Spring has Sprung…

March 11, 2009

What a wonderful day today.

It was a real pleasure to cycle to work this morning, and I promised myself that I will take a morning/day off and do my route to work with a camera soon. There are so many cool shots to be had in the morning bike rush, if I can get my hands on a decent camera I know I’ll make some of the photo-bloggers mouths water.

All topped of with plenty of stops along the way… I especially want to go back here for breakfast on that day!

(Of course this day off can be scheduled with anyone’s visit, just pick a weekday morning and bring nerves of corrugated iron, if not steel, and we will have a blast)

So imagine my delight when the sun was still shining at 5.30pm, I took this as a sign I was not to work late and quickly donned my very glamorous cycling gear (Trackie bottoms and a sweatshirt) and hit the streets to cycle home. It wasn’t as much fun as this morning, obviously people we no longer “sunshine happy” after a day at the office, and the good will and smiling of the morning commute had petered out.

All strains petered away as I cornered onto my street and heard the first Westerkerk Evening Carillon of 2009!

Westertoren
Westertoren

I haven’t heard it since October, at which point I did video it with the aim of sharing it here, but like many blog posts at the time it gathered dust.

So now I’d like to share this magical thing with you. It might be the memories of the notes flowing across the summer warmed canal that makes it so special to me but still I’d like to share.

To me it rings out in such a way that if you sit and listen you can imagine living here in another time, I think of all the historical figures that would have listened to its melodies, Anne Frank and Rembrandt van Rijn as examples.

Of course this is where the “beauty” of single glazed wood frame windows come into their own, it plays throughout my 3rd floor apartment, as if only for me

The Westerkerk stands pretty much at the top of my street (if you don’t count the Prinsengracht separating the two) and as I got off my bike and chained it up was beaming listening to the tune. I looked down toward the the end of the street and noted I wasn’t the only person enjoying it. Many of the patrons of one of the local bars, Cafe Chris were out with their beertjes listening too.

I quickly went upstairs and tried to capture it on my rubbish camera phone, so forgive the orientation of the video, and the sub par picture, but the sound really does work! 🙂 Had to take it several times as it picked up every conversation had on the street.

And here is an inside view of what is going on when a carillon is played

And last but not least, a little clip of Tulips from Amsterdam, taken from the top of the Westertoren when it was being repaired in 2007.

I want to climb the tower soon, its 85 metres high and was completed in 1638. In fact the local bar I mentioned earlier played a part in its construction, and was reputed not only to be the local bar of Rembrandt, who stopped there for a tipple or many on rout from his studio, but it was also used as the payroll office of the workers building the tower.

There is a unique gents restroom in the premises which I am happy to show you when we go for a beertje sometime! 🙂

See you there, hopefully the bells will be chiming!

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