Monday, 30 August 2010

Our own Elfstedentocht: Stop # 3


The beautiful gardens of Ijlst



The third stop in our attempt to follow the route of the Elfstedentocht -the ice skating race traditionally taking place in the northern province of Friesland- brought us to the quite small but picturesque town of Ijlst.

Ijslt or Ddryts in the Fries language, is one of the oldest cities in the province, having obtained its city rights in the year 1268. In the old days, the city was known for its shipbuilding industry and for its importance as commercial centre.



The city originated on the margins of the Old IJ river, from which it received its name. The only part now remaining of that river is the canal that runs through the very centre of Ijlst. The town has many historic buildings that can be visited, such as the beautiful tower mill de Rat (the Rat), built in 1828. This sawmill is still in use and run by volunteers. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at sawing? You might get a chance at de Rat!


 Another interesting monument is the Town Hall or Stadhuis built in 1859 in the place where the old council house from the 14th century used to stand.


 There are many more monuments worth visiting in Ijlst, a city that lists an impressive total of 43 monuments in the Royal Register, like this typical step-gable house dating from 1669.


But the characteristic feature for which Ijlst is most widely known is for its overtuinen - a line of mostly private little gardens that decorate the margins of what used to be old river IJ. These gardens were formerly known as bleken (bleachers) Can you guess why?



These little gardens used to be frequented by the housewives living on this street, who on washing days would come down to the river, wash their clothes and bleach them -bleken in Dutch- right there on the banks of the Old IJ.

In this photo you can see me standing by one of these bleken with a rather alarmed look on my face: my husband had somewhat tresspassed private property and stepped into one of the gardens to take the shot and I was not very comfortable with him doing that! Fortunately, he did not get caught ...


During the last couple of years, Ijlst has become an ideal location to spend the night in with water sports enthusiasts. An interesting number of cafés and restaurants offer a variety of possibilities for lunch or dinner, such as the Stadsherberg Het Wapen Van Ijlst, which has recently opened its guesthouse where you can take up a room to spend the night during your visit to this area of the country.

Our next stop in the Elfstedentocht will be the city of Franeker. As they say in Friesland: Oant sjens! See you in Franeker!

Stop #1 of the Elfstedentocht was Leeuwarden and you can find the post covering this city here.

Stop # 2 of the Elfstedentocht was Harlingen and you can find the post here.

40 comments:

Diego Ezequiel Bianchi said...

Que lugares y jardines increíblemente bellos!! Y de las fotos ni hablar. Sos una capa Eber, me encanta tu arte.

Anita said...

It is incredible how Dutch cities are well preserved, frozen in time. You surely took your photos during spring time cause now I am seriously considering building an ark.

Aledys Ver said...

@Diego,
Muchas gracias! Los jardines son realmente bonitos y vale la pena llegarse hasta allí para verlos. Gracias por tu comentario!

@Anita,
I was there in the summer in 2008. That day in particular was far from ideal - in fact, the rain chased us away from Ijlst and we had to cut our visit short :( Ahhh Holland!!!!

Invader_Stu said...

It looks great. It just goes to prove that Frieslan has some amazing scenery. I love it up there.

Patricia Sgrignuoli said...

Eber,
Bellísimos los edificios históricos, sobre todo el molino... y me encantaría tener uno de esos pequeños jardines a la vera del río... Todo se ve tan cuidado, prolijo; pero tu cara!!! Has quedado graciosa con esa cara de ¿¿Que estás haciendo??? (Eso que hizo tu marido debe ser algo que se contagió de nosotros, no me parece muy hondés lo que hizo... :))

Aledys Ver said...

@Stu,
Absolutely right! Friesland has some of the most beautiful towns and landscapes in the NL! I love it there too.
Thanks for stopping by!

@Patricia,
Los jardincitos son diminutos, pero cada uno tiene su carácter propio.
Lo de mi marido ... audaz! jeje
Saludos!

BLOGitse said...

snif! you make me sad...
I would love to feel European fresh air, walk on the clean pavements, enjoy...civilized world!
Our visit to Bilbao was super great. After that I'm not normal here anymore...Counting days when this is over...
BUT your post is beautiful! :)

ps. thanks for Name/URL commenting option!

Aledys Ver said...

@BLOGitse,
I'm sorry I'm making you sad! I can imagine you missing your European way of life! But I'm sure your experience as an expat in Morocco must've been rewarding in so many ways, too! Even if it is to appreciate more what we have back at home! :D

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

So beautiful, Aledys! It looks so fresh and SO tidy in Ijlst. Obviously, the people there love and are proud of their town.

Aledys Ver said...

@JaPRA,
Indeed, they are! It is a very nice small town - worth visiting!
Thanks for your comment!

oranjeflamingo said...

I love those canals that back onto people's homes. They always look so charming and inviting and make me envious of the people who live there! Beautiful photos of the whole area!

Aledys Ver said...

@oranjeflamingo,
Thanks a lot! I can't have enough of the canals and gardens here in the NL! They are beautiful!

BLOGitse said...

You don't make me THAT sad! :)
But your pics reminds how everything could be cleaner, maintained etc.

About commenting.
If you had Disqus you would have reply option.
There are links to Disqus on my post if you want to check it out...
Plus I wrote about the issue earlier - there are links too...it should be very easy to download...
Also you can visit the Blogger blogs who are using Disqus, links on my post...

Commenting should be easy! For all of us! :)

Anonymous said...

Bellísimo!! Impecable, prolijo...qué más decir? Además de alabar a los fotógrafos!!! Excelentes tomas!!!
Creo que tu esposo es más argento que vos, Aledys!!!! :DD
Siempre hay algo nuevo que mostrar, Holanda es una fuente inagotable de imágenes, y bellas todas!!! Felicitaciones ;)

Claudia Gibson

Aledys Ver said...

@BLOGitse,
Thanks, yes - when I read your post I started ivestigating a bit this option you mention! You should start a group on Facebook: "Bloggers, make your commenting tools available to all"! :D

Aledys Ver said...

@Claudia,
Thanks! Sí, hay mucho por mostrar y conocer en Holada! Saludos y gracias por comentar!

Roseane said...

That's beautiful!!!

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks, Roseane!!

BLOGitse said...

O LA LAA!!!
Now I can follow easily your responses...
I don't have to do any extra clickings - just open Disqus, write my comment and click Post as BLOGitse! :)
WELL DONE!
We're connected!!! :)

AledysVer said...

Yeah! I just have to figure now how to import all the old comments that are not showing here! Almost had a heart attack when I didn't see them...

BLOGitse said...

If you need help ask UknownMami - she has Disqus or Jayne (her link is on my post).

When I wrote my comments earlier it didn't look what it looks now. I guess it was still 'almost working' but now it looks as it should...

Don't worry. Time will show you're doing fine!

If you want you can email me > contact me form on my blog...

BLOGitse said...

You have something strange in your settings.
Even if my Disqus is open it asked to sign in - it should not.

Aledys Ver said...

Strange! I even added you to a Whitelist and just saw that your comment got automatically approved. I also started the importing process to recover old comments from the old system but it ain't doing much. I'll go though the instructions carefully and hopefully, I'll get it to work! :D Fingers crossed....

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks! I'll see if I can figure it out and if I can't, will shout for help :D

BLOGitse said...

HAHA that's funny! :)
But it's true...this is so much more easier AND interactive than via basic Blogger comment settings...

BLOGitse said...

I had to come and check how're you doing....You found old comments, huh!
I got all your comments to my mail box and now I'm here...I love DISQUS!!! :)
Well done!
See you! :)

Dylan said...

Stunning images!

lisleman said...

wow those are beautiful pictures. Thanks for commenting on the ICB blog. You might want to visit my main blog A Few Clowns Short.

Years ago I had a few business trips to Amsterdam. Great city to walk around in. Since everyone speaks English so well I didn't pick up any Dutch but that language seems hard to learn. How is going from Espanol to Dutch like?
I see you and Blogitse have a good conversation going about DISQUS. I had no problem opening the comment section and dropping off this comment.

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks! It's probably BLOGitse's fault, then! hehe (just joking)
Yes, Amsterdam is a nice city, a world of its own - and then, there's the rest of the Netherlands, that's also very pretty! And yes, everyone or most people here speak good English.
For me the transition wasn't that terrible. My mother tongue is Spanish, but I did my degrees in English and spoke English at work all day while I was still in Argentina. Then learning Dutch was not so difficult, though I'm still not totally fluent!
I'll go to your other blog and see what's going on there.
Thanks for your reply!

lisleman said...

Ha it is Blogitse "fault" or maybe your misunderstanding. She does NOT use DISQUS. She likes it and writes about it but she is on wordpress which has a comment system much like DISQUS.

So you know at least 3 languages - wow.

Aledys Ver said...

That's it, yes! :D
I've been to your blog and everything worked perfectly alright.
Actually, (I had to use my fingers to count) I speak 4 languages! Spanish, English, Dutch and Italian too! :D

lisleman said...

Hey just wanted to let you know I showed a new DISQUS user the feature of leaving links in the comments using a link to your blog.
Here's the new DISQUS user - Charlie who's a great guy.
http://thefirstbookoftesticles.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-commenting-system.html

Estebanmarcequi said...

Precioso!!! Cada fotografía es única, a mi esposa Lia le gusto mucho la 2da, esa calle de aquines... le encantan!!!

Y a mi la del molino, que buena fotografía, bellísimo lugar!!!

Gracias por publicar entradas como estas, así podemos conocer un poquito más de este maravilloso país y extender "las fronteras del conocimiento".

Saludos!!!

Aledys Ver said...

Gracias, chicos!! Es verdad, de esta manera llegamos a conocer rincones del mundo increíbles!! Gracias por pasar!

Aledys Ver said...

I just read it, no problem!! Cheers!

Charlie Callahan said...

Thank you, Aledys, for the beautiful photographs. And for visiting my blog. And for following it.

I'm just full of thanfuls, aren't I.

Aledys Ver said...

Friesland is quaint and picturesque! Thanks a lot for your comment! Have a nice weekend!

buday said...

Ijlst must be the cutest town in the world. Yes, cute, hehe. Great snapshots, Aledys. I had to laugh at the trespassing episode. The quest for the perfect angle knows no bounds. :)

Katie said...

What a picturesque town! Your photos are absolutely lovely. I'm looking forward to following along on your blog. ¡Saludos!

Aledys Ver said...

THanks for stopping by, Katie! I'll be visiting your blog, too!!
Saludos!