Archive for April, 2007

Surprise visit to the Netherlands & Hunstanton Beach

Hello!

Sorry for the lack of updates – I’ve been drowning in work! I had to work very hard but the good news is that I finally have results and that’s such a relief. I can finally start my PhD ๐Ÿ˜‰

Two weeks ago I went for a surprise visit to the Netherlands! My brother is still doing very well with Motifive, the student company selling foldable lunch boxes that won the second price in Europe… They had to close the company down (as it was a school project), but he started it up again with one of the other members.

A while ago he was about to get a very good deal with a supermarket, and he told me: if I get it, I’ll get you a ticket to come celebrate. I didn’t take it very seriously, as he later said he would send me a rowing boat ๐Ÿ˜‰ While driving back from Wales, I found out that he meant it… and I got a ticket to come to the Netherlands from Friday night till Sunday night. Nobody (except my brother of course) knew that I was coming!

Flying from Norwich to Amsterdam on the last Friday flight is quite interesting as most passengers are Dutch people working for Shell or other oil companies, going home for the weekend. It’s quite easy to recognise them, there’s lots of them and they all seem to know each other. I was seated between many of them, pretended to be English (I was reading an English book, that helps), and was eavesdropping on their conversations. Quite funny, especially since one of them was 35+, had sold his house in the Netherlands and permanently lived in Norwich, but was still flying back every weekend…… to visit HIS PARENTS!! Imagine…

Anyway… as most of you know, I really enjoy flying and love to take pictures. This time I was quite lucky, even though it was hazy. There were lots of interesting things to see! Over sea I saw these cloud streets crossing each other – I had never seen that before! I also saw an interesting wave phenomenon in the middle of the sea and perpendicular to the coast further on, Paul later explained that they are caused by Langmuir circulation in the ocean. Apparently it’s very rare to see this!

Clouds Waves

We flew over Noordwijk again, in the first photo you can see the flower fields in the distance!

Noordwijk Noordwijk

Then we flew over the flower fields, there were not that many in bloom anymore however – a pity!

Flower fields Flower fields

Now that second photo (above) is something really cool – I recognised a building I photographed 4 years ago… See these two photos below:

Flower fields Flower fields

Isn’t that cool!!

My brother picked me up from Schiphol, and he told me to enter the house ‘like I just came back from buying some bread’. My parents were watching tv and were SO surprised when I suddenly walked into the room. They nearly fell from their chairs ๐Ÿ˜‰

My dad never quite got over the surprise, he kept telling me I ruined his whole plan for the weekend hehe… of course he didn’t mean that. I had a great time at home! On Sunday it was my brothers 22nd birthday, and everyone was there.

The weekend flew by and on Sunday night I flew back to Norwich. The flight was pretty, it was at sunset and we flew over IJmuiden, I could recognize a lot! Unfortunately it was too dark to take photos, none of them turned out.

Here is a last photo of the Netherlands, these are some glass kind of eggs that my mum has in a bowl on the table – I really like them and had to take this photo ๐Ÿ™‚

Blue

Back in Norwich, we decided to go to Hunstanton the following weekend. This was one place on the Norfolk coast we had both never been and it’s supposed to be pretty. The weather looked very nice, and I stubbornly decided that it was summer and wore sandals, shorts and a shirt.

Unfortunately the skies turned grey and it was quite cold, I was freezing whenever I stood still for too long. The cliffs of Hunstanton are spectacular indeed! I’d like to go back there one day with blue skies to get better photos ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see, the cliffs are very colourful, and have 3 distinctive layers: white chalk, (rare!) red chalk (with many fossils) and euhm something brown underneath, I don’t remember. Very pretty!

Hunstanton Hunstanton

Hunstanton Hunstanton

Hunstanton Hunstanton

Hunstanton Hunstanton

That was all, this weekend I haven’t done much even though the weather was nice… but we both had work to do :(. And… we’re flying to the Netherlands on Tuesday evening! Yes again, hehe… but this trip was planned months ago! We’re going for 6 days, and we’re going to bike from Gouda to Wageningen, camping along the way. It’s not very far, 150 km at most, but we’ll take about three days. We’re visiting Celia and Gert-Jan in Wageningen, and will celebrate

“Bevrijdingsdag” (Liberation Day) with them in Wageningen. For those who are not Dutch: in the Netherlands we have remembrance/memorial day on the evening of the 4th of May (for the victims of the second world war), and then the next day is to celebrate our freedom. Wageningen played a big role in the Second World War – one
of the biggest fights took place very nearby, the fight that caused the capitulation of the Netherlands, and at the end of the war the capitulation of Germany was signed in Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen. Because of this, the biggest Freedom Day celebrations take place in Wageningen, it’s a big music festival and there is also a veteranโ€™s parade. It’s a great day, and many old-Wageningers come back to Wageningen on that day, it will be fun to see some of my old friends again!

So stay tuned for photos of our trip to the Netherlands ๐Ÿ™‚

A week in Wales

Helloooo,

I’ve just come back from a very wonderful week in Wales… A week of sunny weather, red noses, beaches, mountains, bridges and chocolate eggs ๐Ÿ™‚

Paul’s parents have a house in North Wales, very near the coast. It’s actually located in the Snowdonia National Park. We drove there on Tuesday evening, it takes about 6 hours!

The next morning we went for a nice walk on the beach near the house, it’s very pretty. There were some swans there, sunbathing I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰ The panorama photo I took doesn’t want to become straight so I just left it like this.

Wales Wales

Wales

Later in the afternoon we went to Harlech Beach, a huge beach! We played with Paul’s boomerang, or actually, he played with it, I took photos of him (trying to!) catch it. We walked back through Harlech. The photo of the road is the first Welsh word I learnt… You can see it everywhere! Just like on my trip to/from Antarctica the Spanish word that stayed with me is “salida” (exit). Spent too much time in airports, hehe.

Wales Wales

Another thing about Wales: they have LOTS of sheep… And we were there at the right time, little lambs everywhere… so cute!! Here is a photo of family Sheep and a sign about lambing time, in English and Welsh. Welsh is really complicated! It’s spoken quite a lot, but to me it always sounded East European in a way. They are very proud of their language and I saw many road signs where someone had tried to erase the English translation.

Wales Wales

One day we went for a nice walk from Barmouth. There is a rail bridge that you can cross on foot for 70p ๐Ÿ™‚ The bridge is beautiful and the views from the bridge are even better! We walked up to a quarry where they used to mine copper (if I’m correct). Now it’s just a pretty blue lake surrounded by high rock walls. The sport of the local youth is to jump down into the (very deep) lake. Ahh I would be so scared, you have to jump forward quite a bit to reach the water. It was fun watching them though! Here are the bridge photos…

Wales Wales

The next day we went to Portmadog with Paul’s parents. We parked the car outside the little town and walked over the rail bridge. Another bridge with nice views ๐Ÿ™‚ We also visited a cute little place in a bay that dries out at low tide (the tide differences are very big around there). See the panorama photo. The two first photos are taken from the bridge, one in the afternoon and one in the evening at sunset.

Wales Wales

Wales Wales

The next day we decided to climb a mountain nearby. This was quite an adventure as there was no path, lots of bogs (I stepped into a deep one, fortunately when we were almost back at the car!), lots of prickly bushes… But we made it to the top, the view was great!

Wales Wales

At the top, there was one of those things that they used to measure distances, and we wanted to take a photo of us on it. In the first photo, the camera went off too early, hehe.

Wales Wales

Here is another photo taken at the top, and one of the mossy stream we saw on the way back.

Wales Wales

The next day Paul went sailing with his dad, and I followed them from the shore and took some photos. There was a cute little dog trying to come on the boat with them ๐Ÿ™‚

Wales

Later that day we went for a walk. We crossed the bay at low tide to get to a small island in the bay. We did have to take our shoes off and wade through a gully, but it was a very nice walk!

Wales Wales

Wales Wales

Wales Wales

Wales Wales

JUMP!

Wales

It was such an amazing week, we stayed longer than we planned to. We had a nice time with his parents as well. It started raining on Monday and when it was still cloudy on Tuesday, we decided to go back to Norwich. Of course the sunny weather came back on Wednesday, but well.

On the way back we stopped at a parking place next to the road and climbed up this mountain, the view was really great:

Wales Wales

We drove back to Norwich last night. Paul was bored while I was driving, so he took some pictures of me…

Wales

That’s all… what a great Easter break! I’m looking forward to going back to Wales one day.

Daffodils & Ladybirds

Hello!

Spring arrived in Norwich a few weeks ago, and in late March we went for a bike ride south of Norwich. We found fields of daffodils there! Apparently flower fields are also found outside my little country ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was very pretty!

Daffodils & Ladybirds Daffodils & Ladybirds

Daffodils & Ladybirds Daffodils & Ladybirds

Celebrating Spring!

Daffodils & Ladybirds

I’ve recently discovered the digital macro on my compact digital camera, I’m quite amazed with it! Here are some photos taken in the macro mode:

Daffodils & Ladybirds Daffodils & Ladybirds

Daffodils & Ladybirds Daffodils & Ladybirds

That’s all, just wanted to share those Spring photos ๐Ÿ™‚