Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Holland/Scotland Trip, December 2012 - Part 2

Things that caught my eye...

                                                             A strange-looking bird

Some sites around Delft, Amsterdam and the Hague.


Notice those white spots splattered all over the ground in this picture below?  Make a mental note of it...want to try and guess what they are?

The Het Loo Palace, a historical monument (love the red of the windows)

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3 -The gardens

A signboard we found interesting, outside the Het Loo Palace -  we decided to interprete it as "hold hands when you get to this spot"...

So hold hands we did :)

(It actually means 'meeting place' - like if you get lost somewhere in the palace, come back to this point - not sure if this is true but they can tell us anything, right?  Haha!)

Some of the things you can see inside....would love this little caravan as a craft workroom!

Smaller vintage carriages in all shapes and sizes..when I asked what animal drew these since they were so small, a visitor said goats.  Really?  They can tell us dwarfs and we'd still not know better, would we?

There wasn't any snow when we were there.  This was an outdoor, artificial ice-skating rink.  We found it interesting that chairs were used for the younger kids to sit on.

Night scenes


A lovely Christmas tree - "oooo....maybe I could make one of these" (see post on my DIY tree)

The famous story of the boy at the dyke - "oh no, have I ever told my three homeschooled kids this story when they were young?"

Large windows at apartments and houses and no grill! -  "would never work in non-safe Kuala Lumpur".

"For Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear?"

This van made me happy - "need to remember to eat vegetables while we're here."  Wish I could paint our car something like this.

 See those white spots again, splattered all over the ground?

 For some reason, I found these four terribly cute!

This lady in costume, in a cheese shop - "she looks like that Dutch Lady picture on our milk tins back in the day".  She was cute, when we took photos with her, she told us to "SAY CHEEEEEEEEESE!"  Hahahaha!

Tulips (the flowers Holland is famous for) were not in season, but surprisingly flowers were about the same price as in Malaysia.

Wow,some kids will so love these.  Actually, I can think of some adults, too.

How we moved around.



On foot (SEE those white spots on the ground??)

Bicycle!  We rented these for one day to cycle around, like regular Dutch people!

Tourists and amateur riders get the red-coloured bikes, hahaa, so people could get out of our way I guess!
(see? see those white spots?  everywhere!)

Know what those white spots are?
get ready for this..
hold your heart..
Dried-up, flattened chewing gum.

p/s  Thanks Matthias, for some of these photos!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Holland/Scotland Trip, December 2012 - Part 1

My husband works for Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and three of us in the family get free tickets (once a year) to any destination MAS flies to - my husband Paul, my youngest daughter Tammy, and I.  In order to make this happen, we have to save...a lot... so that we don't live on instant noodles on our trips! 

This year we decided to visit these two Dutch guys, then hop over to Edinburgh in Scotland to see a Malaysian friend who has been working there a number of years, May Lee (blog post on Edinburgh will follow later).

Richard and Matthias came to Malaysia (at different times) and only met each other when we were in Holland.  Both are industrial art students who did their internship here.  They are our church friends, badminton friends, Monopoly-and-other-board-games friends.
Richard, Paul (my husband) and Matthias - single and ready to mingle...the two Dutch guys, not the guy in the middle.  The guy in the middle is double and quite often gets into ...............(fill in the blank yourself :)

Matthias' precious family!  There are seven kids altogether, how awesome is that?   I think this photo was taken by a professional, it was framed up in their house.  What a lovely, lovely family!

This was the first time I was going to c-c-cold countries and in the winter so I packed and re-packed a number of times - I am not good in the cold!  It turns out the time we were there, the lowest it got to was 4 degrees Celsius in Holland, and 2 in Edinburgh.

But first, what's a photo without trees, eh? (wink)

                                                     Outside the Het Loo Palace

                                          This was at a park in Amsterdam

And what's a trip to Holland if you don't visit the windmills?  It was drizzling and too cold for me here!  I was usually in four layers of clothes, including thermal-underwear!

Madurodam is a must-place to go to when in Amsterdam.  Everything there is made in miniature-size.  So much attention was put into details, including miniature trees and shrubs, vehicles and boats (some that moved!) and people. The thought that came to me was that had we such a place in Malaysia, it would have been vandalised in a very short time!  What a sad thought.

Look at the crazy details of the moss on the walls of the building, and the cobblestone pavement!

This is a miniature building called The Sting, and to show you how accurately they followed the original building, I found we had taken a photo of it...

Food we ate (because Malaysians will ask!)

On the evening we were with Matthias' family, we had an assortment of yummy stuff to grill at the dining table - meats, pancake mix, egg and various vegetables like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms. (Oh, and his dad makes the most amazing coffee!  and I'm not even a coffee person!)

A snack plate of bites one afternoon at the beach (yes, cold like crazy and the guys, my husband the main instigator, wanted to go to the beach - to bungee jump! The bungee-jump place was closed - I wonder why, huh?)

Lots of bread with meat/sausage, burgers, hotdogs, Subway-looking sandwiches.  And lots of coffee!  and hot chocolate!

The boys cooked yummy pasta for us one night.  And boy, can you eat when you're cold and hungry and have done a lot of walking!

A savoury pancake with bacon on top (gosh, this looks yummier now that I'm looking at it again!) Ok, I've used to the word yummy too often...

yummy - ambrosial, appetizing, choice, delectable, delightful, divine, enticing, fit for a king, good, heavenly, juicy, luscious, mouthwatering, nectarous, out of this world, palatable, piquant, pleasant, rich, sapid, savory, scrumptious, spicy, succulent, super, sweet, tasteful, tasty, tempting, toothsome

One night, we decided to eat something different so we went to an Argentinian cafe (stout waiters, animal hides on wall, leather menu..) and ordered spare ribs.  Ooooo....

This funny man was humming as he made crepes at the fruit market, something Tammy was instantly drawn to. 

The crepes.

 Not the fruit market. 

 No, not the humming.  

No, not the man either.

I asked if the singing came free-of-charge and he said yes, and he asked if I wanted jazz, rock, the blues....and proceeded to bellow at the top of his voice! Hahaha!  Les Miserable, coming up!

Crepe that Tammy ordered - with banana, cinnamon and other stuff you will find in heaven.  See that face? 

P/S  Thank you to all who made so many comments on my last post (the DIY Christmas tree) - I have compiled them all under the comments section of that blog post, as well as responded to each one.  Do leave comments/questions here on this trip to Holland.   I love your comments!  Also, if you haven't signed up as a follower, that's on the right-hand side of the page.  Coming up soon in Part 2- things that caught my eye in Holland!