Video series: Take a Minute to Fly
In this video series, we invite you to “Take a Minute to Fly". Let your mind and soul take off with some visual meditation. Take a 1-minute break from whatever you are doing in order to change your perspective and get carried away by looking at the world below or flying into the sky. For this minute, Yoeri creates one long aerial shot to allow you to fully focus on one landscape. Fall right into the scene, feel the energy of some special places, open your heart, look for details and connect to each of the - cultural or natural - subjects presented.
To make this flight as relaxing as possible, we‘d like to invite you to breath in and out slowly and deeply. Most calming is breathing into the belly. While breathing only into the chest in the upper part of the lung is associated with the fight-or-flight-reflex, breathing slowly and deeply into your belly shows your nervous system that there is nothing to be afraid of. To enhance the body-mind communication and highlight that stress has ended, smile or even laugh and set yourself free.
Be here now. Take this one minute to be fully present, instead of analysing the past or planning the future. It is quite interesting to see how long and relaxing one minute can be as soon as we stay in the moment - fully aware, fully present, fully relaxed. Observing one long scene, in contrary to the bombardment of pictures, news and fast cuts we are getting on a daily basis, helps to calm us down, to ground and centre us. Sometimes all it takes is 1 minute to recharge and change a point of view.
As you already know from our series „Take a Minute to Relax“ Yoeri is writing additional information on the topic, ranging from personal observations and feelings to political views and history lessons.
Video gallery of the entire clip collection
Further down there are the separate clips with full descriptions listed - have it your way.
Take a Minute to Fly 01: Heerener Holz
We are aware that the fading light and diminishing sun hours if it's still measured in hours are having a profound effect on our psyche. Combine that with the uncertainties this year has brought forth, and we understand that people might feel a little bit down at the moment. However, there's still beauty everywhere... And if there's beauty in fall, there's hope for the future! Enjoy this flight over the shaking treetops of a German forest in the high winds of autumn. "Heerener Holz" is a natural reserve (Naturschutzgebiet) close to the city of Kamen in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Take a Minute to Fly 02: Schloss Nordkirchen
Schloss Nordkirchen is a castle/palace situated in the town of Nordkirchen in the Coesfeld administrative district in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, near the city of Münster, in north-west Germany. The present Baroque Schloss is the successor to a fully moated Wasserschloss built in the sixteenth century for the noble "von Morrien" family. The structure we see today was largely built between 1703 and 1734 and is known as the "Versailles of Westphalia" since it is the largest of the fully or partly moated Wasserschloss in that region. It was originally one of the residences of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster.
In 1959, the Schloss was purchased by the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and has since been the site of "Fachhochschule für Finanzen Nordrhein-Westfalen" (recognized University of Applied Sciences of Finances North-Rhine Westphalia), a state-run college specializing in the training of future tax inspectors. So it basically functions as a “Hogwarts” of “Mordor” these days.
The neighbouring "Oranienburg" complex and the park were subsequently added, as was the deer park (2004), which included a generous green belt of more than 1,000 hectares of woodland surrounding the south-western perimeter of the property.
The garden front gives entry to a landscaped park of some 170 hectares, reached through a formal parterre of scrolling broderie on-axis, flanked by expanses of lawn. In the gardens and the surrounded woods, one can find a multitude of life-size marble statues, of which the first deliveries were made in 1721 by the Munich sculptor Johann Wilhelm Gröninger. Other sculptures were delivered by Panhoff and Charles Manskirch.
Despite the “tax evil” that currently lurks at this location, it is a beautiful place to walk around and enjoy the sights. However, the evil could be put to good use if the freshly educated tax inspectors go after the big players and discover the huge tax frauds done by corporations and banks alike instead of torturing ordinary tax payers.
Take a Minute to Fly 03: Fort Bourtange
In this first (official) episode of our new series “Take a Minute to Fly” (it takes three episodes to start a series), we would like to introduce you to the beautifully restored Fort Bourtange under a typical Dutch winter sky. The fortress is located in the municipality of Westerwolde, in the north of the Netherlands, east of the city of Groningen and close to the German border.
The origin of the name of Bourtange stands for the word “boer” meaning farmer, and “tange” the name of a sandy ridge leading through the marshes or swamps, as the “Bourtanger Moor” was the largest wetland of north-western Europe at the time.
Bourtange played an important role in the history of 80 years war between Spain and the Netherlands (1568-1648). The fortress of Bourtange was initially planned to be constructed during the time of William I of Orange, but after his assassination, it was finished by his cousin William Louis. It was built on the only route through the marshes that connected the city of Groningen with Lingen and Westphalia, in what is now Germany. With the creation of Bourtange, the Dutch blocked the supply route of the Spaniards and isolated the city of Groningen, which at the time was under their control.
Due to its strategic location and the surrounding swamp, no major battles were ever held around Bourtange. After the Netherlands and Spain signed the end of 80 years war in the Treaty of Münster, Bourtange lost its importance and popularity. However, when some decades later the Prince-Bishop of Münster, an ally of France in the Franco-Dutch War, laid claim to and invaded north-eastern parts of the newly formed “Republic of 7 United Netherlands”, Bourtange was reinforced again as a fortress. After a failed attempt to conquer the municipality of Westerwolde in 1665, which saw a relatively small garrison at Bourtange push the invading armies back into the swamps, the Prince-Bishop changed his tactics and started invading the provinces south of Groningen.
When the Prussian armies returned to Bourtange on the 11th of July 1672, they demanded the surrender of the fortress. The captain in charge of the Bourtange Fortress, Bernard Johan Prott, refused. Even after the Prussian General Heinrich Martel offered Prott and his fellow officers, 200.000 guilders (worth over 2,5 million Euros today), as well as titles in Westphalia, if they would abandon the fort. To which Prott famously replied, that they would have 200,000 bullets for any army that wanted to take the fort. After some unsuccessful attempts to take the fortress, the Prince-Bishop was forced to retreat, and find another way into Groningen.
As the power of guns increased and the swap was drained, the significance of the fortress of Bourtange decreased. Over the years the fortress had been extended, but finally, in 1851, the fortress was dissolved. After that farmers, workers and traders came to the fortress. But this was only for a short while and people eventually left the bastion. Around a century later people began to make plans to reconstruct the fortified village. So that’s what happened. Between 1972 and 1992 Bourtange was reconstructed into the fortified village of the year 1742. That was when the fortress of Bourtange was at its biggest and had its most power. People not only reconstructed the unique historical defence work but also recreated a swamp. This beautiful historic location is now open to the public.
Take a Minute to Fly 04 : Ice-capades
In this episode of our new series “Take a Minute to Fly”, we’d like to introduce you to a wintry landscape in the Netherlands. Cold winters can be beautiful and full of magic. One of these winter wonders is the transformation of the Dutch people.
Several days of temperatures below freezing, and they seem to become restless. For some reason, they start inspecting their local canals and lakes, for any signs of ice. In places like these, they gather, to talk about the quality and thickness of the ice, as well as current weather predictions, and how much more frost is needed to have an ice sheet thick enough for them to do what they do best …
You see, besides maybe football, nothing seems to get the Dutch more fired up than ice skating! All it takes is a couple of days with some proper sub-zero temperatures, and the Dutch start sharpening their blades. After that, they have to wait and hope that the cold persists long enough for them to do what they’ve been waiting for. When that moment finally arrives, they venture out on the ice by the thousands. The more that the cold weather persists, the more excited they seem to become. After all, there might be the chance of another legendary Elfstedentocht! (an ice-skating tour of 200km along 11 Friesian cities)
About a third of the Netherlands is below sea level, so water is literally everywhere. All this water makes it possible to get nearly any place in the Netherlands by way of boat. And when all these bodies of water freeze over, they become a massive playground for the entire population. It is beautiful to see the joy that freezing temperatures can bring to an entire nation! And after a year like 2020, these ice-scapades were a welcome relief from the bitter cold that is reality …
Take a Minute to Fly 05: The Moores of Drenthe
In this relaxing minute up in the air, we invite you to fly with us over moores during sunset in Drenthe a beautiful province of the Netherlands. This province is located in the North-East of the Netherlands, and borders on the province of Groningen in the North, Germany in the East, Overijssel in the south and Friesland in the West.
Although Drenthe is currently one of the most sparsely populated regions in the Netherlands, this wasn’t always the case. Recovered artefacts from the Wolstonian Stage, which date back nearly 150,000 years, suggests that Drenthe has been populated since prehistoric times. Archaeologists believe that the region was once one of the most densely populated areas in the Netherlands up until the Bronze Age. The many megalithic funerary monuments, locally known as „Hunnebedden“ (Hun‘s Graves) attest to the prehistoric settlement of the region. Of the 54 dolmens found in the Netherlands, 53 of them can be found in Drenthe.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in the region, although industrial areas can be found near the cities. Apart from scenic farmlands dotted with cute, fairy-tail like villages, Drenthe hosts many forests, streams, heathlands, lakes and swamps. The province is drained by a network of many shallow streams and short canals. For a long time, due to its inhospitable nature, Drenthe was the poorest region of the Netherlands. To such an extent, that the people living there, were exempt from paying Federal Tax. One knows things are bad when the State has given up trying to collect money from the people. As a consequence of this „Tax Relief“, the people were denied representation in the States-General/Congress.
Although it took part in the Dutch revolt against Spain, Drenthe‘s Provincial Status was withheld until the 1st of January 1796. In the 19th century, the Dutch government decided to use Drenthe as a place to rid themselves of ‘unwanted elements’ in their society. Criminals, beggars, paupers and vagabonds, but also orphans that could not be placed, were transported to Drenthe to live in colonies. There they were put to work cutting peat from the bogs, which was a fuel source that dates back to medieval times, drain and fill the swamps, as well as reclaiming the heathlands for agricultural use.
Luckily, not all of the wildlands was reclaimed for agricultural use during this period, and these days Drenthe is a refuge for nature and wildlife, as well as the many tourists that visit every year. This Dutch province, with its prehistoric megalithic monuments, picturesque villages, beautiful forests and heathlands, tranquil lakes, streams, and even the moores should, in our opinion, be on top of the list of anyone visiting the Netherlands.
Take a Minute to Fly 06: Flower field in the Netherlands
In this “Take a Minute to Fly”, we take a look at the wonderful colours and patterns of a flower field in the North of the Netherlands.
This small nation’s passion for cultivating flowers really started to take on epic proportions after Tulips were introduced in the mid 16th century. These iconic “Dutch” flowers originated and were imported from, the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey and beyond). Their popularity increased noticeably, after famed Dutch gardener Carolus Clusius started experimenting with tulips, and wrote what’s considered the first major book about the flower. Recognising the flower’s potential, he began planting specialised tulip nurseries around the time he became the director of the University of Leiden’s botanical gardens, in 1593.
In the mid-1600s, the Dutch enjoyed a period of unmatched wealth and prosperity. Newly independent from Spain, Dutch merchants grew rich in trade through the Dutch East India Company. With money to spend, art and exotica became fashionable collector’s items. That’s how the Dutch became fascinated with rare “broken” tulips, bulbs that produced striped and speckled flowers.
Carolus Clusius’ accomplishments at Leiden had eventually allowed others to replicate his work, leading to the creation of the Dutch tulip industry. By the early 17th century, tulip breeding and cultivation had developed into a highly profitable commercial sector, and the price of Dutch bulbs rapidly went sky high. At the time, tulip bulbs were worth more than gold and were sold for 10 times what a commoner made in a year! This boom eventually led to an unavoidable economic crisis in 1636, known as “Tulip Mania”, where the value of tulip bulbs suddenly collapsed, consequently bankrupting countless investors, cultivators and traders.
Fortunately, the Dutch flower market survived this tumultuous period and the tulip trade eventually stabilised, despite devastating economic losses that largely went uncompensated. Since then, the Dutch have continued to grow beautiful tulips and today many parts of the Netherlands, such as de Bollenstreek in northern Noord Holland, the Noordoosterpolder, Duin- en Bollenstreek around Lisse, Flevoland, Friesland, en Drenthe partly base their economy around their floricultural capabilities.
Today the Netherlands is still one of the largest exporters of tulips in the world. However, the country actually cultivates and exports many other kinds of flowers, including daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses. Compared to other nations selling flowers, the Netherlands actually offers the widest variety of saleable trees and shrubs in the world. Roughly 60% of the country’s land is used for agriculture or horticulture, with much of that land dedicated to growing bulbs. And it’s a good thing because in 2014 the Netherlands exported more than 2 billion tulips worldwide!!!