Onward to the limestone outcroppings on the Andaman Sea!

Happy 2012! Many thanks to all the different hosts in Belgium and the Netherlands! I had a fantastic Christmas Eve in Rekem, A great Christmas Day in Maasmechelen, and a great time in Genk, Hasselt, and Utrecht, and wonderful New Year’s Eve in Maastricht! Unfortunately visiting friends and host families makes for less than exciting blog posts. So to sum it up, I had a mind blowing time visiting with people very special to me that I haven’t seen in over a decade. It’s crazy to see what has changed, and even crazier to see the things that will never change. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to include me in your holiday season!

I fly tomorrow from Amsterdam to Krabi, Thailand (via Vienna and Bangkok). I am super excited to be a dirtbag rock climber on the beach for a while. Don’t worry, I’ve already researched the closest hospital. Besides, I have two ankles anyway, and one still works :).

Meanwhile, enjoy a couple pictures of Utrecht! The first is the tower of the cathedral known as De Dom.

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The second was too stereotypically Dutch to not post (posted with all irony intended, not at all indicative of the culture of the Netherlands!) – a “coffee shop” with a bunch of bicycles in front of it. I have to give the Dutch credit, I’ve never seen a more committed country of bicyclists in my life. The busses were empty, but lots of bicyclists where riding home in hail and 35mph gusts of wind today. So maybe the bicycles are indicative of Dutch culture, but please don’t think all of the people of the Netherlands are getting their Cheech and Chong on…

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