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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 »

Duikvaker scuba diving show in Utrecht

Posted on February 4th 2006 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Personal, Scuba Diving

Today we visited Duikvaker, a dive show dubbed “the diving event of the year”. Earlier in the week an ad ran in the Spits! newspaper that invited readers to enter a drawing for free tickets. I entered, and won two tickets. More »

Push or pull? Doors on public buildings

Posted on February 3rd 2006 by Arthur in Leiden, Life in Holland

In the United States all exit doors of public buildings open outward for fire safety reasons that came into effect after the 1908 Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago, in which 602 people died. When the panicked crowd reached the doors, the crush of people prevented those in the front from opening the doors. It is still the worst single-building fire in U.S. history. I am surprised that after all this time here in Europe there are no such fire safety rules, at least not here in Holland as far as I know. In fact, most exits in public buildings here open inward. Does it take a tragedy as the one in Chicago to change this? More »

It is final: Disney buys Pixar

Posted on January 25th 2006 by Arthur in Disney, Leiden, Movies, News, Pop culture

After a lot of rumours it is now official that Disney acquires Pixar for $7.4 billion. I think this is a great deal for both companies. I was disappointed a few years ago when Michael Eisner let go of Disney’s contract with Pixar, but now it looks like Disney will continue to distribute Pixar’s films as it has for the last 12 years. More »

Dolphin stranding at Oostvoornsemeer

Posted on December 22nd 2005 by Arthur in Leiden, Life in Holland, Nature, News

This week a White-beaked dolphin stranded in the Oostvoornsemeer, a lake south-west of Rotterdam here in the Netherlands. It is a very popular spot for diving schools, and it is where we finished our PADI Open Water Diver course this summer. Two bird-watchers spotted the dolphin and called the Eerste Hulp Bij Zeezoogdieren (EHBZ), or First Aid for Sea Mammals, who think the dolphin swam into the Rotterdam harbor last weekend during a storm. More »

Parking problems

Posted on December 14th 2005 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland

Imagine, if you will, an extremely popular parking lot. This parking lot is so in-demand that, when every single space is filled, people cram their vehicles in the tiny areas between the legitimate spots. People leave their vehicles in the middle of aisles, brazenly blocking the exit path of others. Vehicles are left in a rush, allowed to crash on their sides and obstruct walkways. More »

Museums in Leiden

Posted on November 23rd 2005 by Amy in Leiden, Life in Holland, Museums, Travel

Leiden is a great place to live for a lot of reasons. It is picturesque, with cute small streets and old shop fronts, a moat-like canal around the center and several waterways passing through the middle, plus city gates, a castle fortification, and windmills. More »