Feb 13, 2019 - voorbereidingen
Vrijdag vliegen Bien en ik naar Colombia om een toer te maken samen met Dan Parlow uit Vancouver, waar we al meer dan 30 jaar mee bevriend zijn. Eigenlijk is de timing niet zo heel goed omdat we druk bezig zijn met ons nieuwste project in de spoorzone in Delft "Het Kruikhuis" waar we 6 appartementen gaan bouwen en zelf ook gaan wonen. We zijn er nogal druk mee, ook omdat we zoiets nog niet eerder hebben gedaan. Iedere dag weer verbazen we ons over wat we bijleren. Daar kan ik ook een blog over schrijven maar dat doe ik wel een andere keer....Jump to full entry
Dec 26, 2018 - The Hague
Wednesday 26th: The Hague - city of peace and justice. Soon after breakfast the bus departed for our tour of The Hague and it was a pleasant drive through the countryside. Firstly, we stopped at one of the royal palaces, Noordeinde Palace, with a statue of William of Orange on horseback at the front. Once the residence of William of Orange’s widow and her children, today it is the office palace of the current King Willem-Alexander. We then drove to another magnificent building, ‘Het Vredespaleis’ or The Peace Palace. This originated from...Jump to full entry
Dec 25, 2018 - Christmas Day
Tuesday 25th: Christmas Day!! Nijmegan is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Our guide was a lovely lady call Marinka who gave up her Christmas morning to show us the town. Some of the oldest parts were Roman ruins which were used in ancient times as heating mechanisms. The Besiendershuys is a medieval house which used to be a toll house and Blauwe Steen a market place with weigh house. There was a mass in progress in the large old church and we took in some of the music for a short while. It was a cold morning but very quiet...Jump to full entry
Dec 16, 2018 - It's snowed in Amsterdam!
It’s snowed in Amsterdam! Since we arrived there has been an unusual cold snap - day temperatures of -1 but feels like -7 degrees. All the clothes that we thought so heavy and hot back in Queensland suddenly were just adequate. Snow was expected and last night (Saturday) it came. We watched it at 3am and took photos through the window and by morning quite a lot had melted but it is very pretty and such a novelty for us. Now the temperatures are expected to soar to 6 degrees. Back to the beginning. The flights over were uneventful but...Jump to full entry
Oct 5, 2018 - Sail and Rail to London
We made reservations with a “Sail and Rail “ package to get from Netherlands to London. We needed to get from Leiden by train and bus to “The Hoek of Holland” which is about 10 miles from The Hague on the tip of land. It’s this location that is THE busiest port in the world. When we got to the port station where our Big, Stena Line ship was waiting, we noticed it was a combination container ship and passenger ship. Our room was very nice and comfortable. We unpacked and freshened up from a day of trains, buses and walking. The “Sail and...Jump to full entry
Oct 3, 2018 - Leiden, Netherlands
When we reached the lovely and busy city of Leiden after our 30 minute train ride, we found a taxi, gave him the piece of paper with the address of our Airbnb on it. The taxi driver had no problem finding the home where we shared a well appointed and comfortable room for three days. Pauline, our host made sure we were comfy and went way above the call of duty later, by guiding our travel when it was time to leave. We also discovered that we’re 5 bus stops away from the city costing 4 Euro’s each way. Our first evening, found us exploring...Jump to full entry
Oct 2, 2018 - End of Cruise
As we disembarked from the ship in Amsterdam, we did so with some trepidation as we had two more weeks to go on our own. Now, there will be no guides, no tour director, no awesome breakfasts, lunches and dinners, no crew pampering us! We made the reservations necessary for our traveling, stays and kinda knew what we’re going to see and do. It was, maybe, a little like the RV’ing we do all the time. So, we stepped off from the comforts we’ve known for two weeks. Sure enough, we soon found we had the skills to find our train station, buy our...Jump to full entry
Oct 1, 2018 - Kinderdijk and Windmills
The Largest Concentration of Windmills in The Netherlands -- As the ship passed into the complex system of rivers and canals of the Netherlands we saw the picturesque Dutch countryside and the original technological marvels of historic Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our guide met us at the ship then we walked with our guide into the serene polder lands of South Holland. As we crossed the dike to the windmills, we noticed that they in fact, are at a lower elevation than our ship, as much of this part of The Netherlands is below...Jump to full entry
Sep 24, 2018 - Haarlem Globetrotting
September 24, 2018 Amsterdam & Haarlem, Netherlands Haarlem Globetrotting Overnight the winds blew away the rain clouds, leaving a cool, brisk sun-filled day in their wake. A welcome change indeed. We started the day with a delicious croissant for breakfast at Kaffee Zuidke, a block away on Utrechtstraat. This is a real café, not a kaffee huis. It’s full of old furniture and tchotchkes and a couple of late middle-aged women (ie. people our age) running the teeny place, which had a grand total of 6 little rough finished wood tables with a...Jump to full entry
Sep 23, 2018 - God is crying ....
September 23, 2018 Amsterdam God is crying …. When Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939 the Netherlands declared neutrality, just as they’d done in World War I. Hitler didn’t get the memo. The Nazis invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940 and 4 days later the country surrendered to Hitler. The Nazi occupation of Amsterdam did not end from that day until the surrender of all German forces on May 5, 1945. Queen Wilhelmina and her government escaped before the surrender and formed a government in exile in England during the war. Meantime,...Jump to full entry
Sep 22, 2018 - If there's a rock show ....
September 22, 2018 Amsterdam If there’s a rock show ….. Random fact No. 1: 5 years ago we saw Paul McCartney in concert at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn with Rabbi Irwin Huberman and his wife Patte. Random fact No. 2: Next Sunday, Paul McCartney is in concert at Rogers Place in Edmonton. Random fact(s) No. 3: I graduated from high school in 1975. Paul McCartney & Wings released their 2nd album that year, titled “Venus & Mars”. My favourite song on the album – and one of my favourite songs all time period – is the “Venus & Mars/Rock...Jump to full entry
Sep 21, 2018 - Walking in (sort of) Circles
September 21, 2018 Amsterdam Walking in (sort of) Circles It’s just after 3:00am now in Amsterdam - 7:00pm on my internal Edmonton clock - so it must be time for me to get up and get an early start on the day. The only sounds I hear outside the window are coming from the odd stray(s) wandering home after a late night/early morning. More likely at a “coffee shop” as opposed to out drinking. Or maybe both? Amazing they don’t fall into the canal. We are living in an art museum designed to kill me. The Seven Bridges Hotel is named after the...Jump to full entry