March Photo Challenge: Day 3: My Neighborhood!

Leidsche Rijn

As I have said before, Loek and I live in a little suburb outside of the City Center of Utrecht called Leidsche Rijn. A relatively new neighborhood, it is nevertheless ripe with history and artifacts. Leidsche Rijn itself has at least three distinctive neighborhoods, and where Loek and I live is right in the middle. For this challenge, I chose to use a neighborhood of Leidsche Rijn called Parkwijk. Mostly because it is my favorite!  

De Grauwaert:

De Grauwaert, Leidsche Rijn

De Grauwaert, Leidsche Rijn


The Netherlands loves its parks and Leidsche Rijn is no different. Off the top of my head, I can think of six parks or playgrounds that are within a eight minute walk from my apartment. Above is De Grauwaert, one of the coolest parks near my home.

Translated, the sign roughly says: In Leidsche Rijn lies a large amount of archeological monuments protected by law. One of those is Park Grauwaert where lies the remains of a small castle-island and a front terrain surrounded by canals.

The Grauwaert must have been special in the late middle ages, from how the complex was shown on old maps. On the map of Specht from 1696 you can see that the castle was in a corner of the Old Rijn. When the buildings were demolished is unknown, but the castle doesn't appear on maps from after 1800.
The results from both archeological research and the information of historical maps have inspired the designers of Park Grauwaert. In the design all the characteristic elements of the Grauwaert are found back: the island, the Old Rijn, and the surrounded by channels front terrain. 
You might remember from a previous post, this is why I am convinced our apartment is haunted
This is also part of the Grauwaert. I have seen more of these scattered throughout the countryside here. I really need to look up more about them! The building on the right is my local branch of the library!
swan, leidsche rijn
Today, I got to see this guy fly over my apartment to this park. It was a beautiful sight, but he made me sad because he was all alone! Swans are everywhere here and they still haven't lost their majestic loveliness to me. 
Leidsche Rijn College
This is Leidsche Rijn College, think high school if you are American. I included it in my neighborhood tour because its students are everywhere, all the time. I call them the delinquents because when school ends, they wont let you get off the bus. They swarm at all exits trying to sneak on. It is the only time most weeks where I want to yell at a Dutch person. 
The road to the City Center. You have to go past the concert hall and over the yellow bridge. 
The streets here all have theme names. Every street connected to the main road have spice/ herb names, another main street has all its connecting streets named after butterflies. It is a pretty cool little tie in. Can you guess what this street name translates too? 
Thanks for allowing me to show you a little bit about my new neighborhood. What do you like most about the neighborhood you call home? Remember, it is not too late to join March Photo Challenge from Fat Mum Slim



I like the photos, and I especially like your descriptions.
I'm interested in your comments about the students. I assume they are just being mildly rebellious, because everyone knows there's no crime or violence or anything in The Netherlands. (joke)
Here's a big big request-- get over shyness about taking photos of people. I know that you are shy about because I used to be very shy about it, too. But I am so glad I got over it when I lived in China. And the fact that you're not Dutch might actually help you get the shots. It can also be a great ice breaker, too.  
I want to see some of these kids on the bus and on the street. And, well, I'd like to see all types of people in your neighborhood. People pics are always the best. 
But in any event, keep up the blog and the photos. I'm really enjoying reading about your experiences. 

I'm actually not shy about taking picture of people, there just for some bizarro reason was no one out when I was taking pictures! It was in the 50's today so I think most people flocked to the Center. 
My neighborhood is pretty interesting, we have some of the largest homes I have seen since I have been here, combined with our complex which is anyone from young professionals, to new families, to retirees. The Dutch are a lot less concerned with the wrong crowd moving in next door and are probably the least flashy of all Europeans. When you are at the college (high school) level you don't necessarily go to the school closest to you, it has more to do with ability. The school nearest us is for people who are not on a path necessarily for higher education. 
They aren't actually bad kids, although it is quite shocking for me to see them smoking on school grounds in front of a TEACHER! It really just is that Dutch manners are a lot different from ours and when you combine this with teenagers trying to get on public transportation, so they aren't waiting 10 minutes for the next one, it can get quite frustrating.