Arches of the Parisian markethalls at the entrance of the WH Vliegenbos

The W.H. Vliegenforest, oldest city forest of Amsterdam – with a touch of Paris

Deze blog post in het Nederlands (link)

The W.H. Vliegenbos (W.H. Vliegenforest) in Amsterdam North is the oldest city forest of the city council of Amsterdam. It was created between 1910 and 1918 on the initiative of the socialist councillor W.H.Vliegen, who wanted a forest close to Amsterdam for the workers to be able to go for a walk and enjoy nature.

While the forest has some park-like elements, with an asphalted path and some benches and nice water features, for the largest part (about 15 ha) it is forest, existing of dry and wet Ash-Elms woods. Next to ash trees and elms it also has many poplars and maples, a great variation in structure, and a large diversity of trees, bushes and undergrowth . The remarkable high number of Elms in this forest is due to the very strict policies the city of Amsterdam observes with regard to the Elms disease. Because of this, the W.H. Vliegenbos is the largest still existing Elms-rich forest of the Netherlands, and maybe even of Western Europe.

At the entrance of the Vliegenforest, some large cast-iron arches draw the attention. These arches originate from the old Parisian Market halls, that were demolished in 1971. The Amsterdam artist Peter Diem purchased some of those arches, and donated them to the city council. They were restored and now serve as a remarkable entrance to this city forest.

– All these photo’s were made during the first test-photoshoot with the rented Canon EOS 7D camera (see my previous blog post) –

Source: Nl.Wikipedia, , , En.Wikipedia ,

Arches of the Parisian markethalls at the entrance of the WH Vliegenbos

Arches of the Parisian fish market halls at the entrance of the WH Vliegenbos, Amsterdam North

Detail of the Parisian arches, donated by the Amsterdam artist Peter Diem

Detail of the Parisian arches, donated by the Amsterdam artist Peter Diem

Some wet benches along the path in the autumn park-like forest

Some wood logs turned into benches along the path in the autumn park-like forest.

Nice water features reflect the colours of fall

Nice water features reflect the colours of fall

the Bijlmermonument

Picking a topic to write about, and the Bijlmermonument

Link naar deze blogpost in het NEDERLANDS

Picking a topic and making a list

For me, it’s not so much a problem to think what to write about. Rather, to pick one of the many possibilities, and not trying to do them all at once. So as soon as I’ve done my two daily posts ( E and NL) , I will start making a list in Evernote with possible topics, so that I can keep track of all the ideas that come up. Or better, let me open Evernote right away, and jot ideas down as they pop into my head… 🙂

The Bijlmermonument

Yesterday October 4, it was the 22 anniversary remembrance day of the Bijlmer disaster, when an El Al plain crashed in two of the Bijlmer apartment buildings, and 43 people died, with many more injured and traumatized.

I couldn’t be there at the remembrance ceremony, but we’re living so close by the monument that we could hear the music in our living rooms, and I could see still some people around when I passed there later that evening.

22 years ago, and people still remember… This year, the ceremony had a special accent, in the light of the recent disaster with the MH17 in Ukraine, where 298 people died, among whom 196 Dutch. This recent disaster brought so many memories back for people in the Bijlmer, and they expressed their sympathy to the victims and their families and relatives now…

Advise from the Bijlmer to the family and relatives of MH17 victims: make sure there comes a monument, and often seek one another’s company and support – always remember! …

the Bijlmermonument

the Bijlmermonument, with the tree that saw everything, the remembrance wall and the mosaic tiles, photographed sept. 2012


Day before yesterday, ‘Playful’ was chosen to be featured at the RedBubble homepage. That’s a great honour, and I was so delighted about it, that I decided to make it my second pic to upload to this photo blog.

This photo of this playful group of children is one of a series photographs that is somehow precious to me.
I made them long ago, 1992, when we travelled to Ethiopia for a meeting. It was only a few years after the war, the poverty was appalling… And these kids… they just allowed me photographing them, with a spontaneity that touched my heart.
Even now, so many years later, I still bow for them, in reverence.

Yes, indeed, it was an incredible experience… one never to forget. And that’s exactly what makes these pics so precious…: the images help me to remember, more lively than my memory ever could…

Children of Hosanna, Ethiopia 1992

Photo made with Pentax ME super and scanned from print – © steppeland 1992

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