Nan and Walt's 1999 - 2000 Sabbatical
Report 2, June 16, 1999



Having ended our last report with photos of the Evoluon, which we can see from Erik's apartment, we thought it might be interesting to start this report with a photo of how it looks when we return home in the evening. They're here! :-)



Since our visit to the sand sculptures, the weather has been typically Dutch - sunny one moment and torrential rains the next, with the cycle repeating many times in a single day - or week - or ... . But, in moments of respite, there are woods to be walked in...




and museums to be visited.




We have been visiting our friends and (new since we were here on our last sabbatical) their children. Pictured here on the left are the Sunters: Johan, Nune and Rita and the Wijbrans are on the right - Margot, Bregje and Klaas. There are still more little ones to meet.




The weather did turn nice again yesterday, just in time for our first (working) visit to the University of Twente campus. This is where we were based last sabbatical. It was nice to see many friends and familiar sites.




And, today we went to see one of the many Dutch engineering feats, the Maeslant barrier, the storm surge barrier on the Nieuwe Waterweg. Since the devastating flood of 1953 when there were more than 1800 casulties, the Dutch have been striving to better protect their lowlands from the sea. The Maeslant barrier is the latest piece to be completed (just last year). There is a lot of info about this online, including neat animations at




This barrier consists of two pivoting gates, each as long as the Eiffel tower is tall and containing twice the steel that's in the Eiffel Tower. These gates cannot block the waterway when not in use as Rotterdam is a busy port. By the way Klaas Wijbrans, pictured above, was responsible for creating some of its control software. Also, the bottom tubing that you see here is large enough in diameter for me to stand in.




Here are a few more photos of the Maeslantkering.




From some views it looks like a work of art.

On the home front, we're getting use to living in the Netherlands again, including paying over $4 a gallon for gasoline (!!!) and remembering that the stores and shops are closed Sundays and evenings. It is loosening up a bit; some of the larger grocery stores are open until 10 P.M. Monday through Saturday, and a few other large shops are open until 9 during the week.

Until the next time: "Nanoo, Nanoo" (We've been catching reruns of Mork and Mindy!)

Back to Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page

Nan C. Schaller / Walter J. Bankes
Rochester Institute of Technology
Computer Science Department / Electrical, Computer, and Telecommunications Engineering Technology
102 / 78 Lomb Memorial Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623-5608 / 5604
telephone: +1.585.475.2139 / 6108
fax: +1.585.475.7100 / 2178
e-mail: / e-mail:
13 July, 1999