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- Book Club: Travels with my Aunt 29 June 2021
by Mala Raman
07 Mar 2020. Right behind the Tilburg Central Station in the Spoorzone, is an old industrial locomotive hall that has been transformed into a cutting edge library, The LocHal. The repair center from the 1930s has been converted into a modernist design filled with glass, stunning wooden staircases and light-filled, open-plan spaces all housed within the steel beams of the original locomotive center.
16 December 2018. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name of Charles Dickens? The story of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, The Pickwick Papers and, of course, A Christmas Carol novella. So, when a lot of characters from his work coming to life in a two-day festival, you just have to be there.
“There” is a town called Deventer, which is situated in the Overijssel province. The Dickens festival is always held in the winter, close to Christmas, and this year it fell on the weekend of 15-16 December.
We, tíc members, decided to go there, to check the atmosphere, try to name all the characters and to soak in the Christmas spirit of an English Victorian village.
Our train stopped midway and could not continue to the final destination, so we stopped in the small town of Oss to wait for another one to come for rescue. Foggy Oss welcomed us with hot drinks (thanks to Kiosk and NS) and we happily chatted with each other. The waiting time flew by and 30 minutes later we were sitting in the train on our way to a fairytale.
We knew, that there might be a waiting line of up to 60 minutes at the entrance to the old town of Deventer, but the hope was still within us. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising when we saw a bunch of people going in the same direction. The hope for a short waiting time evaporated. Thankfully, the clever people of Deventer helped us to overcome this small obstacle by dipping us gently in old days town mood.
Just as we got out of the central station, we found a photo booth in a shape of an old photo camera that was offering photography services. The fashion of the 19th century also came alive here. Women with puffed dresses, long sleeves, V-shaped bodices, and men with cutaway coats, straight trousers and high hats, we could see it all. The waiting time flew fast because we could drink Glühwein or hot chocolate, eat some hot waffles, and just enjoy the music of the orchestra playing next to us. But be aware, thieves are on a constant alert, and they will rob you shamelessly. If you don’t want to drink, then buy a newsletter from a paper boy, and read while you are waiting, because a guard with sharp spears will not let you in.
Finally, we made it to the entrance. A huge statue of Charles Dickens, made of lights, welcomed us into the wonderful and harsh world of his stories.
It seems that time just stopped here. The old city of Deventer was dressed in Christmas trees and festive lights, rich couples promenading next to us. Folk were doing their daily activities: cleaning, laundry and grazing sheep. Merchants were selling fruits, vegetables, warm chestnuts, waffles, cakes, artisan bread, smoked meat and fish from, oh so many, carts. Chimney sweepers were doing their dirty chores. The city was loud and alive.
We witnessed a fire, a robbery, a drunken brawl, a ghost predicting the future (or putting a curse on us, it was in Dutch). Oliver Twist was there too, telling us all about his adventures. The village police were trying to keep everything in order, but little children, begging for money, and drunk vagabonds, trying to pick up a fight with every passer-by, made our walk through the old town very realistic, fun and unexpected.
It was cold outside, so the Dickens pub (pool salon during “regular” days) took us into its warm arms and gave us a hiatus to rest and eat before we continued the journey.
A lot of antique shops, different boutiques, Dickens museum, wood sawing, playground for little children and Scottish marching band made our day diverse.
Almost at the end of our day, we visited a church on the Bergkerkplein where we witnessed a children’s play, recreating scenes from A Christmas Carol novella.
We finished the day at the Christmas market of modern Deventer with some poffertjes.
#tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #Deventer #DickensFestival #daytrip
This weekend, tíc is taking a trip to the Dickens Festival in Deventer. In honour of #ThrowbackThursday, let’s take a look back at last year’s trip to the Christmas Market in Muenster, Germany.
by Andrew Kelly
10 December 2017. It has become a tradition that every year tíc takes a winter day trip and this year we chose to go to the wonderful German city of Muenster. Our meeting point was at Tilburg University where our bus was waiting to take us to Muenster. The bus was very comfortable and sharing Christmas cookies made the bus ride go a little more quickly.
Of course, once we arrived it started to snow and the city really started to get the Christmas spirt.
Let’s just say it was really cold and a lot of my time was spent drinking the hot Gluhwein in their traditional mugs and eating all the lovely food which I think added an extra 10kg to my weight.
Exploring the Classical city of Muenster in the snow was also an experience and I would recommend it to anyone if they enjoy taking a drive down to see the city.
This coming Saturday, we will be heading back to Koningshoeven monastery to visit the Trappist Brewery, famous for La Trappe beer. For #ThrowbackThursday, let’s take a look at our tour from 2013!
17 October 2013. by Patricia Gonzalez. “The most beautiful sound in the world is silence. When it is quiet you can listen to yourself and others. Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom. Silence starts with attention and what you give attention grows. Silence is the white between the written lines. Things become more intense in silence. Taste the silence.” (more…)
by Andrew Kelly
This sunny afternoon started at the Doncurado Tilburg, which has the best coffee in all of Tilburg. At 14:00, the TIC group was picked up by our guide for the day Gert Brunink (owner of Mee Naar Buiten).
Walking from our meeting point to the boat, I would say the sky just opened up and then we discovered that there was no roof to the boat. But Gert was on hand with umbrellas! So, a little wet, we set off around the Piushaven.
The trip was great fun and we did learn a lot about the history of Tilburg and how in the past, the Piushaven was the life blood of the city. I will not go into too much detail because I feel I would not do it justice but if you are interested in knowing about the history of Tilburg I would defiantly invest a afternoon.
Then, as it always is, as soon as the boat docked, the rain stopped and Gert lead us on our nature walk through Moerenburg. This area is a natural swamp and was previously a water reservoir for Tilburg. But now, it is a quiet place to enjoy a stroll near the water and admire the many animals that are present.
Tilburg is a place with lots to offer, including plenty for the nature enthusiasts. I would definitely recommend taking this tour.
#Expat #Tilburg #Piushaven #MeeNaarBuiten #tour
Anne van Oorschot knows her way around the Hague! This 13thcentury building survived the wrecking ball when … Down that way is a shop where, if you should every need a hat suitable for a posh wedding … Today you will find in this unassuming Louis XIV building … The famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova died there in … So the king’s carriage passes under this gilded royal crest …
The first stop of our in-depth visit was the Mauritshuis, once the stately residence of VOC sugar baron Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, today an elegant little museum. The majestic stairway and panelled walls hung with Golden Age masterpieces make you want to lower your voice to a whisper. We had a chance to see more Jan Steen (whose work figured prominently in the TIC guest lecture “Saints and Sinners “ of a couple weeks ago). Steen was from a wealthy Catholic beer brewing family. A complicated man, his paintings pull back the curtain sometimes on rich 17thcentury interiors, sometimes on intimate domestic scenes, and sometimes on episodes of Burgers-behaving-badly.
We had lunch at Schlemmer, haunt of politicians, artists and theatre folk, that appears little changed since subway tiles were put on the walls around the turn of the century (the one before this one that is). We sat at a plank table, in a decidedly gezellig corner, and had an oh-so-Dutch lunch of hot soup and boterham.
Next stop: Panorama Mesdag (which is nothing at all likethe rather decrepit panorama at Waterloo). A tiny gallery lined with exquisite seascapes ended at upward spiralling steps. As we climbed we began to hear screeching gulls and lapping water; at the top we walked into the sunlight and found ourselves in a gazebo on top of a sand dune, and before us a 360 degree view of Scheveningen, fresh as the day it was painted in 1881 thanks to a ten-year restoration—glass top to sandy bottom.
We took a coffee break in the bright adjoining café, but time was a wastin’ and there was still one stop to go before closing time. We headed at a quick pace for the Peace Palace. One side of the reception center is almost fully glass, the gardens beyond green and quiet, on the other side it’s dusk-dark, a black and white film of momentous international events showing in a loop—this is why the world needs a place like this. I could almost hear Bob Dylan singing Blowing in the Wind; Yes, and how many years …?
23 Jun 2013
by Mala Raman
At a distance of about 20 minutes from the city of Tilburg you will find an amazing place, the national park Loonse en Drunense Duinen, named after the two villages at the South and the North of this nature reserve. Established in 2002, it’s one of the youngest Dutch National Parks, but it has a very long and rich history.
The dunes in this national park are unique and not to be found anywhere else in (more…)