Blogs from Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands, Europe

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Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden July 31st 2019

Today we headed for the Netherlands northern province of Friesland. Much of Friesland has been reclaimed from the North Sea, beginning with the first dikes around the year 1,000 AD. Slowly but surely the early mounds called “terpen” were no longer needed as safe havens for floods and were being abandoned and even removed. Early Friesland looked like open areas with low bush called heide or heath. At times flooded, at times dry, organic materials created peat, which was later mined for fuel. Excavated sites became shallow lakes so popular today for sailers and fishermen. Friesland is full of these lakes. Our first stop for today was Giethoorn. The band U2 had a song with reference to “street with no name”. Well, Giethoorn doesn’t even have streets in many places. Houses are built along canals and ... read more
Giethoorn boats for hire
Giethoorn canals
Giethoorn thatched roofs and flowers

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden August 7th 2017

Woke after a reasonable sleep on the boat. Had a look around as I hadn't yesterday - pretty standard set-up but a nice idea to have a room dedicated to North Sea wildlife, and in fact you could have gone to a lecture about that during the voyage and then tried to spot whales and dolphins from the outer deck. But I was glad that I rested. On arrival at IJmuiden port, I got on the transfer bus that took us to Amsterdam central station and after faffing around getting tickets and coffee, I set off for Leeuwarden in Friesland. The train trip took a couple of hours through the flat, green countryside with its canals, wind turbines and herds of Frisian cows. Was still very tired when I arrived at my hotel in the centre ... read more
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Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden October 1st 2014

Even though a road trip from Groningen to Leeuwarden would take about 45 minutes it is a much slower and longer trip via canal (and I am pretty confident in saying a more pleasant trip!) The canal that we had to take took us northwest to Zoutcamp, then we continued on to the Lauwersmeer (large lake with access to the sea) where we started turning southwest. This led us to an overnight stop in Dokkum. This portion of the canal again took us through plenty of farm land as well as through fishing areas which we have to always watch for no matter where we travel. We saw many more commercial fishing boats when on the Lauwersmeer with its direct access to the sea. As there is quite a distance between towns in this stretch of ... read more
"Sailing" in our bluewater boat by cows?
The Canals are Nicely Protected from Weather
Views on Our Way to Dokkum

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden May 31st 2014

Our 1st week back in Europe 29 May 2014 - Northern Holland After a wonderful 10 days on the National Geographic Orion ship and exploration ship cruising from Darwin to Broome in Australia, we spent 5 days with our son Adam. It was so good to be with him. We then left for Amsterdam on 27 May and arrived on 28 May with Emeritus Airlines with a 3 hour stopover in Dubai. We arrived in Amsterdam at 1.00pm their time after 18 hours total, in the air. We then hopped straight on the train to Utrecht, an easy transition. I had been communicating through Facebook, with my cousin Mary Bampton (nee Walsh) who, with her husband, was travelling through Europe. They were staying in Amsterdam and so they caught a train to Utrecht and met us ... read more
2 We are 'On the road again' - 1st day on our 5 months trip in Europe
3 Our 1st week in Europe
Alkmaar  Holland (2)

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden September 10th 2012

Well, it has been a month since i've written a blog entry and that is quite surprising. Days are going by so fast! I can't believe I have already been here for a month! Here is a recap of the past few weeks: My second week in Holland I spent at Dutch Orientation Course (DOC) in Boxtel where I met 20 other exchange students from USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Taiwan. During this week we had lessons on the Dutch language, and also had plenty of time to bond. We went to a dutch carnival (kermis), Den Bosch, museums, and even visited the Boxtel Rotary club. My roommate during the DOC week was Jillian and by the end, we were crying because we didn't want to leave eachother. Our host family (Marc, Els, Tom, and ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden August 16th 2012

I did not even realize i had published a blank Entry Two so I am sorry about that. I have been in Burgum, Friesland for five days now and I love everything about it. I am staying with the Kingma family and they are the nicest people I have ever met. When my sponsor Rotary club told me the Dutch are the happiest people in the world I didn't think too much of it until I actually got here. It is completely true, they are so kind and caring. Some things i have experienced in the past few days: Mosquitoes are terrible bugs and apparently they just can't get enough of me. I now have to wear bug repellant to bed, protective clothing, keep my window closed (trapping the heat in my room!), use a plug-in ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden October 20th 2011

Spannend nog even en dan gaan we!!... read more

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden June 23rd 2011

The decision to leave Prague was a difficult one to make, so much so that I only decided where I was going about 2 hours before the bus left. After buying bus tickets and booking a hostel, I headed to the station to take the bus to Belgium. It was an 11 hour overnight bus trip to Brussels, but because I didn't like the idea of arriving at 5am and having to find my hostel, I continued on to Bruges. Going to Bruges was a bit of a gamble because I didn't really know anything about the place. It paid off though because luckily it turned out to be a really nice place. The buildings in the city centre are really old and charming. It's so well preserved because the city was quite poor and not ... read more
Bruges - Belgium
Bruges - Belgium
Bruges - Belgium

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden September 25th 2009

Have you ever wanted to fly? Feel your body weightless, glide over the natural currents of the atmosphere around you. Its feels almost unnatural, yet when I went kite surfing on Saturday, 8 August I did just that. It was via a travbuddy meetup that myself and 40 other hopefuls, from Dutch, to English hopefuls met up in Vlieland in the north of Friesland. Vlieland is an island part of the Friesislands and the second least populated municipality after Schiermonnikoog. We were all from different backgrounds and different ages but with one common goal. We were going to become the best damn kite surfers there was. Ok well maybe give it a try but lets be all high and mighty while we are at it right? We met early in the morning at Leeuwarden. I had ... read more
Grafitti in Leeuwarden
The path leads this way
Good Bye Ameland!

Europe » Netherlands » Friesland » Leeuwarden October 1st 2008

Today is our last day in Holland and since John has had an experience of a lifetime, fishing with Sake on a fishing trawler 120 kms out in the North Sea. Lucky for John he still has his Navy legs and loved the day. He and Sake caught lots of fish with Sake catching a Spanish Makreel, which was the only one caught. Many didn't survive the beginning of the trip, getting sea sick in the four hour journey getting to the fishing spot. They had a sensational day and stunk like fish and beer when they got home. Many a song was sung on the four hour journey back to land. They guys on the boat have requested Rex Hunt to come to the next fishing trip next year. Delft was also another Dutch town ... read more
The ones that could hack it
Sake's Motorbike
Tim and Anke




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