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Tulip Island

Posted on November 9th 2007 by Arthur in Life in Holland, News

The Dutch government is investigating the possibility of building an island off the North Sea coast for highly needed new farmland in our overcrowded country. Dutch contractors also built the Palm Islands in Dubai. Political party CDA suggested this week to build an island in the shape of a tulip. I’m not sure how practical this would be, but it would sure look cool on Google Maps:

Dutch tulip island

 

Ice Cream + Boat = Ice Cream Boat!

Posted on October 28th 2007 by Arthur in Funny, Life in Holland, Travel

On 24 August, the day before we visited the Vogelfestival this year, we went to the city of Giethoorn, which is known in the Netherlands as the “Venice of the North”. We got an electric boat from the many rental companies and made a two-hour tour around the city and adjacent nature area and lake. There were many boats out on this beautiful summer day, and on the lake we found a boat selling packaged ice creams! There was a girl on a small barge and an Ola freezer selling ice creams to passing boats:

Ice Cream Boat in Giethoorn

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Vogelfestival 2007

Posted on August 26th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Events, Life in Holland, Nature

Yesterday we visited the annual Vogelfestival (“Bird Fair”), organised by the Dutch State Forestry, SOVON and Vogelbescherming Nederland, the Dutch partner of BirdLife International. It is a major event for bird and birding enthusiasts and is modelled after the British Birdfair held in Rutland Water. The annual Dutch event has grown to include over 100 exhibitors and is attended by more than 15,000 visitors. The fair is held at the Oostvaardersplassen, an important nature reserve (see also our visit there in March 2007).

Vogelfestival 2007

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Our first Dutch Kingfishers, at Lepelaarsplassen in Flevoland

Posted on August 26th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature

Yesterday we saw our first Common Kingfisher (‘IJsvogel’) in the Netherlands. Also known as the European Kingfisher, it is the only Kingfisher in the Netherlands and most of Europe. We had just visited the Vogelfestival (“Bird Festival”) in nearby Oostvaardersplassen, an important nature reserve (see also our visit there in March 2007). We had already seen the Common Kingfisher in India (on 26 April 2006) and 9 different species in other countries, but for a long time I wanted to see one in Holland. Finally seeing these two at such close proximity was an exceptionally nice end to a great birding day that was also my birthday.

Common Kingfisher

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Hunnebedcentrum in Borger

Posted on August 3rd 2007 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Travel

A hunebed (Dutch for ‘Dolmen’) is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, consisting of three or more upright stones (megaliths) supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table). Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 BC to 3000 BC). The Netherlands have 54 of these prehistoric graves, and 52 are in the province of Drenthe. The largest one is located near the Hunnebedcentrum visitor center in Borger that we visited last Sunday.

Hunebeddencentrum
Hunebed D27 near the visitor center in Borger

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Treetop walking in Drenthe

Posted on August 2nd 2007 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Nature, Travel

Last Sunday we visited Boomkroonpad (‘Tree Top Path’), a 2,500 hectare (6,000 acre) forest preserve in Drenthe, here in the Netherlands. The main attraction at Boomkroonpad is a path of 125 meters (410 feet) through the tree tops, reaching a height of 22,5 meters (74 feet). Unfortunately it was pouring down on our visit and we didn’t see any birds or wildlife. But still it was an extremely fun walk that we will need to do again once when the weather is better. There is also a very nice visitor center with shop, restaurant and lots of activities and trails.

Boomkroonpad
Entrance to the Boomkroonpad area

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Roller coaster passengers in Dutch theme park escape death

Posted on August 1st 2007 by Arthur in Life in Holland, News

Passengers of the Python roller coaster in the Dutch theme park De Efteling were lucky to survive a serious incident yesterday. The double-loop roller coaster (constructed in 1981) had gotten stuck at a high point of the track, with its first few cars hanging over the the incline. More »

Seal rehabilitation center in Pieterburen

Posted on July 31st 2007 by Arthur in Life in Holland, Nature

Map of Netherlands with Pieterburen and Amsterdam markedOn Saturday we visited Zeehondencrèche Lenie ‘t Hart in the town of Pieterburen in the north of the Netherlands. The seal rehabilitation and research center has been taking care of sick and injured seals since it was founded in 1971.

They do really great work and need every support they can get. You can donate money or adopt a seal. More »

Aggressive sparrows attack apple pie

Posted on July 21st 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Funny, Life in Holland, Nature

On our visit of the beautiful town of Marken in Noord Holland today we sat down outside at café ‘De Visscher’ and we each ordered a hot chocolate and a piece of apple pie. The weather was beautiful and we had a great view of the harbor. Here is Amy in her FBI shirt, still unaware of the invasion that would soon follow.

Sparrows in Marken

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Our visit to Waverhoek and Botshol

Posted on July 16th 2007 by Arthur in Birds, Life in Holland, Nature

On Saturday we visited Waverhoek and Botshol, north of Utrecht, for a ranger-led boat excursion by Natuurmonumenten. We arrived about an hour early for the boat excursion, which left from number 2 on the map below, so we drove on left a little bit and came across a new nature reserve of Natuurmonumenten that just opened to the public on 30 June 2007, Waverhoek at number 1 on the map below. Until recently this triangular area was just farmland, as you can still see on this map, but they flooded the area to make a wetlands for birds.

Map of Botshol

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