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Travelog for: Papelbon

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 17th December 2008

By: Eryah


I survived my first trip. It was sometimes cold, and sometimes i felt a little bit scared, but today i finally arrived at my first host. She comforts me the moment i came out of the envelope, and... i'm not alone!

But now i'm very tired and go to bed. I post pictures as soon as possible.

Big Hugs Papelbon

* Posted Dec 17, 2008, 7:05 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 18th December 2008

By: Eryah


Today i can show you my very first picture.
When i arrived i heard several voices talking. But it was dark in my envelope and i had no idea what to expect. Finally i saw some light. It hurt my eyes the first seconds, but after that i was used to it and saw my host and another TV.
Great to meet another one!

I think we can be good friends. Mr. Bubbles is a friendly fish. Hopefully i won't get to hungry here....

Big hugs Papelbon

* Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:50 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 19th December 2008

By: Eryah


Today I asked Eva to tell me everything she know about Alkmaar and the Netherlands. She told me some interesting stories!


Alkmaar is above all Holland's cheese town. During the season from the first Friday of April to the first Friday of September a traditional cheese market is being held here on Friday mornings between 10 and 12.30. The cheeses are sold by dealers on a clap of hands. Thereupon the 400 year old cheese porters' guild goes into action, carrying the cheese off on barrows after the lot has been weighed at the Waag (the official scales). In the Waaggebouw - in which the scales are housed - a cheese museum that tells everything about dairy farming has been established.
Cheese has been weighed in Alkmaar since 1635.

Alkmaar is historical with around 400 monuments. The Waag, dating back in its earliest form to the 14th century, the 16th century town-hall, Grote St. Laurens Church and the many courtyards, facades and canals give the town an ambience all of its own. With the past as a setting, the town has a modern stock of shops offering a wide choice. Besides the predominantly small shops in the old centre, the Noorder Arcade with large scale shopping facilities stands by the side of the Noord Holland Canal.

Alkmaar is the biggest town in the region. Relaxation can also be found in the Geestmerambacht recreational area close by.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland]) is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean. The Netherlands is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy, located in Western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.

The Netherlands is often called Holland. This is formally incorrect as North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country's twelve provinces. As a matter of fact, many Dutch people colloquially use Holland as a synecdoche, being well aware of the widespread use of this name. For more on this and other naming issues see terminology of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying and densely populated country. It is popularly known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, its dikes and surge barriers, and, on the other hand, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. But primarily, the Netherlands is a modern, advanced and open society. An old parliamentary democracy, the country is more recently known for its rather liberal policies toward recreational drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia. The Netherlands is also one of the most densely cabled countries in the world; its internet connection rate is 87.8%, the 2nd highest in the world.

The Netherlands has an international outlook; among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. Along with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Netherlands is one of three member nations of the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international(ised) courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. All of these courts (except the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), as well as the EU's criminal intelligence agency (Europol), are situated in The Hague, which has led to the city being referred to as "the world's legal capital."

A remarkable aspect of the Netherlands is its flatness. Hilly landscapes can be found only in the south-eastern tip of the country on the foothills of the Ardennes, the central part and where the glaciers pushed up several hilly ridges such as the Hondsrug in Drenthe, the stuwwallen (push moraines) near Arnhem and Nijmegen, Salland, Twente and the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.

Main article: Religion in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the more secular countries in the Western Europe, with only 39% being religiously affiliated (31% for those aged under 35), although 62% are believers (but 40% of those not in the traditional sense). Fewer than 20% visit church regularly .

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 34% of Dutch citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 37% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 27% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

In 1950, before the secularisation of Europe, and the large settlement of non-Europeans in the Netherlands, most Dutch citizens identified themselves as Christians. In 1950, out of a total population of almost 13 million, a total of 7,261,000 belonged to Protestant denominations, 3,703,000 belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, and 1,641,000 had no acknowledged religion.

However, Christian schools are still funded by the government, but the same applies for schools founded on other religions, nowadays Islam in particular. While all schools must meet strict quality criteria, from 1917 the freedom of schools is a basic principle in The Netherlands.

Three political parties in the Dutch parliament (CDA, ChristianUnion and SGP) base their policy on the Christian belief system.

Erasmus (1466–1536).The Netherlands has had many well-known painters. The 17th century, when the Dutch republic was prosperous, was the age of the "Dutch Masters", such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruysdael and many others. Famous Dutch painters of the 19th and 20th century were Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondriaan. M. C. Escher is a well-known graphics artist. Willem de Kooning was born and trained in Rotterdam, although he is considered to have reached acclaim as an American artist. Han van Meegeren was an infamous Dutch art forger.

The Netherlands is the country of philosophers Erasmus of Rotterdam and Spinoza. All of Descartes' major work was done in the Netherlands. The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) discovered Saturn's moon Titan and invented the pendulum clock. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms with a microscope.

In the Dutch Golden Age, literature flourished as well, with Joost van den Vondel and P.C. Hooft as the two most famous writers. In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the bad treatment of the natives in Dutch colonies. Important 20th century authors include Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Simon Vestdijk, Cees Nooteboom, Gerard (van het) Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she died in The Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages.

Replicas of Dutch buildings can be found in Huis ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan. A similar Holland Village is being built in Shenyang, China.

Windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, cheese and Delftware pottery are among the items associated with the Netherlands.

Big hugs Papelbon

* Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:53 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 20th December 2008

By: Eryah


I really wanna show you some pictures of Alkmaar and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands


This is the flag of the Netherlands


The Netherlands is a small country next to Germany and Belgium. On the left side lies the Nordsea.


Here you can see the Netherlands and the biggest towns. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.



The flag of Alkmaar


The weapon of Alkmaar


The map were you can see Alkmaar


This was the map of Alkmaar in 1652


The cities wich lies next to Alkmaar


and last but not least: the city hall of Alkmaar

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Big hugs Papelbon

* Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:54 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 21st December 2008

By: Eryah


Because Eva isn't able to go outside at the moment we decided to show you information and sites about Alkmaar at another way. I hope you enjoy it!


This cheese market is open every Friday morning between 10 and 12 from the first Friday in April until the first Friday in September. Market activities are explained in Dutch, German, English and sometimes Japanese. There are four teams (vemen) of cheese-porters (kaasdragers), who can be recognised by their differently coloured straw hats: red, blue, green and yellow. Two porters bring cheese on stretchers to the weighing house (Waag) - a typical stretcher "weighs in" at about 160 kilograms. Merchants sample the cheeses and decide on a price using a barter system called handjeklap, literally clapping hands.


Ruin church in Bergen:
This picturesque ruin church in Bergen once was the biggest church in Noord-Holland. From the 16th century church there is only a ruin left now, because the Beggars started a fire here. Only the choir of the church was rebuilt, so from the original church you can now only see the ruins.
In the village Bergen in Noord-Holland there are many beautiful old houses situated around the old village church.

Big church
During building the largest medieval church in Alkmaar, the church was already called the big church, because of its size. The big church is not only the largest and highest church in Alkmaar, but also the church which trough the centuries, stood most and called the jewel of the city. Originally the church was dedicated to Saint Laurens. That’s why, for centuries, the church is called The Saint Laurenschurch.

The church was probably designed by architect Anthonius Keldermans (Belgium) (1440-1512)

Beside Anthonius Keldermans brother, also his son was involved in the disign of the church, in which 26 freestanding columns support the roof. The Saint Laurens church is a basilica,

The outside walls rest on a fundation which is just below the ground. Built in the Brabant’s gothic style, which is bigger and more massive in its form than the French gothic. The building is 35 meters high and has a cross length of 85x56 meters. The outside walls rest on a one meter broad foundation which is just below thethe ground, and gradually becomes broader to a depth of tree meters. The last resauration of in-and exterieur was accomplished in 1996.

The large saint Laurens church counts two, world famous organs: Van Covelens organ (also called choir organ) and it VanHagerbeer/Schnitger or large organ. The choir organ descends from 1511 and has been placed against the northern wall of the church. The last restoration of this old, still playable, organ in the Netherlands, was completed in the year 2000. In 1636 arose the idea for the construction of a large organ in the church. Several organ builders have worked on it, but in 1645 Jacobus Caltus van Hagerbeer completed the large organ. Jacob Van Campen devised the organ cupboard and in 1643  Caesar Van Everdingen got the task to paint the doors of the organ cupboard with the ‘triomfe van den Coninck Saul’. This painting belongs to his first large work. Above the organ the painter Romeyn de Hooghe painted in baroque striking, (‘de deugd, die de ondeugd verplettert’)" virtue crushing the vice". From 1723 up to 1725 the large organ was restored and extended by Frans Caspar Schnitger. In course of time there have been several restorations on this organ.


St. Joseph Church
This church was put in use in 1910. Designed by famous church builders and students of PJH Cuypers, the Margry brothers. The church is built in neo-gothic style, which shows by the way the towers are placed and by the arched roofs.

The church is placed beautifully and is in possession of wonderful stained glass windows. The statue of Christ has been placed in 1948, in memory of Alkmaar war-victims. Their names are placed on a memorial plaque on the churches wall.

Big hugs Papelbon

* Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:57 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 22nd December 2008

By: Eryah


Today Eva had a suprise for me, to welcome me in the Netherlands.

I had no idea were we are going to...

It was the Dutch Mac Donalds!



Big hugs Papelbon

p.s. the food was delicious!

* Posted Dec 20, 2008, 12:12 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 24th December 2008

By: Eryah


Today we went to Bergen in Nord-Holland.
There's a beautifull forest.
Unfortunally it's fall, so the trees have no leaves anymore. But still it was wonderfull to be there!



A fallen tree

It storms very often in the west of the Netherlands.


Big Hugs Papelbon

* Posted Dec 24, 2008, 1:54 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 26th December 2008

By: Eryah


It's christmas!
My host family went to Den Helder to visit their family.

Den Helder has ever started with the arising of Huisduinen, a whaler village. Gradually it developed into Den Helder which we know now. A city which was built within the linies of the forten. Later formed a number of districts there around. The space between the different town parts is characteristic. Den Helder is a city with a strongly maritime screen. Sea-going, the rescue being, the offshore and the royal Navy natural.

The Navy has stipulated many years' the image of Den Helder. But the Navy shrank in, Den Helder threatened to become a city with no face. By nourishing the culturehistory , the tales of the seaman and with that the coherent heroiek Den Helder has rediscovered its own core values.

Eva told me this while i was watching the ship-building yard.

The Netherlands has a few islands. The best known is Texel.
We were standing on the dunes in Den Helder and saw Texel because the sky was very clear.


This is the boat wich brings the people to Texel.


Today i have a hangover. We drunk a lot of wine...
But it was great to see my host her family. Unfortunally we didn't make pictures, but i promise i make a lot of pictures at new years eve!

Big hugs Papelbon.

* Posted Dec 27, 2008, 12:19 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 31st December 2008

By: Eryah

Happy New year!!!!

We celebrate it at my host her home.

First we drink a lot of wine:

We also watched tv and we were hoping to win 12,5 milion euro. But unfortunally we didn't win.

At 12 o'clock there was a lot of firework! It was so beautifull to see. Only one picture succeed:

It was great to celebrate this evening in another country.

Big Hugs Papelbon

* Posted Jan 1, 2009, 5:40 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Alkmaar, the Netherlands - 14th January 2009

By: Eryah


Tomorrow i'm going to my new host. I had a great time here in Alkmaar, allthought i didn't see much. My host says sorry for that!

Bye Alkmaar, Leidschendam here i come!

Big hugs Papelbon

* Posted Jan 14, 2009, 5:42 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Leidschendam, The Netherlands - 19th January 2009

By: Charda

First of all my host would like to apologize for not updating any sooner. I must say that she did take good care of me. Here are some pictures of me in Leidschendam:




* Posted Feb 15, 2009, 2:09 pm Last edited Feb 15, 2009, 2:19 pm by Charda [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Leidschendam, The Netherlands - 15th February 2009

By: Charda

Our host is in the process of moving into a new house. She took me with her to show me where she is going to live in a few weeks time. This is what it looked like before:



And then, after a couple of hours hard work, this is what it looks like now:



Looks a lot better, right?

* Posted Feb 15, 2009, 2:19 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Madurodam, The Hague, The Netherlands - 2nd May 2009

By: Marjolein

Hello mum!!

I arrived savely at Marjolein's house in 's Hertogenbosch a few days ago! Today we went to a Postcrossing/ToyVoyagersmeeting in the Miniature City Madurodam in The Hague (Den Haag)! This is me with ALL the other tv's that came in a giant wooden shoe!




This is us including Dandilion, BlackCat and Marjolein.


This is what Madurodam looks like.


Me with real Dutch tulips!


And the toys including me again at a windmill.



Marjolein released some toys and we wrote a lot of postcards!

* Posted May 5, 2009, 9:31 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Scheveningen, The Netherlands - 2nd May 2009

By: Marjolein

After Madurodam we went to the beach of Scheveningen!


This is the famous Pier of Scheveningen, from which you can bungeejump!


It was very hot so Marjolein wanted to walk on the beach and see some sandcastles.


I think I will lock myself in the fridge when we get home! It's so hot!

But of course I did like it :D

Hugs Papelbon

* Posted May 5, 2009, 9:36 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Wierumerschouw, The Netherlands - 1st June 2009

By: Marjolein

Today the wheather was really hot! I went on a bicyclytour with Marjolein and her best friend Dieuwerke. We started and ended in the city Groningen. We drove about 26 kilometres and had a picknick in Wierumerschouw! Marjolein had also never heard of it, but apparently it's a very small village near the city Groningen.

In Wierumerschouw I saw this great bridge.



When I get home I wil REALLY need to lock myself in the fridge!

Hugs Papelbon

* Posted Jun 7, 2009, 4:26 pm Last edited Jun 7, 2009, 4:26 pm by Marjolein [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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