After many attempts to find a sunny weekend where both of us had time for a few days of vacation, we finally made it to Holland and had a wonderful long weekend. The hotel room in Camperduin-an-Zee was great and we had an amazing view of the landscape behind the embankment.


 
The end-of-August weather was hot enough to lie on the beach and take a swim or two in the cool North Sea! In the evening when most people had gone home the beach looked like this.


 
Here are the sounds of the gentle surf, recorded underwater:

      northhollandsurfhydrophone

And here’s the sound of sand, recorded by my hydrophone which was plugged a few centimeters into the beach sand. I was surprised at how far the sand transports sound. I moved it around, squeezed and threw it, and there are also some steps of people passing by. This is the sound that my feet hear when I walk the beach barefoot:

      camperduin_sand

After swimming and sunbathing at the beach, a coffee and an apple pie in one of the typical wooden beach restaurants is usually the next destination.


 
The next day was a little cooler and perfect for a visit in the nearby town of Alkmaar which is famous for its cheese museum and the historic cheese market staged there every Friday. We weren’t entirely sure if they actually still traded cheese there or if it was just a tourism event. Anyway here’s what it sounded like, accompanied by the carillon of a nearby church.

      alkmaar_cheesemarket

 
Sabine spent a while in a pearl shop, choosing a number of little black/white beauties for a necklace. While we marvelled at the multitude of designs, I noticed that they also sounded different, and interesting, so I recorded a few minutes of the shop atmosphere, and the various sounds of the different materials. Maybe they will eventually end up in some kind of composition.

      alkmaar_pearlshop


 
A typical Dutch item is the windmill, and Alkmaar has several of them. A large windmill near the city center has been off duty for a few years now, and can be visited. Looking at such a windmill in a postcard landscape is pastoral – climbing into it and being very close to the wheels and rotating wings is something else altogether – the feeling of power and speed is quite awe inspiring. Here’s a little video I made – one has to see this in motion to get a feel of it.


 
At home, we live in a hilly area which is too steep to ride a bike for fun so we hadn’t been on a bicycle for years. What fun we had doing it again! Biking through the colorful dune landscape was like a dream. What a great invention a bicycle is!


 
Of course I had to videotape a minute or two while riding … which was a little dangerous on the sandy ground, but I managed not to crash-land.


 
After the bicycle ride, highest on our priority list was the giant ginger pancake at the Duinvermaak restaurant in Bergen. And a coffee. Good thing that we don’t have this at home – once a year is enough.

2 thoughts on “What My Feet Hear Barefoot On The Beach”

  1. Hi Michael, I've just come back and listened again to your hydrophone recordings, fab :-). Did you use a commercial hydrophone or did you build it yourself? I ask because the new Sounding the Site project looks as though we may well need to use them. Any advice welcome

    R

  2. THANKS FOR TAPING THE WINDMILL,I GET HOME SICK SO I GO ONLINE AND TAKE A TRIP TO HOLLAND.MY FAMILY LIVES IN SOUTH ROTTERDAM HOLLAND AND I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM BEFORE THERE ALL GONE BUT WE JUST CANT PUT IT TOGETHER,SO ITS NICE WHEN FOLKS LIKE YOU DO THIS FOR US.

    THANK YOU AND IT SURE IS NICE THERE AH!

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