London Olympic Games

August 17, 2012

The London Olympics marks, or marked, the first time the Olympics have come to our rough vicinity. With a hop skip and a jump we could make it to London. Taking 5 hours from door to door by train, you really can’t get much better. As luck would have it I have parents who are interested in the Olympics and are willing to put up with me and my sibling for a week as well as extended family who let us into their house. Anyway we took the train bumped around Belgium and France before going under the channel and got to London, yay.
Before going I was more or less ignorant of all things Olympic, I knew some of the athletes, was vaguely aware of the sports we would be watching and knew there was some deal with several countries having houses.

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Blijdorp Zoo (Rotterdam)

April 24, 2011

 A few weeks back my dad suggested we go to the zoo and last friday came the first opportunity. As it was good friday we had gotten off of school and work. Aside from photography aspect that makes zoo’s so attractive I had not gone to a Zoo in around 7 years and just wanted to go again and see what it was like. There was also plenty of talk about shutting down the Zoo, or at least some parts of it due to budget cuts, and particularly considering that we lived so close it just made sense to have a little peek.

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Elf Fantasy Fair

September 23, 2010

To be honest with you I did not know what to expect when I was invited to go to EFF, or the elf fantasy fair here in the Netherlands. The name of the fair pretty much tells you enough about what kind of event it was. It was, in essence a lot of nerds dressing up. I’ll have to be honest with you I did not recognize a great deal of the costumes here though we did meet famous figures as Peter Pan and Edward Scissorhands.(Pictured below) Something else that struck me was the effort some people had put into their costumes. Granted not everyone had costumes but those that did, for the most part, were really extravagant. Plenty of big puffy dresses, some form of body paint and make up and interesting accessories.

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“Adventure” to Rotterdam Airport

September 4, 2010

I was talking to a good friend of mine over the summer vacation that I had not seen for a little while and we were discussing where to meet up and what to do. We both went to school in Rotterdam for several years so we were well accustomed to all the shops and most of everything in central Rotterdam that did not cost you an arm and a leg (or a student an arm and a leg in this case) What to do now then was the central question. As a bit of a joke I opened google earth and remarked, much to my own surprise, that Rotterdam airport was actually very close.  Thinking the airport was still to far to walk I decided to have a little fun with my friend and suggest we go to the airport and see the planes take off and land. Somehow or another however the next day we set off to Rotterdam airport.

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August 8, 2010

I just came back from a two-week vacation in northern Umbria (Italy) and as the drive directly from the Netherlands to Umbria was too long we stopped for a few days in Switzerland.

In switzerland we spent most of our time hiking the mountain trails around the area though we also had a day where we went paragliding which was easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Apparently we had gotten rather lucky on that particular day and we managed to go all the way to the base of the clouds (which was the highest we were allowed to go) I was told that was around 3,500 meters up. The views from up there were quite obviously incredible and the conditions made it possible to fly over the valley and all the way to the mountains on the other side. To lose altitude my guide suggested we do a number of “tricks”. This involved a continuous turn and my personal favorite when he started rocking the sail to and fro to the point where you could actually see the sail beneath your feet for a number of seconds.

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Tour de France – Rotterdam

July 5, 2010

Just a few months after seeing the Giro d’Italia coming by my apartment comes another much bigger bike race, the Tour de France. As my dad has always been interested in the Tour I am relatively familiar with it and a few of the big name riders, a few of which I saw in Middelburg. There were tour related events happening from the 1-4 of July though the two biggest days were easily the 3rd and the 4th. On the 3rd of July there was the prologue, which was a time trail and on the 4th was the 1st stage.

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Giro d’Italia Middelburg

May 10, 2010

Unfortunately I’m nearing the end of the semester which means papers, exams and presentations galore. This  meant that i had to miss many of the festivities in Middelburg and i would have liked to have presented a more complete picture of the Giro in Middelburg. None the less right after class i raced to the first section of the course which wasn’t full with people and waited for the bikers to come. Luckily i had a pretty decent location (by that i mean it wasn’t too busy)  considering the amount of time i could spend waiting. The Giro apparently pulled in 75,000 spectators which is quite significant considering Middelburg itself only has about 35,000 inhabitants.

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Queens Day Middleburg

April 30, 2010

Queen Beatrix

Living in the Netherlands for about 8 years now it is shocking that i have never actually been to any queens day celebrations of any sort. The first few years living in the Netherlands we went to Denmark, but really for the other years i have no excuses.  Now i move to Middelburg and within less than a year the Queen and her entourage comes right to me.  Ok ok so technically she does not come to me but that’s a minor detail. Either way i woke up today and the sun that had been shinning for about 3 weeks straight was gone. Since the Queen was scheduled to come at 12:00 noon ten overcast sky’s is the easiest way to overcome the harsh midday sun. So in that regard it was actually perfect weather.

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Greenpeace Protesting in Middelburg

March 13, 2010

Today i came out of my statistics class in university and found Greenpeace protesting on Middelburgs old stadhuis(city hall) They essentially climbed on the building hung up a banner and sit there. At the same time there are plenty of volunteers handing out flyers and telling people what is going on. Essentially they were trying to inform people of the plans for a new nuclear power station that is reportedly 5x larger than another nuclear power plant located nearby. It was planed not only to bring attention to the power plant but to inform every one of the political party’s that do not support the building of a new power plant. As you can see the scale of the event was not particularly big nor was there any upset of any kind. The police let them be and besides a few people who stopped to look at what was going on and to ask a few questions.

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Istanbull – Turkey

March 9, 2010

A month late with blogging this which honestly for me is not that bad. Anyway this year my dad and i took another  short vacation. We ended up choosing Istanbul which was the most interesting of the cheap options.  We had done the same last year with Iceland, if i’m not mistaken the flight tickets to Iceland have already doubled in price from when we went. At any rate this year it was Istanbul, Turkey.

A quick note on the weather in Istanbul in early february, well lets just say dress warm and bring water/wind proof gear. We were there for a good 3 days. The first night we arrived and went exploring the weather was relatively pleasant, not Caribbean warm but very doable with a warm jacket. The next day however we were plagued with rain. At first it was the kind of rain which is very small and just whips you in the face whilst walking. It is the kind of rain where if you were at home you’d prefer to stay inside. As tourists however we did not have that option. We had to brave the weather. Which progressively got worse until the point where it made the whole ordeal rather unpleasant. Not exactly ideal site seeing weather. The next day was much of the same and on the third day much to our surprise it snowed. and snowed. and snowed. Personally I like snow especially back at home where it covers everything in a blanket of white. Snow in Cities however is not the most pleasant, everything quickly turns into a brown slush. Enough of my complaining however i just wanted to give an idea of the weather conditions we experienced.

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