Updated : November 24, 2016

Where I live
Alphen aan den Rijn

I live in Alphen aan den Rijn, a town with approximately 108.000 inhabitants in the province of Zuid-Holland and centrally located in the so-called "Green Heart" area between the major cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht in the western part of The Netherlands. As winner of the national Entente Florale Competition my hometown was declared the Greenest City in The Netherlands in 2001. A Gold Medal has been awarded to Alphen aan den Rijn in the prestigious European Entente Florale Competition 2002.

Some of the photos on these pages are also posted in a larger format (900x600 pixels) on my Zegerplas webpage.

Visit Alphens.nl or the official Municipal Website for more information about Alphen aan den Rijn (in the Dutch language).

Alphen aan den Rijn
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The "Green Heart" area surrounding Alphen aan den Rijn is among others characterized by various lakes and popular with the water sports fraternity. Shown here is the Wijde Aa, between the cities of Alphen aan den Rijn en Leiden.

Photo 1.

Hoogmade, The Netherlands

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View in northerly direction from the local telecommunication tower (88 meters above sea level) showing the old river Rhine in the foreground with a tributary to the north providing a waterway between the old river Rhine and the Amsterdam area (March 2001).

Photo 2.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Indoor and outdoor swimming pool "De Hoorn" in the western part of my home town seen from the nearby telecommunication tower (March, 2001).

Photo 3.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The northeasterly part of Alphen aan den Rijn seen from the local telecommunication tower in March 2001. The lake just visible on the right just below the horizon is the Zegerplas surrounded by a recreational area where I live.

Photo 4.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The Zegerplas with the telecommunication tower in the background seen from the east bank of the lake.

Photo 5.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The lake Zegerplas and the Ridderveld area of Alphen aan den Rijn seen from a motor glider at an altitude of 300 meters. I live close to the border of the Zegerplas in one of the three apartment buildings visible in the center of this photo.

Photo 6.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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A closer look at my house which is on the first floor of the apartment building on the right, close to the border of the lake Zegerplas.

Photo 7.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The recreational facilities around the Zegerplas close to my house include a Chinese restaurant, a midget golf course (top left) and a children's farm (top right).

Photo 8.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The recreational area north of my house with footpaths, bicycle tracks, a camping and golf links seen from an altitude of 300 meters. Just visible in the upper left corner is the village of Ter Aar where I used to live before moving to Alphen aan den Rijn (1992).

Photo 9.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Only 800 meters from my house a typical Dutch landscape with farms, greenhouses and meadows interspersed by canals and ditches.

Photo 10.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The view from my living room in the early morning hours just before sunrise during the winter season. A lap of approximately 5 kilometers around the Zegerplas is quite popular with joggers even during the winter (January 2002).

Photo 11.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The "Original Chinese Palace" restaurant opposite my house on the other side of the lake taken with a 210 mm zoom lense from my living room.

Photo 12.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Again the Chinese restaurant but at night time (March 2005).

Photo 13.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The same view just before the break out of a heavy thunderstorm.

Photo 14.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Even when it's raining the view from my living room over the lake might be enjoyable (June, 2006).

Photo 15.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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View from the south-eastern border of the Zegerplas (near the Chinese restaurant) showing the apartment building where I live on the right.

Photo 16.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Sunrise over the Zegerplas on the 10th of February 2008 at 08:12 local time.

Photo 17.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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For a change the view from the other side of my house showing the street where I live, finally covered with some snow during the last week of February 2005, after a fairly mild winter. Snow is a very rare phenomenon in this part of the country and usually we can only dream about a "White Christmas".

Photo 18.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Although I don't like the winter season and prefer the trees to be green I enjoyed this fairy-like and rare view from my bedroom when waking up on the 4th of March 2005 after the coldest night ever recorded in The Netherlands during the month of March. The lowest temperature that night was -20.7°C (-5.3°F) measured at the Marknesse weather observatory (102.5 kms NE of Alphen aan den Rijn) of the KNMI (Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute). Minimum temperature in most parts of the country varied during that night between -10° and -15° centigrade.

Photo 19.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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No matter how nice the views may be now and then during the winter season, I'm always looking forward to see the trees leaf out again while the days are getting longer. At this latitude the shortest day on the 21st of December lasts only 7 hours and 43 minutes while there are 16 hours and 46 minutes between sunrise and sunset on the 21st of June. Check the Local Weather page for the current duration of daytime.

Photo 20.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The same view during the spring when the trees come into leaf again as a sure sign that nature stirs from its winter slumber (May 2012).

Photo 21.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The trees in leaf almost hide the Chinese restaurant from view (May, 2013).

Photo 22.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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With the weather improving during the spring time also pleasure craft appear again on the Zegerplas (April 2007).

Photo 23.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Panoramic view from my living room in May 2005.

Photo 24.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Again one of those beautiful sunrises (December 2006).

Photo 25.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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The lake Zegerplas is also the domain of the "Windsurfing Club Zegerplas" (May 2012).

Photo 26.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Sport fishermen trying their luck in the Zegerplas on a beautiful and quiet Sunday morning in May 2005.

Photo 27.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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Also wakeboarding is one of the water sports being practised on the Zegerplas.

Photo 28.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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When clouds permit I always enjoy the sun rising over the Zegerplas. This one was taken on the shortest day of the year, the 21st of December 2005 at 9:08 local time, 20 minutes past sunrise and 10 hours and 27 minutes before the sun reached its lowest declination of the year at minus 23.5°.

Photo 29.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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As a marked contrast the view from my living room on the 18th of January 2007 during a severe gale that swept across the country killing 7 people and causing structural damages across the country. That day all railway services were canceled and people were advised by the authorities to stay indoors. This gale appears to have been one of the most severe since January 1990.

Photo 30.

Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands

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