Saturday, September 3, 2016

It's All Greek to Me


 Actually, it's German and I'm in Hamburg at a very fancy restaurant in a very fancy department store called Alsterhaus. 
The gourmet lunch buffet was fabulous and very reasonable!

My Taste Buds are Watering


Yes, make sure, if you are ever in Hamburg, you have lunch at Alsterhaus.  It's fancier than any department store in New York City!

Hamburg...Meaning Castle or Fort


Originally built at the command of the Emperor Charlemagne in 950, this historic town in northern Germany near the North Sea, is now the second largest city in the country.  Whew...this architecture took my breath away and did you notice the angel way up on top?

Quack, Quack at the Gateway to the World




This is the Elbe River which flows into the North Sea.  I loved seeing the old folks, all bundled up against the summer cold, feeding the ducks and watching the sailboats fly by.

Watching the World Go By




Hamburg was a fun town to visit...lots of bikes, young people, and
beautiful waterways to pedal around.

Bargains Ahead?


And now I am ready to go shopping in Hamburg!  Not exactly sure what that sale sign means.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Friends in the Netherlands



Simon and Marieke were so good to me on my visit to their home in The Hague.  They took me to many interesting places.  This canal is in the city of Leiden.  Come on along and I'll show you some more of the sights...

A Robot?



Nope, this is a parking meter in Leiden...sure looks like a robot to me.

A Two-story Home?




Take a better look and you'll see that this photograph shows a reflection of the brick house on one of the many canals in Leiden.  Did you notice the bird's nest?

Hundreds of Years Old





Leiden was established in the early 1300's, many years before Columbus landed in America.  The architecture is breathtaking and has so much character....details, details, details.  This town is home to  the oldest university in the Netherlands, also.







Coats of Arms




These shields, filled with symbols and figures, represent a family, a person, an organization, and sometimes, city or a country.  Medieval knights wore the coats over their armor.

A Secret Passage?



Hmmmm.  This little door on the canal gave me pause.  Never did find out if it opened or where it went!  A mystery.

My Favorite Mode of Transportation



Yes, this bicycle is not just a way to go from here to there on two wheels....which is my key to freedom.  I love the wind blowing in my fur and stopping anytime I want to sightsee or chat with friends.  This bike is more than that, it's advertising a restaurant.

A Souvenir, Perhaps?



There was such a fabulous selection of pottery in Leiden at little tourist shops.  See anything that would suit you?  I recommend this town!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Yes, I am in the Netherlands




Windmills, windmills everywhere!  Yes, those blades are turning today and creating free energy.  I love sustainability.  I'm a green dog, you know!





And on the Back Side



This wheel on the back of the windmill is for turning the blades to catch the wind as it changes direction.   It's like the wheel on a ship that turns the rudder which turns the boat.  

The Lowlands



This sweet, stone cottage along the canal is typical of many of the homes that line the waterways near the ocean in Holland. This country is right at sea level so the land is covered with canals. Did you notice the climbing roses! Take a whiff.

A Closer Look



Dutch houses are very solid, the roofs are very steep, and the walls are thick.  It gets pretty cold here in the winter.  Read the story, HANS BRINKER AND THE SILVER SKATES, and you will know just how freezing it gets in the Netherlands.


Uh, Oh!



Do you see how close the road is to the canal?  Yikes!  What happens when it rains?

Got Fish?



When you live on the sea, you eat a lot of fish.  This fishmonger didn't talk me into eating any on his herring.  I just shook my head and wrinkled my nose and very politely said, "No, thank you, I'm partial to dog biscuits."

Go Green, Ride Your Bike!



I am going to encourage my friends back in Hawaii to ride their bikes more and take lessons from the Dutch.  I want everyone's carbon footprint to lessen.  What's good for me and my heart is good for the planet.

Grrrrrrr



This is the coat of arms for the City of Leiden in the Netherlands.  Can you find anymore about it?  I searched and searched, but I can't read Dutch.

Dum, Dum, Da, Dum



I almost got swept away on this wonderfully-decorated bike, but then I remembered, those wedding bells weren't ringing for me!  Bye, bye Leiden.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How Do You Say, "Welcome" in Dutch?



This is a surf village in the Netherlands in the beachtown of Scheveningen.  It's open to surfers from all over Europe.  Welcome.

Here We Go....We Are Here!



This is the layout of the surf camp.  Let's explore further. 
Come along....And it's okay if you only speak English.

Looks Pretty Comfy!



So, if you arrive at the F.A.S.T. surf camp and need to rent a bed, here it is.  This site is city property turned summer destination for wave riders. 

Or You Could Rent a Surf Shack



There were many living situations at F.A.S.T. surf camp.  Many wave riders drove their vans down to Scheveningen, near The Hague, as this village and former fishing center, has the best surf on the coast of the Netherlands.

Close Quarters




Doesn't this look like fun!  It's pretty tight, but all I talked to were enjoying their stay and happy with the way the surf camp was being run.

The Campsite Includes a Restaurant




Up on the hill, oppposite the beach, was a warm and welcoming cafe in the surf village.  I had hot tea, and you really needed to be drinking something hot because even though it was summer, there was a chill in the air.

Yes, Very Inviting




What I love most about traveling around the world is making new friends and the F.A.S.T. surf campsite was a perfect spot for that.  Sipping hot tea in the warm afternoon sun with fellow surfers was heavenly.  Those who ride waves in their own country and around the world are so excited when I tell them I'm from Sunset Beach.

...And for Some Exercise in the Sand




Yes, a huge volleyball court for all the visiting boardriders and windsurfers at the F.A.S.T. surf camp.

Project Leader




This is Johnny who created the F.A.S.T surf camp on city property.  The land, next to the best surf spot in the Netherlands, wasn't being used so he proposed a temporary site for camping.  The government agreed and presto changeo!   How cool. 

Friends Are Everything




I am treated so well by friends and strangers when I travel.  Maybe it's my good looks or maybe it's my soft fur, but, most likely, it's my friendly attitude.  Simon and his two dogs led me to this campsite so I could learn more about their surfing village.  Now, that's a good friend.

As I've Said Before, Catch a Wave and You're.....




This wave is an art piece created from beach litter. 
Protect the sea, the ocean, and the river wherever you travel. 
Take good care of the Earth and take a bag to the shore and pick up what shouldn't be there and dispose of it at home.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Let's Go Surfing Now!



Even though the water is very, very cold, the waves at Scheveningen in the Netherlands draw brave surfers.

Beachcombing, Anyone?



What a treasure trove of seashells.  I love to collect rocks and shells as I travel the world, and this coast near The Hague in the Netherlands was a perfect spot!

Brrrrrrrrrr



My toes are getting a little numb.  I wonder how those birds do it?  The North Sea is a lot colder than the Pacific Ocean.  I am absolutely spoiled living in Hawaii.

A New Board, Perhaps?



Eddy owns VERSUS, a small surf shop in Scheveningen.  He was proud to show off his store's collection.  Hmmmmmm, think I'll pass this time around.  Did you notice the thick wet suits on the rack in the back?


Did Someone say, "Surf's Up?"



Back on the beach with two buddies who are waiting for their master to come in.  I sure love making new friends!

The North Sea Warning Light



Wherever I travel, it seems I always end up near the water.  This classic lighthouse in the fishing village and surfing town of Scheveningen caught my attention.  Isn't it tall compared to me?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bikes, Bikes Everywhere!



Should you ever venture to the Netherlands, you must learn to ride a bike.  They are everywhere.  Here I am in Rotterdam and in every direction there are bicycles.  I love it!  So sustainable....and healthy.

A Car, a Trolley, or a Bike?



Your choice.  Notice the tracks, the road, and the bike path.  I wish Honolulu had these opportunities to get from here to there, from the beach to the mountains.  We did have trolley cars long ago.

Watch Out!



You had better look where you are walking in Rotterdam.  Bikes are flying by, scooters are zooming close, and the trolley cars are coming every which way! And, of course, unless you are Dutch, you can't read the street signs. Yikes!

Baskets and Bicycles



I love, love the beautiful bouquets.  This bike made my heart full.  I had to stop and take a better look and appreciate the innovative (that's a "Fancy Nancy" word which means "clever") way to bring beauty to the streets of Rotterdam. What's your opinion?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

On the Continent



Finally.....after a night's long journey on the ferry from Harwich, England, to Rotterdam, Netherlands, I have arrived.  I really need my little doggy coat.  It's nippy here and I am so used to the tropics that I am shivering!

Say...........CHEESE



Marieke showed me around her hometown, a small fishing and surfing village near The Hague called Schevenigen.  Oh, my, have you ever seen so much cheese?  Take a whiff!!