Saturday, 9 November 2013

Optical Illusion or Not?

Who's the giant now??
Our week in The Netherlands was very eventful. We saw family and friends and generally had a great time catching up on news and eating things you can’t get here in France - who would have thought that I would crave kroketten, stamppot and “normal” bread?

Our trip started on Cees’ daughter’s houseboat/ship in Den Bosch, a lovely old town in the south. Whilst there, we went to an exhibition about optical illusions which had some lovely examples of “trompe l’oeils”, but also included some interesting perspective tricks which I had read about when studying psychology some years ago now. In particular, the Ames room was an “experiment” that I had always wanted to try out in reality. It is all well and good reading about it and seeing the photos but it is another things being in the experiment yourself. I was so excited to see, in the exhibition, that there was the opportunity to try out Ames room in person. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this is an optical illusion or not.

The next stop on our journey was Amsterdam, which we finally reached Monday afternoon after driving through some terrifying winds and traffic conditions. The radio was full of death and destruction and it appeared that Amsterdam was on total lock-down. A phone call to our friends encouraged us to continue our journey, but indeed when we arrived, the trams and trains had been shut down due to fallen trees, the main arteries in the city were cut off and the airport was closed for a number of hours. Sadly these photos from just down the road from our friends' home on the Jacob van Lennepkade, are not an optical illusion, the photo on the left is what a lovely blue house boat looked like in its “normal” state and the photo on the right is what the same lovely blue house boat looked like after a fallen tree has been lifted off it.

Home sweet home
Home and tree gone
Fortunately the owners weren’t home when the tree fell, but just imagine what it must be like to come home from work and find your house sunken…

Our week passed all too quickly, but now we have enough stocks of delicacies like leverworst, filet american and corenwijn to last us a while. On the subject of corenwijn, any connoisseur will know that a true galss of corenwijn had to be poured so that sides of the convex meniscus of this delicious golden liquid touch to top of the glass. There’s only one way to take that first sip.

What can I say??

For information on holiday homes to rent less than a day's journey from The Netherlands click here.

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