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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sinterklaas en de zwarte Piet

Ok, the annual spectacle is over now. But nevertheless, I wanna post some sentences about the whole procedure. This happening has nothing to do with Christmas at all...

Sinterklaas looks almost the same as in Germany, wearing a red gown and having a big white beard. According to the history, the old man is approaching Holland by ship, leaving Spain in the middle of November. During that long journey he is considering the childrens presents, depending on their good or bad behaviour, and is writing everything down in his huge and precious book.

Of course, Sinterklaas needs a helping hand for getting the job done. The Zwarte Pieten, dressed in their remarkably colourful clothing, do whatever they can for support, finally bringing the presents to the children by crawling through the houses chimneys on 5th December. Funny story, and so different compared to Germay.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let's call it mud-eating

Together with Nick, i tried the Mountainbike trail around the Oostvoornse Meer. It had rained the whole weekend, thus we knew we could expect a mud battle. And it really was. The first part led us through the forest, followed by the dike and the way back on the other side. It was so slippery, it hasn't made any difference if I had used the breaks or not - no chance to lower speed. Puddles so deep, I watered my feet completely. But the good thing, I've got a new paint for my bike :D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Briels Nieuwsland

Hehe not that easy to read, but I've found my name in Brielle's regional newspaper after playing for the first men team the first time. Read through it and have a look by yourself :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the road

Brielle's harbour in the early hours.

I've just taken this picturesque sky on my way back from work. Nice one!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nineteen in a row

Just a couple of days ago I saw one more thing the Netherlands is famous for. The nineteen windmills of Kinderdijk, located 15km southeast of Rotterdam in the area called Nieuw-Lekkerland :) They were once used to drain large areas that are below sea level. Those water control systems should keep the area from beeing flooded. More or less successful. However, nice to watch anyway. Only the weather has to be better the next time I am going there.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend trip to the World Cup

Ok it's weeks ago, but still worth reviewing it - the Fiba Basketball World Championship 2010 in Turkey. It was an absolutely amazing weekend. Together with my colleague and friend Hagen I approached Istanbul at 0:30 am. It took almost 2 hours to reach the city centre via public transport. Believe me, it's not that easy without one single word of Turkish language.

After a couple of relaxing hours on the park bench we've been ready for the day again, beginning with an awesome sunrise over Istanbul city. The streets are more or less dirty, the people are careless without a deep sense of responsibility, but it's nice talking to them, they are so kind. Otherwise we wouldn't have found our way to the stadium right on time. The Eight Final Game Spain vs. Greece had been tremendous. I haven't liked the Spanish game, but from that day on I changed my mind. Especially Ricky Rubio was excellent and terrific. Try to watch him play. It's alway worth it...

Believe it or not, but we've picked a rainy Sunday, in Turkey. The hotel's pool, jacuzzi and sauna made it tolerably. And the way back home had been in a chilled mood :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Den Haag's Wild Wonders

I love this picture, taken in Den Haag on the Wild Wonders nature photograph exhibition. Hard to believe that all shown photos present an Europe scenery. But check out yourself.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Yo yo, my man in Amsterdam

Finally, I've found my way to Amsterdam, for the first time. I still have mixed feelings about the city. I am still not sure why ... I will explain further details later on.

The whole city centre was crowded. The weather wasn't that good, so I really don't know what they all were doing, I can't figuere it out. Perhaps they were just suffering from boredam at home...

This is typical for the Netherlands. You find those lean houses everywhere. And the funny thing is: Wide windows without any curtains at the frontside are offering perfect views on the owner's table, couch or whatever. It's pretty the same in my apartment, but I got used to it quickly.

Amsterdam's attraction number one - the red light district. I don't know, it's a kind of weird walking there along. This area is more a tourism thing at any time of the day (or even night) than a red light district as it used to be somewhere else. You see families strolling around, laughing and pointing with their fingers at ...

Friday, August 20, 2010

From Brielle to Renesse

I just wanna show you some pictures of cool spots nearby ...

The beach on Goeree-Overflakkee island, strong winds make it a Mecca for kiteboarders and beach buggy drivers.

Windmill in Brielle, unfortunately artificial and just existing for tourism reasons. It was built in the late 1960s, unless I'm mistaken.

View to Maasvlakte island, home of the Converter Station I'm working on. Maasvlakte did not exist a couple of decades ago, it was built artificially as well. ^^ No comments! ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What would you like to have for dinner?

It was Friday, right after work, late afternoon approximately. I had just left the site, looking forward to a relaxed weekend with no stress or anything else related to work. But what to do on a Friday evening in calm Brielle??? I had a brief chat with one of my colleagues, and he didn't know either. We were starving and thus, we've been very uncreative concerning making up our minds what to do. But that was it! Why not going somewhere for dinner? Antwerpen??? No sooner said than done. And it was worth it. This city is beautiful, tiny streets with a variety of restaurants and bars. The weekend cannot start any better :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

This is where I live

I couldn't believe it myself, but it is that controversial - green fields, two-laned cycleways and holiday feeling on the one hand ...

... and Rotterdam's port at the other hand, the largest container port in Europe, approximately 40 km if you go from one side to the other. It looks strange and impressive at the same time. You smell the oil in the air, however everyone is going for a swin at the beach just a few kilometres futher back. Me included :) Better not to think about it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Den Haag and Scheveningen

I've been in Den Haag a couple of days ago. Destination: Belastingdienst!!! Haha, dutch is strange, even to hear. Impossible to speak!!! Anyway, I now have a tax numbre, called "sofinummer". And there was enough time to explore the city. I can tell you, Den Haag is much worth seeing than Rotterdam. Neat and tiny street, cafés and restaurants everywhere, they served chips to nearly everything they find in their kitchen. A dutch problem! :) Better cooking by oneself.

I found my new city chopper. Perfect supplement to my green racing machine, I reckon.

I was surprised finding a China Town in Den Haag. The big chinese gate welcomes everybody warmly.

I spent the day in Scheveningen, right next to thousands of others. Hotels and tourism everywhere, as you'd find it in Greece or Spain. Amazing. But a beautiful atmosphere at the dusky beach.

And the final football game of the world cup 2010, public viewing in Rotterdam. I realised that Oranje fans became more and more nervous when the Spanish team pushed forward their offence. This led to the 1:0, and I was happy not beeing in the centre anymore. Quite offensive fans, the Oranjes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Working right next to the 'Noordzee'

I don't wanna convey the impression that I'm not working over here. As proof you'll find some live web cam pictures by clicking on the link below:

You may see me walking through the AC Yard, if you're lucky (hint: I will surely wear an orange life west!). Keep on checkin' lol

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tour de France in Rotterdam

One thing was for sure - I cannot miss the Tour de France in Rotterdam and passing by Brielle. So I found my way back to the megacity. The weather wasn't that good, but that didn't bother anyone on the Erasmus Bridge watching the cyclists race against time.

I found my new chopper. From now on I leave my MTB in the garage, use this instead.

Unfortunately, the quarter final world cup football game was at the same time on Saturday, so I had to make a decision. I don't have to tell you - patriotism won :) And it was worth it!!!

Haha all the people (me included) were waiting the hours in the midday sun for the cyclists to arrive, just to see them for a couple of seconds. Kinda weird!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Prologue in Rotterdam

I don't know how I do this, but I am always lucky with certain things. Example: My colleague Hagen had to move from one hotel to an other one. I helped him moving and checking in again. I barely noticed, when passing by, the green truck in the corner of the yard. I walked towards it to get a closer look. Team Liquigas was preparing their racing machines for the prologue of the Tour the France. Simply fascinating!!! These aren't bycicles anymore, these are real machines. I should have taken one ^^

Liquigas technicians at work.

There it is - Ivan Basso's racing machine. I did some changes to it (some might call it sabotage) so he wasn't able to win the prologue ... :) lol

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Rotterdam City

I almost have no time to get you up to date. There was so much to do within the last days - football - and gathering all the new impressions. I've been to Rotterdam a couple of times, the biggest city here nearby. Beautiful wouldn't describe it, Rotterdam's just an industrial harbour city. That makes it special anyhow, but you must get used to it, and that does surely not happen from one day to another.

However, it was the place where the Tour de France 2010 started - that forced me to walk there around regularly, trying to get some good shots of the cyclists and the massive spectacle (You'll find something written about it in one of the next posts). An awesome thing happened before that ... ;-)