Visiting Locarno, Switzerland

Lake Locarno, Switzerland

Lake Maggiore, Locarno, Switzerland

While still living in the Netherlands we took a weekend trip to visit a friend in Locarno, Switzerland. It was my first time in that part of Switzerland and it was nice. The picture above was taken at Lake Maggiore in Locarno and is located just down the road from where we were visiting.

Heading up the road...and I mean 'UP'.

Heading up the road…and I mean ‘UP’.

Unfortunately most of my pictures didn’t come out too well as I was still learning how to use my new camera. The picture above is of the road up the mountain. It doesn’t look like much of an incline but I can tell you that it is quite a hike. Trust me!

Birdies enjoying a nice treat someone left them.

Birdies enjoying a nice treat someone left them.

We took a stroll along Lake Maggiore despite the temperatures being quite chilly….okay it was downright cold actually but it was a nice sunny day. I took the above picture of birds enjoying a treat that someone kindly left them somewhere along the stroll.

Up close and personal with the birds of Locarno

Up close and personal with the birds of Locarno

View of some of the mountains from in town.

View of some of the mountains from in town.

We were only in Locarno for a night or two and then headed to Campione so these are the best pictures that I took at that time. This was a view of the mountains from in town.

Nice misty mountain picture, Locarno, Switzerland

Nice misty mountain picture, Locarno, Switzerland

I thought the above picture was pretty cool. It was a foggy morning with the sun trying to peak through the mist. Very mysterious and peaceful at the same time.

Cool fountain at the top of the hill.

Cool fountain at the top of the hill.

One morning we walked up the hill to find this very cool fountain.

Up close and personal with the fountain.

Up close and personal with the fountain.

Up that same hilly road we found such nice paintings and statues. The picture below is of one of them.

Pretty painting on the side of the road...

Pretty painting on the side of the road…

Like I said, it was a quick visit and so I didn’t really get to see too much of the town. It was nice being able to see our friends there though and that’s what counts. Next time I visit Locarno I’ll take more pictures and explore more.

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Prague Around Christmas Time!

Looking out at Wenceslas Square, Prague

Looking out at Wenceslas Square, Prague

Now in the last post I told you that we were heading towards home but I want to tell you about some places we visited before we left the Netherlands.

Arriving at the airport in Prague.

Arriving at the airport in Prague.

Around Christmas time we met a friend of ours in his birthplace of Prague, Czech Republic and had a really nice time.

Wenceslas Square, Prague

Wenceslas Square, Prague

Matt and I took off on a walk about of the city two of the afternoons we were there. Although it was really cold (and wet and snowy on one of the days) we had fun looking at all the sites.

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Charles Bridge, Prague

The first place we headed to was the Charles Bridge where six years before Matt and I got engaged. We wanted to take another picture there to commemorate the date again.

Returning to the scene of the crime LOL!

Returning to the scene of the crime LOL!

At this spot on the bridge is a gold cross that people traditionally put their hands on and make a wish. The story of this spot is that back in 1393 John of Nepomuk, who is now a saint, was thrown off the bridge to his death because he would not divulge the contents of the king’s wife’s confessions to the king.

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This spot commorates John of Nepomuk.

Legend has it now that anyone who touches this spot and makes a wish will have that wish granted by the saint. Thus the reason that Matt and I were engaged here and returned to make another wish this time.

Locks on the bridge

Locks on the bridge

Also, many people put locks on this spot. We’ve seen this phenomenon all over the world in different historical spots. Apparently this is a custom called Love Locks where lovers write their names on a lock, attach it to a bridge and throw the key in the water symbolizing that they will never leave each other. Had I known what this was all about I might have brought a lock too but alas I didn’t.

I have this fascination with birds on statues...it cracks me up!

I have this fascination with birds on statues…it cracks me up!

If you only see one thing in Prague than the Charles Bridge should definitely be it in my opinion. It is covered in beautiful statues and on nice days (and even rainy, cold days) you’ll see all sorts of artists selling their pictures, artwork and jewelry among other things.

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Me with more examples of the statues on Charles Bridge, Prague

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Even on rainy days there is a sizable crowd on the Charles Bridge leading to Prague Castle.

Next we headed to the Old Town Square to see the Prague Astronomical Clock. This clock, also known as Prague Orloj, is an medieval clock that was first installed in 1410 is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working.

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Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square, Prague

Check out the video of it doing it’s thing at the ย top of the hour:

Some of the beautiful buildings in Old Town Square, Prague

Some of the beautiful buildings in Old Town Square, Prague

Pre-Christmas crowds in Old Town Square, Prague

Pre-Christmas crowds in Old Town Square, Prague

You see some characters when you travel the world...Prague was no different!

You see some characters when you travel the world…Prague was no different!

Next Matt and I took a bike tour of Prague in order (we thought) to see the city faster and be warmer after all someone else was peddling and we got a nice blanket. It was a faster way of seeing the city but by the end of the tour we were still freezing.

On the tour we went through the Jewish Quarter of Prague and came across the memorial to Franz Kafka. Kafka was one of Prague’s famous writers who always seemed to mention the city in many of his stories. This statue was created by Jaroslav Rona and erected on Dusni Street fairly recently. (Click here to read more about the work)

Memorial to Franz Kafka in the Jewish Quarter, Prague

Memorial to Franz Kafka in the Jewish Quarter, Prague

As we continued our tour of the city we came across several sculptures that left us scratching our heads. This picture below is of one of those such sculptures. If anyone has any insight on this one please leave a comment to fill us all in on it. I didn’t find out who the sculptor was so it makes it harder to find anything on it.

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Strange babies with zippers on their faces crawling around? But why?

The yellow penguins below apparently rise up when they open the locks to let boats go through but we didn’t get to witness the rise of the penguins.

What city doesn't have yellow penguins?

What city doesn’t have yellow penguins?

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Muzeum stop in the Metro. I just really liked the way it looked.

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Some of the subway escalators are REALLY high!

While in Prague we both also got an opportunity to play our first ever poker tourney. I didn’t do great but it was a fun experience and one must celebrate with some local brew afterwards of course!

My first WSOP Poker Tourney!

My first WPT Poker Tourney!

The night before we left Matt and I had a lovely dinner at a restaurant called Potrefena Husa.

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Potrefena Husa restaurant, Prague, CZ

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New Year’s was around the corner so Na zdravรญ

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Our UF companion, Gordon Gecko, had a bit to drink too!

And such ended our beautiful extended weekend in Prague.

Categories: Czech Republic, Czech Republic, Prague, Prague | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Leaving The Netherlands

Waiting for the bus on the corner of our street in Alphen, NL

Waiting for the bus on the corner of our street in Alphen, NL

Although we really intended on living in the Netherlands for at least a year Matt and I decided to head home after only 6 months (for him) and 3 months (for me). My visitors visa was coming to an end and after 6 months his work visa was yet to be seen.

The message from our landlords when we arrived at our apartment in Alphen.

The message from our landlords when we arrived at our apartment in Alphen.

With our rental agreement coming to an end too and no guarantee when that elusive work visa was coming we decided that heading to the next place was best.

Our message to our landlords upon our departure from Alphen.

Our message to our landlords upon our departure from Alphen.

So on that cold January day we packed up all our possessions (again) and headed to the bus stop on the corner of our street in Alphen aan den Rijn for the first part of our trip towards home.

We enjoyed the Netherlands and the people we met there (Hi Marjolein, Christian and Menno)! We hope that we will all stay in touch for years to come. I enjoyed the country especially for its openness, tolerance and mission to being green and clean.

I loved the windmills, canals, stroopwafels (my waist could have done without those though), and mass transit. I wish I would have seen the tulips in bloom (arrived too late for that) but maybe one day we’ll vacation there again and catch that.

I found this great video to end this Netherlands portion of the blog so you have a great idea of the attitude of the people there. Very friendly, fun people. Until we meet again! ๐Ÿ™‚

Categories: Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Amsterdam Canal Cruise – Day 2: The Blizzard Tour

At points visibility was really low!

At points visibility was really low!

Because we couldn’t get in all the canal cruises in on Day 1 we headed back to Amsterdam the next day despite the fact that it was snowing like heck most of the day. It actually made the day a bit more fun and adventurous especially because the Dutch railroad is NOT known for it’s dependability when it snows. In the back of our minds we thought there might be the possibility that we would have to find a bus to get home or a hotel to stay in overnight. Fortunately that wasn’t necessary and we were able to get home via the railroad.

Matt ready to take on day 2!

Matt ready to take on day 2!

This duck, however, thinks we're crazy!

This duck, however, thinks we’re crazy!

And, of course, it wouldn’t be an adventure without a picture of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

Neither rain nor snow nor...oh wait that's not our motto!

Neither rain nor snow nor…oh wait that’s not our motto!

I didn’t take a lot of pictures this day because the snow was coming down pretty thick most of the day. It was fun but it was hard getting great pictures…

The visibility was like this on and off all day.

The visibility was like this on and off all day.

The next couple of shots are of a replica of the famous Dutch ship called The Amsterdam. It was an 18th Century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company. If you would like to know all about this beautiful ship CLICK HERE.

Beautiful Dutch Ship

Beautiful Dutch Ship

Beautiful Dutch Ship 2

Beautiful Dutch Ship 2

Dutch flagging flying high!

Dutch flagging flying high!

Right next to this lovely ship you’ll find the National Maritime Museum also known as Het Scheepvaartmuseum!

Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam

Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam

Just in case you weren’t convinced about how cold it was, here are some icy canal photos. For more of a real experience put on the theme to Titanic and you’ll be hearing exactly what I was hearing (well, in my head at least…In reality I was hearing scraping ice on the side of the boat too…) while on the boat.

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Does that seagull look pissed to you? He’s at least moderately grumpy due to the whole ice thing…

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You can’t really tell from the photo but this ice is fairly thick.

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Ice covered boats, Amsterdam

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I think some of these boats have seen better days!

Here is some raw footage of our icy Amsterdam Canal cruise. Being I am so behind on my travel blogs I didn’t take any extra time to edit out and only pick the key moments but I think you’ll still enjoy watching this.

Matt in Amsterdam City Center in the snow!!!

Matt in Amsterdam City Center in the snow!!!

A very cold me in front of Amsterdam Centraal Station on way back to Alphen.

A very cold me in front of Amsterdam Centraal Station on way back to Alphen.

Amsterdam Centraal Station is housed in a really beautiful old and ornate building. Simply gorgeous. Check out this quick little video I made of the building and the area around it. It was impossible to get that big building in one photo and do it justice but the video does a really good job of it.

Well that’s all for our Amsterdam travels. Just a few more Netherlands post and we’re off to the next destination. Stay tuned for more…

Categories: Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Amsterdam Canal Cruise – Day 1: The Sunshine Tour

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One of the many boats along the canal that fascinated me! This one is so romantic!

Right before we left Holland (maybe 5 days before) we decided that you can’t go to the Netherlands and not do an Amsterdam canal cruise. So despite the fact that it was really cold and the canals were freezing, we headed to Amsterdam to experience the waterways for ourselves.

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You can see by the above picture that the canals were all freezing and because of that there was only 2 of the 3 or 4 canal routes open. It was a really cool experience however if you’ve never heard the sound of ice scraping the side of the boat I can tell you that it is a little disconcerting. I just could not get the theme from the Titanic out of my head during both days of canal tours.

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Holland has some really nice architecture that you can’t see anywhere else in the world and seeing it from the canals is absolutely incredible!

Canals, bicycles, and seagulls...it must be Amsterdam!

Canals, bicycles, and seagulls…it must be Amsterdam!

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One thing I’ve learned from traveling is that you’re never too far from a Hard Rock Cafe and their ‘Save The Planet’ logo! Makes me smile every time!

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Some more beautiful architecture coming up…

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The detail on these buildings are stunning!

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It’s like a mini White House! I want to live here!

I can picture myself sunning in that wonderful sun room in this next house…

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Sun room and everything…

Me looking pretty damn cold...I was!

Me looking pretty damn cold…I was!

I think this next picture shows I was pretty justified in shivering….

Ice, Ice, Baby!!

Ice, Ice, Baby!!

I love the splashes of color that the boats add to the cold, icy landscape in these next few pictures!

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Most of the buildings in the city have family crests on top from days gone by. There were no numbers on the houses (and mostly there still aren’t) because the houses were identified by the crests and the buildings had names.

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This one has the crest on the door too!

And this next picture shows you how you move into one of these buildings. Due to the fact that in Amsterdam they build up and the buildings are tall and skinny the stairs are tall and skinny too making it impossible in most cases to move furniture in in the traditional way. Everything goes up and in the windows!

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In this next picture you’ll see that at the top of most of these buildings are hooks that were (and still are to some extent) used to load things up and into the building.

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Tommy Hilfiger knows how to get things directly shipped in to them…

Tommy Hilfiger, Amsterdam

Tommy Hilfiger, Amsterdam

Beautiful canal views!

Beautiful canal views!

Beautiful ornate bridge, Amsterdam

Beautiful ornate bridge, Amsterdam

And lots of house boats lined the canals. Almost tempts you to want to rent one for a bit and see how it is.

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We really loved these buildings on the canals with the green and red shutters.

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Accents of red and green brighten up the cold, grey day.

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Very cool clock tower coming up…

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And more very large house boats on the canals…

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What’s more Dutch than bicycles…everywhere!

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Imagine living on the canal like that? Amazing!

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Then there’s the famous Grasshopper! It has everything from a steak house on the top floor, a sports bar on the middle floor and a coffee shop on the bottom floor that serves that green stuff that Amsterdam is known for (thus the name ‘Grasshopper’). Behind this building begins the Red Light District of which I have no photos (you are strictly not allowed to and there are people watching that you don’t…even if you don’t see them).

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Schipol Airport's famous 'I amsterdam' sign at night in the snow.

Schipol Airport’s famous ‘I Amsterdam’ sign at night in the snow.

And here is a picture of Matt and I as we start out on our canal cruise…

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Here are two videos I took of the canal tours. Nothing Oscar winning but still has some really cool bits. I hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post where we return the next day during on and off blizzard conditions to take the other canal tour!

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Categories: Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Take A Look Around Haarlem, Netherlands!

Haarlem center

Grote Markt, Haarlem, Holland

I was looking forward to visiting Haarlem because when looking up a place to live in Holland this town kept coming up as our number one choice of a place to live. It’s just close enough to Amsterdam that you get the benefits of its proximity but far enough away from it that you don’t feel like you’re in a big city. However the day we visited Haarlem we didn’t really plan the trip all that well. It was one of those ‘Hey, let’s get out of the house today.’ ‘Okay, where should we go?’ ‘Haarlem?’ ‘Okay, sure!’ and off we went with no plan.

I've seen pictures online of the Grote Markt bustling with people...today was not that day. Still very beautiful.

I’ve seen pictures online of the Grote Markt bustling with people…today was not that day. Still very beautiful.

Usually we’ll look up places of interest in the city we’re visiting and try to hit all of the ones that catch our attention. We careful plan where and when we’re going and what we’re going to do when we get there including a nice place to stop and have lunch. But not this day. Nope!

More beautiful canals in Holland. This one is in Haarlem.

More beautiful canals in Holland. This one is in Haarlem.

We got on a train and then a bus and watched the scenery until we were there. It was really cold and the ground was icy in most of the streets but it appeared to be a nice little, sleepy town. My guess is that in the summer time this city is gorgeous and bustling. This day was pretty but barren and most of the day it almost seemed abandoned. Towards the time we were heading home it seemed to start coming alive…I don’t know where everyone was hanging out before that but they weren’t here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sumo Sushi Restaurant, Haarlem, Netherlands

Sumo Sushi Restaurant, Haarlem, Netherlands

Basically we walked around town aimlessly, found a place to eat called Sumo Sushi (in our travels in Holland we visited this restaurant in Amsterdam and Den Haag too…what can I say, we liked it!) and then walked around looking at the shops. I even bought a pair of cool new winter boots there because my favorite purple winter boots that I was wearing had sprung a hole letting copious amounts of icy water in. (I guess the fact that they were purchased about 7 years ago in Switzerland and worn all over the world had earned them a permanent retirement…but I digress).

Statue of Laurens Jansz Koster in the Grote Markt, Haarlem, Netherlands

Statue of Laurens Jansz Koster in the Grote Markt, Haarlem, Netherlands

As a side note, the gentleman in the picture above is Laurens Jansz Koster. At the time that we took this picture we obviously couldn’t speak or read Dutch (we still can’t) so we decided he was the inventor of cell phones. Turns out we were not far off….he was actually the inventor of a printing press in Haarlem back in the 1400’s (okay we stretched the cell phone thing a bit…but it’s still a communication tool so we’ll stand our ground.)

There was much controversy over whether he was THE inventor of the printing press. Some say it was a gentleman from Mainz that was the real inventor but I am not sure that we’ll be able to settle that now. Nevertheless he’s somewhat of a local hero in Haarlem and you can see statues of him all around town. Apparently this gentleman perished in the plague that was so kind to visit Haarlem from 1439-1440! Bummer!

Matt looking dapper and no cold at all, Haarlem, Netherlands

Matt looking dapper and not cold at all, Haarlem, Netherlands

After that it was pretty late in the day, the sun was setting, and it was getting even colder. So we began our return to Alphen aan den Rijn. I was a little upset with myself when we got on the bus because I have an old letter from a relative on my father’s side (I believe she was my grandmother’s niece) who had married a man named Van der Water and they were living in Haarlem back then.

I love the design of Dutch buildings! So pretty and embellished!

I love the design of Dutch buildings! So pretty and embellished! Grote Markt, Haarlem, Netherlands

The letter was dated 1969 or something like that so I didn’t expect anyone to still be living there but I thought it would be cool to visit the address, see who’s living there, and take a picture….BUT…did I mention we didn’t plan this day very well? I didn’t bring the address with me. It was cozy at home on my computer’s hard drive blissfully unaware that I needed it. I was hoping that we would have another visit there before we left Holland but that didn’t happen. Next time we visit I’ll have the address tattooed on my forearm for safe keeping! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Grote Kerk van St Bavo, Haarlem's cathedral

The Grote Kerk van St Bavo, Haarlem’s cathedral

So we returned home, took hot showers, had a nice cup of hot tea and marked another city off of our ‘Must See Before We Leave’ list!

Categories: Haarlem, Netherlands | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Snowy Day In Alphen Aan Den Rijn, Netherlands

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

After leaving Florida and heading to the Netherlands I was looking forward to some winter weather and in early January we got some. We went to bed with flurries and woke up to a winter wonderland so, of course, Matt and I had to go out and explore especially because this was his first real winter. Here are some pictures from that day.

Do you see the cat?

Do you see the cat?

I bet you do now! ๐Ÿ™‚

Our neighbor's cat was intrigued with this white floaty stuff!

Our neighbor’s cat was intrigued with this white floaty stuff!

No school day for these kids...

No snow day for the kids at this school…

The view through our little Christmas tree...

The view through our little Christmas tree…

New mode of transportation...the sled!

New mode of transportation…the sled!

The school where the kids came from...

Where are the kids? It’s SNOWING!!

Snowball fight!!!

Snowball fight!!!

I was impressed with the teachers at this school. These kids get to play outside in the school yard every day but this day because it was snowing, they came outย earlierย and were brought out to the playground behind our building to have a snowball fight!

I call this one...snowfall on plant thing! :-)

I call this one…snowfall on plant thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

So now after seeing how fearless the children were in dealing with the snow…Matt and I ventured out on our walk in the winter wonderland too!

Canals are starting to freeze...yes those are duck footprints!

Canals are starting to freeze…yes those are duck footprints!

And then we found out where the ducks went…the other side wasn’t quite as frozen…YET!

A bit of unfrozen canal for the birdies!

A bit of unfrozen canal for the birdies!

Pretty winter canal scene

Pretty winter canal scene

Matt is ready to experience a walk in the snow!

Matt is ready to experience a walk in the snow!

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This it the park where I used to see my little cat friend…this cold day he wasn’t there! Smart kitty! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Get ready for this one…I call this photo ‘Snow on rock wall’…pretty clever, ehh?

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I guess because the town is fairly easy to get around in they felt the need to add some confusion…hey, it worked!

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‘Snow on…I don’t know what this is…but there’s snow on it’!

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I really liked these condos and the park that was a part of it!

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Snow and red condos!

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This little guy seemed so lonely there…but I thought it was pretty.

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I couldn’t decide which picture I liked best so you got them both.

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These guys seem determined to wait it out right there…on the ice!

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They hardly seemed bothered by the cold!

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These swans and ducks found one of the rare places where the water wasn’t frozen!

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Ducks on ice!

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Bridge over frozen waters…

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Nice homes on the park…

Bridge in Europapark!

Bridge in Europapark!

Can you hear the snowy silence?

Can you hear the snowy silence?

More sleds as transport...this is what they use when they can't ride their bikes because of the snow.

More sleds as transport…this is what they use when they can’t ride their bikes because of the snow.

A cow sign in the middle of town???

A cow sign in the middle of town???

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Well lookie there…a cow…

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The rest of the herd…we walked right by them and they barely looked at us. Must be used to the foot traffic on that little trail.

More snow and glad to be in the warm apartment.

More snow and glad to be back in the warm apartment.

Parents picking up their kids from school with sleds rather than the usual bikes.

Parents picking up their kids from school with sleds rather than the usual bikes.

It's coming down again!

It’s coming down again!

Categories: Alphen aan den Rijn, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands, Netherlands, Video Tours | 4 Comments

Out And About In Alphen With My New Camera

Dutch windmill, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands

Dutch windmill, Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands

Well Santa brought me a really nice digital camera for Christmas and it has so many different settings on it that I HAD to just take off on my bike for a photo tour of Alphen aan den Rijn. So here I would like to share with you all the best pictures from that first day of camera exploring! Some came out really good and others could be better but again I really didn’t know what I was doing with it yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bicyclists taking advantage of the beautiful day!

Bicyclists taking advantage of the beautiful day!

Whenever there’s a sunny day in Alphen you’ll see die-hard bicyclists all geared up with smiles on their faces.

Windmills and Bicyclists!

Windmills and Bicyclists!

Keep in mind that this was in December and despite the outfits these guys are wearing the wind was blowing hard and it was cold!

Modern Dutch windmills up close and personal

Modern Dutch windmills up close and personal

These windmills could be seen from our apartment. They were just down the road from us and could be seen over the roofs of the buildings if the angle was right.

Windmills peering from behind the buildings!

Windmills peering from behind the buildings!

When I first got to Alphen I went on a hunt to find them because you could see them and then you would turn a corner and they would mysteriously disappear from site. Needless to say I finally found them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Landscape picture of a pretty little pond I found.

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Another pretty shot!

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Bike/Walking trail through the fields!

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A nice place to rest among nature!

This is the only picture this guy would let me have of his face!

This is the only picture this guy would let me have of his face!

The rest of the pictures were like this or worse...

The rest of the pictures were like this or worse…but I personally like this shot!

More of the trail...

More of the trail…

Look I discovered I can even take panorama shots too!!

A nice panorama shot of the field trail.

A nice panorama shot of the field trail.

Church in town in Alphen...

Church in town in Alphen…

On the way to the windmill I passed a nice church and this little park in a neighborhood that I liked…

A small park in a neighborhood I liked in Alphen...

A small park in a neighborhood I liked in Alphen…

The windmill below is a working windmill but now it’s used as a museum (most are…or people use them as their house) and there’s also a popular bakery on premises.

Another traditional Dutch windmill...

Another traditional Dutch windmill…

Going back towards the center of Alphen I crossed the bridge over the canal below…

One of the canals going into downtown Alphen

One of the canals going into downtown Alphen

Some residents of the above canal...

Some residents of the above canal…

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Another little village church just across the canal bridge…

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Panorama of the bridge and canal

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I liked the way the sunset was hitting this weather vane…

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One of the side streets going into Alphen downtown square….

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The Castellum in Alphen downtown square…

The Castellum in this picture is a cafe and movie theater as well as a place where plays are put on.

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Another church in the Alphen downtown square…

There are so many little churches across the country but apparently very few Dutch actually use them. They do look pretty though. Have no fear because there is still a McDonald’s and numerous coffee shops to attend instead! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sunset on the canal in Alphen downtown…

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Sun setting on this pretty Dutch building!

At this point the sun was setting and I had been gone for about 4 hours so I figured it was time to go home and make some dinner! ๐Ÿ™‚

Categories: Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands | 5 Comments

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Part 1

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Chilling out in Amsterdam

Here are some pictures of my first adventure into Amsterdam just before Christmas. These aren’t the best pictures of Amsterdam (more will come in upcoming blog posts) but these are my first impression photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Fog, Minney Mouse, and Christmas trees outside Schipol Airport, Amsterdam

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For our Florida friends…we’re thinking of you!

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Me and Mickey strike a pose!

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Amsterdam Centraal (train station) all decked out for Christmas!

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It was cold but everyone was out and about having fun! Amsterdam trams!

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More pretty buildings and happy people!

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It was quite busy in the square that night!

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Ice Skating rink…though it was cold it wasn’t COLD so the ice was actually melting and they kept sweeping the water off.

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This big building is the Apple Store in Amsterdam! It’s an incredibly beautiful building inside and out! Definitely check it out if you have the chance. It’s the biggest Apple store around I believe.

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More ice skaters in the square having fun!

Categories: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A Day At De Pier Scheveningen, Den Haag, Netherlands – Part 2: Art Sculptures!

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During our nice sunny excursion to Scheveningen Beach in Den Haag we came upon the art sculptures that line the end of the boardwalk. I really enjoyed these because they all had a great sense of humor to them and made me smile and laugh. I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures I took of them as much as I enjoyed walking among them all.

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I felt sad for this big guy. I wanted to hug him!

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I thought this was an interesting commentary on the world…what do you think?

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The mouse gets his revenge on the lion!

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Don’t mess with this whale!

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Shipwrecked and hanging on by an oar…well almost!

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Enjoying the Dutch treat of raw herring!

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Another perspective of the herring eating sculpture!

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Hiding your head in the sand!

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Headstand on the beach!

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The princess and the frog…happy ever after!

Other things we saw that day on the beach:

This pretty little guy posed for me!

This pretty little guy posed for me!

All roads lead to...well...somewhere!

All roads lead to…well…somewhere!

Getting friendly with the local fish!

Getting friendly with the local fish!

Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel from Strandweg next to the beach, Scheveningen Beach

Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel from Strandweg next to the beach, Scheveningen Beach

I thought this picture was so Dutch and beautiful!

I thought this picture was so Dutch and beautiful!

Stay tuned for more of our travel adventures coming up…

Categories: Den Haag, Netherlands | 2 Comments

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