Archive for the ‘The Netherlands’ Category

A 90 degree shift in in temperature

February 7, 2012

So I have returned from the terrible, muggy heat of Thailand, to the worst cold that Europe has seen in half a century apparently. Since the day I returned (about a week ago), the temperature has been dropping. One night it was minus 18 degrees Celsius. For the record, that is cold. It’s also the first time I’ve seen snow in the Benelux countries. It was really nice at first, but I’ll take a warm day over any snow for sure. I’ve been visiting with friends and trying to find times that work with everyone’s schedule to say goodbye. I have had such a great time seeing everyone that I don’t know why I waited so long to come back. I have a feeling that I’ll be back here very soon…

Onward to the limestone outcroppings on the Andaman Sea!

January 3, 2012

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.

20120103-214031.jpg

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…

20120103-214735.jpg

Happy holidays from Belgium!

December 23, 2011

I’ve been in Belgium for 8 days now, and it has been a really great time so far. The Christmas season in Belgium is a bustling time. Besides shopping at malls and Christmas lights, every city has their own Christmas Market. These include food, carnival rides, and alcohol…a lot of alcohol! In the last week I’ve been to several: Hasselt, Genk, Maastricht (Netherlands), and Dusseldorf (Germany). When I lived in Belgium eleven years ago, I lived with two different host families. So it works out very nice that I have one family to spend Christmas Eve with, and one to spend Christmas Day with. It’s been really nice to see old friends, eat some (okay, I’ve eaten a lot) Belgian Fries, and speaking Flemish. Here are some pictures of the different Christmas Markets:

20111223-155023.jpg
Maastricht, Holland

20111223-155127.jpg
Dusseldorf, Germany

20111223-155206.jpg
Genk, Belgium

Pre-GFTB visited countries…

March 2, 2010

So many trips, so many stories, all before the blog. Eventually I’ll get around to documenting all those experiences…