. The horns on the picture are replicas of the original horns. Besides that, I visited an exhibition about the Danish Middle Ages and Renaissance, but I didn’t think it was that interesting because I’m generally not very interested in that period. I also visited an exhibition called Stories of Denmark (1660-2000), which was nice because they had tried to make some kind of timeline with all the things that were important for that period, like what clothes the people wore, what their houses looked like, which important evolutions where happening in society, and so on. The presentation was a bit outdated, but it was still fun to watch.

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Theatre | rougeimaginaire.com

Theatre

My dad thought it would be nice to go to the theatre while we were there, but since my parents don’t speak Danish (and mine isn’t that fluent either), we thought it would be better to pick something with not too much dialog. So we went to see a performance called Horisonten (“The Horizon”), which was a mix of theatre, opera and dance. It took place at the Royal Danish Playhouse, a quite impressive building that was opened in 2008. It was a really nice experience, and I actually loved listening to the spoken parts, even though I didn’t understand everything.

Transportation

Mini Copenhagen Guide | rougeimaginaire.com

Mini Copenhagen Guide: City Bikes | rougeimaginaire.com

Biking

Like in most big cities, you can take the underground, but besides that, biking is a great way of getting around in Copenhagen. We saw so many people biking on the streets (almost as much as in Amsterdam), and in most streets, there were good cycle tracks (and sometimes even separate traffic lights for bicycles). Another advantage of biking is that you can do some sightseeing while you’re on the go.

We decided to try out the city bikes, which are bicycles that you can find at docking stations all around the city and just leave at a different station if you want to. You just have to create an account on the website (or on the bike itself). We decided to go for the monthly subscription formula, where you pay 60 DKK for a month and when your bike trip is shorter than 30 minutes, it’s free. The bikes have an electric motor and the best thing, a GPS system, which is particularly useful when you don’t know the city that well.

Accommodation

Mini Copenhagen Guide: Urban Bed & Breakfast | rougeimaginaire.com

Urban Bed & Breakfast
Amagerbrogade 17

I just couldn’t write this post without including some pictures of the beautiful hostel where we were staying. The rooms are nice and spacious, there’s a small kitchen and I wish I could’ve taken the bathroom home with me because it was that beautiful (I mean, just look at that bath!). When I first came into the bathroom, I thought: “wow, this place smells exactly like my new shower gel from Rituals”, which was easily explained by the fact that there were scented sticks with the same scent (it’s called Hammam Delight and it’s soo good!). Strangely enough, it’s not actually a bed & breakfast, so you have to take care of your own breakfast, but there are many supermarkets around so that’s not really a problem. So if you’re going to Copenhagen and you’re still looking for a place to stay, this might be a nice idea. It’s not super close to the centre (about 2,5 kilometres away), but when you’re going by bike, it’s totally okay.

So I hope you enjoyed reading about my week in Copenhagen. Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments! :)


Hej då Göteborg!

Göteborg

So Tuesday was our last day in Göteborg *sad face*. So after we checked out of the hostel, we made one last walk around the city to go to some places we hadn’t seen yet.

Göteborg

Göteborg

Our first stop was Skansen Kronan, which is a little fortress on a hill. We didn’t actually go in there, but we did enjoy the view over the city you had from there.

Göteborg

Göteborg

Göteborg

On our third (or fourth?) walk through the Haga Nygata, the Kawaii shop was finally open so we just had to go inside!

Göteborg

Göteborg

Göteborg

Next stop was Göteborgs Konstmuseet. Good thing about this museum: it’s free for people under 25. Bad thing about this museum: you can’t take a handbag unless it’s smaller than an A4 piece of paper. Anyway, so since I had to leave my tote bag in a locker, I didn’t have my iPod with me to take pictures, so I can’t really show you what it looked like from the inside, but they sure had a lot of very nice stuff. I especially liked this painting by P.S. Krøyer (the Danish painter I wrote about a few months ago).

Göteborg

After the museum, it was time already to head back to the hostel to pick up our luggage and then take the flygbuss to the airport.

Göteborg

Göteborg

I still can’t get over how beautiful everything looks from a plane window. (By the way, I actually didn’t notice the rainbow on this picture until I was looking at the pictures. We were flying over the rainbow!) Anyway, I think these trips to Sweden are always over too soon, so I’m hoping I can go back some time soon. If you enjoyed my this travel diary (read the previous posts here), stay tuned because tomorrow I’m going to post a video! :)

Pictures 1, 2, 4, 5, 9 by Bert.


De Veluwe

De Veluwe

So I went on another short trip to the Netherlands. This time, it was not just me, my mom and my brother, but my dad also joined us. We went to the Veluwe, which is a region in the Netherlands close to the German border where there’s a lot of nature. It’s just a two-hour drive, so it was perfect for a short getaway. Since I enjoyed writing about Amsterdam so much, here’s another travel diary!

De Veluwe

In the beginning of the week, it seemed like the entire North Sea was raining down on our house, but when we woke up on Wednesday, the clouds were gone and the sun was shining. We drove to a place called Renkum and we went for a hike in the woods. With the cold, rainy weather in mind, I had brought a sweater and a raincoat, but it was so warm I could just wear my T-shirt. It was nice to feel some sun on my skin after spending all that time inside this summer.

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

The woods kind of looked like a magical forest. The sun was shining through the trees so beautifully, there was a lot of moss, some mushrooms, there were little brooks and so many different kinds of trees and plants. At some points, the route led through an open field, which looked a little bit more tropical to me. At one point, I even saw a deer running through the field! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real deer in my whole life, except when I was in a zoo. The hike we were doing was some sort of art themed route and while following this route you could see twelve sculptures of local artists. I didn’t care for the sculptures that much, but they were a nice little extra.

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

If you want to know more about the art route, you can go to this website (although it’s only available in Dutch). It’s still open until the 14th of September, but I’m sure you can still go for a walk there after that.

De Veluwe

On Thursday, we went to the National Park of De Hoge Veluwe. There were white bikes in the park that you could use for free, so we went for a cycle tour. Just like the ones we rented when we were on the island of Ven in Sweden last summer, these bikes had back pedal brakes (which is kind of dangerous for me, because I’m used to hand brakes) and a child seat, which was a good place for my backpack. The difference, however, was that Ven was a tiny island (about 7,5 square km), and this was a very large park (about 50 square km), so the roads in the park were a lot less overcrowded that the ones on Ven.

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

The weather was lovely, and it was super nice to bike through the woods and the fields, and I was surprised by how diverse the nature in the park was. There were woods, but also heathland and drift sands.

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

I think we cycled for about ten or fifteen kilometres before heading to the museum that was in the middle of the park, the Kröller-Müller museum. There were lots of paintings and sculptures, most of them from the second half of the 19th century. One of the galleries was entirely dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh, with 91 paintings (like the Terrace of a café at night and the Potato Eaters) and 180 drawings. I think his paintings are really beautiful, I love how they’re not too realistic but still very balanced, and I also like the yellow colours in a lot of his paintings. At the introduction hall there was a computer where you could make a copy of a fragment of a famous painting, and my brother and I had a lot of fun with that. I chose to do a piece of the Composition in colour A by Mondrian, and my brother was a little more ambitious and he painted a fragment of the Potato Eaters by Van Gogh.

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

De Veluwe

On our way back, we cycled by this plain of drift sand, and all of a sudden it felt like we were in Africa (not that I’ve ever been in Africa, but I would imagine it to look sort of like this). Besides that, we passed by the same kind of woods and fields as in the morning. The sun was setting already, but the temperature was still very pleasant, and we talked about how lucky we were we didn’t get one drop of rain on this entire trip.

So that was my trip to the Veluwe. It’s a good thing to discover that you don’t have to travel that far to see beautiful things like this. So if you live in the Netherlands (or Belgium or Germany) and you’re looking for a short getaway, this is definitely something I recommend! What’s your favourite place to go for a short trip?


Two days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam

This week, my mom, my brother and I decided to go on a little trip to Amsterdam. I had been there two times before, but only very shortly, and it seemed like a nice idea to go there again and explore the city a little more. I love how easy it is to do these kinds of things when you live in Europe. I’ve never been in North America, but I can imagine that things are very different there. A train ride from Antwerp to Amsterdam only takes three hours, and it’s not even that expensive. Anyway, I decided to write a little travel diary for you, along with some tips for nice places to go to if you’re in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

So we woke up at six in the morning and hopped on an early train to Amsterdam. When we were riding through the green landscapes in Northern Belgium, we were blinded by the sun shining through the trees. It seems like every time I go on a trip, I get hungry the second I’m on the road, even if I just had a large breakfast.

When we arrived in the city, it was still too early to check in to our hotel, so we took the tram to the museum square. The tram was super crowded, and in Belgium that would mean that the tram driver would shout things like “move on, please”, but instead, this tram driver said “ladies and gentleman, it’s very crowded, so if you could just move your divine bodies a little bit further into the tram”. I thought it was hilarious.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

After a nice cup of hot chocolate at the Cobra Café, we went to the Rijksmuseum, where you can see lots of paintings and other kinds of art by Dutch artists, from the 16th till the 20th century. There were lots of people, especially at the Nachtwacht (“the Night Watch”), which is the most famous painting of the museum. I thought it was a bit annoying, because you could just tell that most of the people just came there because their travel guide told them to. I literally saw people coming into a room, taking a picture of a painting and then moving on to the next room, without even taking a proper look at the paintings. But besides that, it was a nice museum.

I thought it was interesting to see how all of the paintings (except some of the ones from the 20th century), were just normal, figurative paintings, but you could clearly see how much the style changed through the ages. It was also nice to see some paintings I already knew, like Winterlandschap met schaatsers (“Winter Landscape with Skaters”) by Hendrick Avercamp, which used to be my desktop image a few years ago, and Het zieke kind (“The sick child”) by Gabriël Metsu, which played an important role in one of my favourite children’s books.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

When we were done at the museum, we checked in at our hotel. It was a very small place near a canal, and I liked it. We had lunch at a place called Soup en Zo (I’m not sure how to translate the “en zo”, but you could say it’s something like “and stuff”). I had a delicious North African pea soup, and then I got a cookie at the shop on the other side of the street, which was called Stach.

Amsterdam

It was amazing how many bicycles there were. I always thought it was more or less the same as in Belgium, but boy was I wrong! Parked bicycles everywhere, and tons of cyclists, who didn’t seem to care about the pedestrians or the cars the least bit. When I’m riding my bike in Leuven, I often get sucked into crowds of walking people, and usually the only thing I can do then is to get of my bike and walk. In Amsterdam, it’s pretty much the other way around.

Amsterdam

In the afternoon, we did some shopping in the centre of the city. We went to all the nice stores we don’t have in Antwerp, like Episode, Monki and Weekday, and I found some pretty nice things! For some reason, my feet started to hurt like crazy (I was wearing my Dr. Martens, but I don’t get how they could be so uncomfortable all of a sudden, because I had worn them on city trips before), so we decided to go for dinner at an Italian restaurant, which wasn’t that special, but the food was okay.

Amsterdam

The girl at the cash register at Weekday had told us about the EYE, which is a film museum and cinema located on the other side of the IJ river. They were playing Magic in the Moonlight, so we thought it would be nice to go there in the evening. We took ferry to the other side of the river, but as it turned out the film was already sold out. So we just sat at the outdoor café for a while with some tea, and then we went back to the hotel to get some sleep.

Amsterdam

When I woke up the next day, my feet were still hurting. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, it was time to go exploring again. We passed by a shoe shop and got some insoles to put in my shoes, and my feet were happy.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Next, we went to a small museum called het Kattenkabinet (“the Cat Cabinet”), where there were tons of posters, pictures and paintings of cats. I loved it! If you’re a cat lover, you should definitely go there.

Amsterdam

When we got out of the museum, it had started raining and we went to a clothing store called Zipper, where they have both second hand and new clothes made from older clothes. I got a pair of sunglasses. We had lunch at a place called Lef. It was really tiny in there, and you had to take some pretty steep stairs to get to the second floor, but it was super cosy and the sandwiches tasted well.

Amsterdam

After lunch, it had started to thunder as well, and we decided to go to the shopping street, so at least we could be inside for a little while. I went into this big department store called de Bijenkorf (“the Beehive”), and I discovered they had Topshop there! I had been looking for a pair of perfect black skinnies since forever, and Estée was always talking about how much she liked the Jamie jeans from Topshop, so I went in there to try them, and I instantly fell in love. Talking about #theessiebuttoneffect!

Amsterdam

Since we had to get our bags at the hotel before five, we went back there and brought them to the train station, and then went back to the Museum Square. I saw this family and I thought it was the sweetest thing. It seemed like a nice idea to go to the Van Gogh museum, but it turned out it was a one and a half hour wait and we thought that was crazy.

Amsterdam

So we went to the Vondelpark for a little while, and then it was time to head back home.

Amsterdam

We heard there were some problems with one of the train lines, so we were a little worried we wouldn’t get home, but luckily they were solved in time.

Amsterdam

And then we were back in pretty, pretty Belgium, with sore feet, a bag of new clothes and some new memories.


Museum Dr. Guislain & S.M.A.K.

Museum Dr. Guislain

In september gingen Bert en ik een dagje naar Gent om musea te bezoeken. Hoewel ik eerst niet van plan was om erover te schrijven, leek het me toch wel leuk om het met jullie te delen. :) Het is eens wat anders dan waar ik normaal over schrijf, maar ik hoop dat het jullie kan boeien. Zelf vind ik het af en toe wel eens leuk om me onder te dompelen in iets waar ik nog helemaal niets van weet. Het eerste museum dat we bezochten was het Museum Dr. Guislain.

One day in september, Bert and I went to Ghent to visit some museums. Although I wasn’t planning to write about it, I wanted to share some of the things I saw with you :) It’s something different from what I usually write about, but I hope you find it interesting. I think it’s nice to immerge yourself in something you don’t know anything about every once in a while. The first museum we visited was the Museum Dr. Guislain.

Museum Dr. Guislain

Het museum was vroeger een psychiatrische inrichting, en dat zag je ook aan het gebouw. Er was een tentoonstelling over de geschiedenis van psychiatrie, en ook de kunstwerken die er hingen pasten wel in het thema. Het gevoel dat ik kreeg toen ik door het gebouw wandelde, was een beetje te vergelijken met het gevoel dat je krijgt als je een spannend boek leest: op zich is het griezelig, maar de grens tussen fictie en realiteit (of in dit geval tussen verleden en heden) geeft je een veilig gevoel, en daardoor wordt die spanning juist wel fijn. De eerste tentoonstelling die we bekeken heette ‘In alle staten’ en ging over de mens in alle staten. Het was echt heel ‘rauwe’ kunst, en sommige dingen vond ik best eng.

This museum used to be a psychiatric institute, and I think you could really see that when you looked at the building. There was an exposition about the history of psychiatry, and most of the paintings in the other expositions also fitted in that theme. The feeling I got when I was walking around in the building was a bit like the feeling you get when you’re reading a thrilling book: in itself, it’s creepy, but the boundary between fiction and reality (or in this case: between past and present) makes you feel safe, and makes you enjoy the tension. The first exposition was called ‘In alle staten’ which literally means ‘in all states’, but also, in a figurative way, ‘to be beside oneself’. It showed the human being ‘in all states’. It was pretty ‘raw’ art, and some things were kind of scary.

Museum Dr. Guislain

De volgende tentoonstelling ging over de geschiedenis van de psychiatrie. Ik denk dat ik niet de enige ben die psychiatrie associeert met iets negatiefs, met opgesloten zijn en dwangbuizen en isoleercellen. En ook met opgesloten zijn in je eigen geest. Het is eigenlijk iets waar in niet graag aan denk. Ik ben trouwens ook de boeken van Stieg Larsson aan het herlezen, en het herinnerde me aan wat er met Lisbeth Salander was gebeurd, en dat was nu ook niet meteen fijn. Ik denk trouwens wel dat de moderne psychiatrie heel anders is dan die in het verleden.

The next exposition was about the history of psychiatry. I don’t think I’m the only one who associates psychiatry with something negative, with being locked up and straitjackets and padded cells. And also with being locked up in your own mind. It’s not something I like to think about. I’m also re-reading the Stieg Larsson novels, and it reminded me of what happened to Lisbeth Salander, which wasn’t fun either. By the way, I think modern psychiatry is a lot different from the past.

Museum Dr. Guislain

Dit bordje kwam ik verderop in de tentoonstelling tegen. Ook dit vond ik een beetje eng, maar ik vond het wel grappig om het woord ‘Kranken’ hier tegen te komen, in plaats van ‘zieken’ of ‘patiënten’.

This is something else I saw in the exposition. The sign says: “Regulations for the visits of the sick”, but instead of the normal Dutch word for “sick person” or “patient”, it says “Kranken”, which is a bit older and it sounds pretty strange (it’s the same word as in German).

Museum Dr. Guislain

We staken de binnenplaats over om naar de laatste tentoonstellingen te gaan, die aan de andere kant van het gebouw waren. Ik vond het wel een mooi gebouw, maar, zoals ik al zei, je kon echt wel zien dat het vroeger een psychiatrische instelling was geweest.

We crossed the inner court to go to the expositions in the other side of the building. It was a nice building, but, as I said, you could tell it used to be a psychiatric institution.

Museum Dr. Guislain

Een van de eerste dingen die we zagen toen we in het andere gebouw binnenkwamen, was dit vliegtuigje. Het deed me heel erg aan de kunst van Panamarenko denken. Ik vond dat het wel iets had, zo zwevend met die fragiele vleugels en fijne draden.

One of the first things we saw when we entered the other building was this little plane. It reminded me a lot of Panamarenko’s art. I thought is was nice, floating in the air with fragile wings and fine wires.

Museum Dr. Guislain

De schilderijtjes van Tim Brown vond ik ook heel leuk. Hij is een Afro-Amerikaanse kunstenaar, geboren in 1946. Op het bordje stond uitleg bij de schilderijen: “Wanneer mijn kinderen opgroeiden, vroegen ze mij over mijn jeugd. Ik had geen foto’s om te tonen, dus schilderde ik mijn kindertijd.”

I also really liked Tim Brown’s paintings. He is an African-American artist, born in 1946. The sign said: “When my children were growing up, they asked questions about my childhood. Since I had no pictures to show, I painted these for them.”

Museum Dr. Guislain

De tekst onder het derde schilderij van links vind ik grappig: “mama on eggs.”

Look at the text under the third painting on the right, it says: “mama on eggs.” 

De laatste foto van het Guislainmuseum: dit vond ik wel een interessant citaat.

De conclusie dat een schilder geestesziek is omdat hij schildert als een geesteszieke, is niet intelligenter of overtuigender dan de conclusie dat Pechstein, Heckel en anderen houtsculpturen maken als die van zwarten uit Kameroen en dus zwarten uit Kameroen zijn.

The last picture from the Guislain museum. I thought this was an interesting quote, and I found an English translation:

“To conclude that an artist who paints in the fashion of a mentally ill patient therefore also must be ill, is no more logical than to conclude that Pechstein, Heckel and others who create statues in the fashion of the black people from Cameroon, hence they are black people from Cameroon.”

SMAK

Verder gingen we die dag ook nog naar het Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, ook wel gekend als het S.M.A.K. Er waren werken van een aantal verschillende kunstenaars, waaronder Massimo Bartolini. Zijn werken zijn me eigenlijk het best bijgebleven. Er was een grote constructie, het leek wel een stelling, maar eigenlijk was het een soort orgel. Je hoorde de klanken van dat orgel door het hele museum schallen. Ik heb er geen foto van gemaakt, maar je kan het zien in dit filmpje.

Next, we went to the Stedelijk Museum for Actuele Kunst (which means Municipal Museum for Current Art) also known as S.M.A.K. There were works from some different artists, but the one I remember the most is Massimo Bartolini. There was this giant construction, which looked like a scaffold, but it actually was some kind of organ. You could hear the sounds of it in the entire museum. I didn’t take a picture of it, but you can see it in this video. 

Verder was er ook een zaaltje waar allemaal kleine voorwerpen stonden. Ik en Bert overlegden welk voorwerp we zouden kiezen als we er één mochten hebben, maar ik kon eigenlijk niet kiezen want het was zo’n mooi geheel.

Besides that, there was a little space with a lot of small objects. Bert and I discussed which objects we could choose if we could only have one, but I couldn’t choose just one, because I thought they looked so beautiful as a whole.

Dit was alles wat ik wou vertellen over de twee musea. Ik vond het Museum Dr. Guislain het beste van de twee. Als je ooit in de buurt van Gent bent, is het zeker de moeite om daar een keer naartoe te gaan. Maar als je van moderne kunst houdt is het S.M.A.K. ook zeker een bezoekje waard.

Gaan jullie graag naar musea? :)

This is everything I wanted to tell you about these two museums. The Museum Dr. Guislain was my favourite. If you’re ever in Ghent, you really should visit it. But if you’re into modern art, the S.M.A.K. is worth a visit as well.

Do you like museums? :)


Malmö

Malmö konsthall
Malmö konsthall

Hé, hier ben ik weer! Toen we in Zweden waren, zijn we ook een dagje naar Malmö geweest. Een dag is niet lang om een stad te bezoeken, maar ik vind het toch fijn om daar ook een keer te zijn geweest. Eerst liepen we een beetje rond door de winkelstraten. Ik ging meteen op zoek naar een boekenwinkel om nieuwe Zweedse boeken in te slaan (haha!). Ik kocht een boek van Astrid Lindgren (obviously) en twee van Stieg Larsson.

Daarna gingen papa, Bert en ik naar de konsthall (kunsthal) waar allemaal gekke vormen van kunst te zien waren. Ik denk dat het conceptuele kunst wordt genoemd, maar ik weet het niet helemaal zeker. Er was een werk dat uit een aantal kamers van een kantoor bestond, dat vond ik nog wel fijn, al weet ik niet helemaal zo goed waarom. Er was ook een kamer die je kon binnengaan door door een gat te kruipen. Toen je binnenkwam zag je allemaal takkenbossen, het was er redelijk donker, maar alles werd verlicht door een soort blauw licht. je hoorde zachte muziek, en rustige geluiden zoals een kabbelend beekje. Als je de hoek omging, zag je dat daar een vrouw stond die zachtjes zong. Ze kwam naar je toe en gaf je een briefje. Dat was echt gek om mee te maken, vond ik.

Hi, it’s me again! When we were in Sweden, we also made a day trip to Malmö. One day is not a lot of time to visit a city, but i think it’s nice to have been there at least for a little while. First, we walked around in the shopping streets. I went to a book store to buy some new Swedish books to replenish my stock (haha!). I bought one book by Astrid Lindgren (obviously) and two by Stieg Larsson.

Later, my dad, Bert and I went to the konsthall where we saw all these funny forms of art. I think it’s called conceptual art, but I’m not sure. There was this one piece of art that consisted of different rooms of an office. I liked that, although I can’t really explain why. Then there was this other piece of art where you entered a room through some sort of hole. Then you came into a dark room with a soft blue light and a lot of fascines. There was soft music playing, a woman singing and some peaceful sounds. When you walked around the corner, you saw that there was a real woman and that she was the one who was singing. She came to you and gave you a little folded note. I think this really was a strange thing to experience.

Malmö

Daarna gingen we samen met mama en Pepijn iets drinken in een koffiebar in de Rådmansgatan die Barista heette. Het was er heel gezellig, en de koffie was lekker! :)

Afterwards, we went for coffee in this nice coffee bar called Barista, in the Rådmansgatan. It was really nice, and the coffee tasted good too :)

Turning Torso

Tegen de avond gingen we naar Riberborgsstranden om daar te picknicken. Van daar konden we de Turning Torso zien, een van de bekendste gebouwen van Malmö.

In the evening we went to Riberborgsstranden for picnic. From there, you could see the Turning Torso, one of Malmö’s most famous landmarks.

Malmö

Bert vond een fietsvlag. / Bert found a bike flag.

Malmö

De zon ging al onder. Je kon van hier de Öresundbrug heel goed zien, en rechts daarvan (op de foto hierboven) Kopenhagen. Ik vind het een gek gevoel dat Kopenhagen en Malmö eigenlijk zo dicht bij elkaar liggen. Ik zou trouwens echt eens graag een keer Kopenhagen bezoeken :)

The sun was setting already. You could see the Öresundbridge and on the right (on the picture up here) copenhagen. I think it’s really strange that Copenhagen and Malmö are in fact so close to each other. By the way, I would really like to visit Copenhagen sometime :)

PS: als je je afvraagt waar mijn broer Pepijn is: hij wil nooit op de foto ;) / if you’re wondering where my brother Pepijn is: he never wants to be on pictures ;)


VIDEO: Paris!

Click here if you can’t see the video.

Hoi! Het afgelopen weekend was ik in Parijs met mijn familie, en het leek mij wel fijn om een filmpje te maken waarin ik vertel wat we allemaal hebben meegemaakt :) Het was best wel een druk reisje, maar dat krijg je als je alle bezienswaardigheden van Parijs in drie dagen wil zien ;) In elk geval denk ik dat een video wel een fijne manier is om de sfeer van een stad weer te geven, dat is toch net iets anders dan foto’s. (Een tijdje geleden zag ik trouwens deze hele fijne vlogs over Kopenhagen, echt zo fijn om te zien!) Laat maar weten wat jullie ervan vonden :)

PS: vergeet niet de HD aan te zetten!

Hi! Last weekend, I went on a little trip to Paris with my family, and it seemed like a nice idea to make a video where I tell you about everything we did :) It was quite a busy trip, but that’s what you get when you try to cram all the interesting things in Paris in a three day trip ;) Anyway, I think a video is a nice way to show the atmosphere of a city, it’s a little different from pictures. (Besides, I watched these really nice Copenhagen vlogs a while ago, and they’re really nice to watch!) So let me know what you think of this :)PS: don’t forget to put HD on!