Five years ago today, on 28 April 2003, we did one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. On this day we made a hot air balloon ride over Luxor and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Seeing the sunrise over the Nile was a wonderful experience. Here are some photos of this exciting journey:
Today we visited the weekly Kaasmarkt in Alkmaar, which is apparently the largest cheese market in the world! This cheese market was started in 1365 and since 1939 Alkmaar has been the only place in the Netherlands to maintain the cheese market in this traditional form. It is mainly done for tourists now and held from mid-April to mid-September on every Friday morning from 10:00 to 12:30 on the center square of town.
The last three days we have seen the Rose-ringed Parakeet in our backyard here in Leiden every day and today it seems to be hanging around the whole time. Our neighbors have also taken note of it. Here are some better photos than the ones I posted on Wednesday.
Just two months after our backyard was for the first time visited by two Goldfinches, today we saw another species: a Rose-ringed Parakeet! These birds are originally from tropical Africa and India but have established feral populations in a number of cities around the world, including London and the Randstad area in the Netherlands. We hear them fly by our house quite often and sometimes we see them sitting high up in trees in our neighborhood. This was the best view we had of one since we saw them in India:
Here’s some good news: six new tiger cubs were sighted at India’s national wildlife sanctuary Ranthambore this year. This brings the total number of tigers in the park to 38! 😀
In March 2006 we were fortunate enough to see tigers at Ranthambore on our vacation in Rajasthan. That was such an exciting moment; the park is beautiful and even without seeing tigers we would have had a great visit, but all of a sudden an adult tiger crossed the road just in front of our jeep:
Yesterday we visited Madurodam, the smallest town in the Netherlands. Madurodam is a tourist attraction near the Hague where typical Dutch buildings and landmarks are displayed at a 1:25 scale. Here’s a video of some of the things we saw:
I don’t want to be too negative, but I admit there will be some things I won’t miss when we move from the Netherlands. More »
As we plan to move from the Netherlands to the U.S., I have been thinking about what I will miss the most once we are settled in our new place. Besides our dear family, I am sure I will miss a few other things.
Ever since I moved to the Netherlands to live with Arthur in May 1999, it has always been our plan to move to the U.S. ‘someday’. In late 2006 we finally made the decision that we would move in early 2009. At that time the plan was to start looking into the process in early 2008. In mid-2007 we decided to move up our plans by several months and by the end of 2007 we decided we would try to move as soon as possible. In order to move we would have two major tasks: applying for Arthur’s immigrant visa, and selling our home in Leiden. More »