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Blind visitors to feel ice sculptures in Leiden

Posted on February 24th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland

The Rembrandt-themed Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival, an attraction in Leiden since December, has been a huge success. Nearly a quarter million people have seen the ice statues so far. The festival will close this Sunday at 6pm. At 5:30pm a group of blind and legally blind persons will be able to feel the sculptures. During the run of the festival, touching the sculptures by the public was not allowed. More »

Bike faster than car in Rotterdam

Posted on February 21st 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland

Last Saturday a team of bicyclers were able to cross the city of Rotterdam faster than an auto making the same journey. A group of travelers using public transport also participated; they came in last. The teams traveled the city from west to east and the bikers arrived at the finish two minutes faster than the car. The team using public transport arrived about a half hour later. More »

Bunkers bring bats to Dutch park

Posted on February 17th 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland, Nature

This year the Dutch organization for mammal study and protection (VZZ) placed twelve ‘bunkers’ in the natural area Slot Haamstede in the province Zeeland to provide winter shelters for bats. Five bunkers which were placed there earlier are now filled with dozens of bats. The twelve new bat shelters also have some new residents overwintering there, and the VZZ expects the number of bats in all of the bunkers to increase in coming years. In total there are 45 bat shelters at Slot Haamstede, and 26 are hosting bats this winter. More »

Rembrandt-themed ice sculptures in Leiden

Posted on February 12th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Travel

Today we visited the Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival here in Leiden. The theme is the artist Rembrandt van Rijn. In 2006 Leiden celebrates the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth with different museum exhibits, festival events and other special expositions. The Ice Sculpture Festival features statues and scenes made of ice and snow, taken from the painter’s works and life. More »

Leiden overflowing with bikes

Posted on February 10th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland

The warehouses used by the municipality of Leiden to store improperly parked bicycles are nearly full. Because of this the city can no longer clear illegally parked bikes from the train station area. The city needs storage space for at least 3,000 bikes. More »

Leiden tourist info via cellphone

Posted on February 9th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Science & technology, Travel

Tourists in Leiden will soon be able to use their cellphones as a city guide. Using the network of Wireless Leiden, visitors will be able to hear tourist tips while out on the town, in their own language. Information on restaurants, shops and cafes will also be available. More »

Leiden-only Rembrandt money coming soon

Posted on February 9th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Travel

A series of special Rembrandt coins will be available to the public starting February 15. The coins will be issued in Leiden and can be used as legal tender at participating stores and restaurants in the Leiden area. More »

Travel book praises small Leiden museum

Posted on February 9th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Travel

American travel book publisher Let’s Go has named Molenmuseum De Valk in Leiden, the Netherlands, as a unique travel destination with outstanding service. More »

Flu shot, schmoo shot

Posted on February 8th 2006 by Amy in Personal

I was so proud of myself for getting a flu shot last December. Well guess what? I’m sick. More »

Dutch language lacks logic?! Ask the Dutch!

Posted on February 5th 2006 by Amy in Life in Holland, Personal

As a foreigner living in the Netherlands, I could’ve told you that the Dutch language is difficult. But 60% of people surveyed (presumably native Dutch speakers) in December said that the language was not only difficult, but also illogical. 58% had difficulty with spelling words found in a simple correspondence. Only 37% said that Dutch was an easy and logical language. In August 2006 some new spelling rules will come into effect. 67% of those surveyed knew nothing of the new rules. 42% still struggled with the spelling rules applied in 1995. More »