Richard & Stacy's Round the World Trip 2001


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Update Log
Summary of the Trip
The Family Album
Day 1 - Departing
Day 2 - Amsterdam
Day 3 - Veldhoven
Day 4 - CttM Day One
Day 5 - CttM Day Two
Day 6 - The Holland Tour
Day 7 - Off to Istanbul
Day 8 - Seraglio Point
Day 9 - Bosphorous Tour
Day 10 - Exploring Sultanahmet
Day 11 - The City Walls
Day 12 - The Asian Side
Day 13 - Taking a Break
Day 14 - Leaving Turkey
Day 15 - A Day in Singapore
Day 16 - Arrival in Sydney
Day 17 - Exploring Sydney
Day 18 - ODDC Day One
Day 19 - ODDC Day Two
Day 20 - Toranga Zoo
Day 21 - Off to New Zealand
Day 22 - Road Trip to Tauranga
Day 23 - Tauranga to Taupo
Day 24 - Visiting Granny Stanton
Day 25 - Leaving Levin
Day 26 - Return to Auckland
Day 27 - The Trip Home

Wednesday, May 16, 2001.

The conference is over, its time for the Holland Tour!

Our last morning in Veldhoven started out with final packing, which went better than expected (everything fit into the bags!), and then a trip down to breakfast. After breakfast we checked out and waited (and waited) for the tour bus. When it finally arrived (half an hour late), we boarded, and with lots of elbow room (and funny engine noises), we headed off into the Netherlands countryside.

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Check out the geeks in the check out line...   All packed up, where's the bus?
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Looks like a good bus, but with 600,000kms on it, how good could it be?   Stacy gets a window seat...

Our first stop was the worldwide headquarters Heineken brewery. The brewery is positioned over an aquifer that provides pure "reference" water for making Heineken beer. Its called reference water because vials of this water are sent to other Heineken breweries around the world so that they know how good their water has to be before making beer with it.

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Check out the funky English bus, converted to a Dutch beer bus...   Ground zero for Heineken fans...

Our first stop in the Heineken headquarters was a little pub-like setting, where we were served coffee, tea and cookies. When we were finished our coffee break, we rode the tour bus to the brewery itself - not on the cool Heineken bus, unfortunately, it was broken down.

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Mark and Ruud drinking coffee at the Heineken pub...   Taco Oosterbeek (one of the speakers) plays the piano in the pub...
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The head of the Heineken tours lays out the agenda for our visit...   Our tour guide gives us the scoop about aquifers...

During our orientation, we were warned that NO PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN INSIDE THE BREWERY. However, for some mysterious reason, my camera ended up with a whole bunch of pictures that look suspiciously like a brewery... don't ask me how that happened.

After our visit to the Heineken brewery, we were returned to the little pub for our "product confrontation." I expected to be attacked by beer, but alas, all we did was drink it - it was very fresh, which seems rather appropriate seeing how we were at the brewery and all. After a bit of beer, it was time for lunch, so we headed off in our tour bus to our lunch destination in a small village with the short name of "Bosch"... the long name is not for foreigner consumption.

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An artsy building - looks like a jump between the two towers...   On the other side of the same building is this weird structure...
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A canal boat waits for a load in one of the many canals that cover the Netherlands...   A water screw as art - this is the heart of the modern water pumping system replacing the windmill.

The village of "Bosch" is post-medieval, most of the oldest buildings (including the restaurant we ate at) date from the 1500s.

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A photograph of a photograph of the village of "Bosch"...   No, we didn't have lunch at McDonalds... but we could have.

We were served a "traditional" Dutch lunch in a below-ground restaurant, whose foundations date from the 1500s. The building had been expanded and rebuilt a number of times, creating a lot of narrow rooms, like the one we all ate in.

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The long lunch table... seating for 40.   From the other direction, as Stacy checks out the table...
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Everyone is seated, bring on the food!   Coffee, geneva (an alcoholic beverage like schnapps) and a Dutch hotdog - wurst in pastry. Eggs came later.

Unfortunately, we were behind schedule, so there was no time to explore the village, but we did walk past a spectacular church - St. Jan's Cathedral. We'll have to come back and explore it more thoroughly.

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St. Jan's Cathedral across the parking lot...   Entrance to St. Jan's Cathedral.
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A look up the rear tower at St. Jan's.   The buttresses and gothic detail of St. Jan's Cathedral.

Back on the bus, we had the longest driving leg yet, and it rained along the way, just to make it worse...

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Joop telling everyone about the next leg of our trip...   Stacy reacts with excitement!
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A canal boat tour goes by under us...   Gas ain't cheap in the Netherlands - 2.79 Guilders per liter translates to $1.79/liter Canadian!
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Chad, Mark and Ruud (aka - the Delphi boys), in a fit of boredom, attempt to convert Richard from the dark side (Microsoft).   In an attempt to distract them, Richard shouts "Look at the cool bridge!"
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A short while later we see a really cool bridge under construction... notice the threatening clouds.   In the midst of a downpour, we see our first windmill, a foreshadow of what's to come...

After more than an hour, we finally arrived - at the Zaan Museum. Here we get a chance to take a close look at some windmills and a medieval Dutch village. Unfortunately, the Rain Gods weren't done with us, and it squalled on and off while we explored...

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Here at last... but where are we?   In the windmill zone!
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The actual Zaan Museum was closed, but the windmills were open...   Lots of cute little creatures wandering about.
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Having a drink and snack at the cafe during a dry moment...   Our first stop after the cafe will be the wooden shoe factory...

The wooden shoe factory was full of... wooden shoes! Amazing, isn't it? There was a great video on how wooden shoes were made, and a huge display of different kinds of wooden shoes. 

Leaving the wooden shoe factory, we walked the farm pathways toward the windmills... along the way we spied a number of familiar creatures...

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Goats on a little grassy island...   A heron looking for something fishy...
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Several Dutch sheep, hanging about in the cold and wet...   Close up of a slightly soggy, slightly perky Dutch sheep.
Click to see a larger version...   The rarest of all local fauna, the Anastasiasius-momus is rarely seen in the Netherlands. In fact, its normal habitat is the west coast of Canada, where it is often tracked in detail, observing a variety of unusual behaviors.

It was around this bit of silliness that the heavens really opened up and tried to drench us, so we hurried into some shelter, which turned out to be the first windmill in the line - a colour mill for making dyes.

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The main grinding wheel of the colour mill turning chalk into a fine powder ready to be mixed with dye.   Stacy coming upstairs to look at the gearing mechanisms of the windmill.

The windmill is an amazing machine, considering its a couple of hundred years old. The photo study of the color mill is worth its own page.

As we were leaving the colour mill, there was a number of nice shots to make on the way back to the bus.

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A classic juxtaposition of the Netherlands... a windmill and a factory, side by side in the countryside.   One last look at the windmills before we reboard the bus for Amsterdam.

Re-entering Amsterdam was a bit tricky - it was rush hour, so traffic was bad and the speed was slow. A good opportunity to take pictures of opportunity...

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Crossing a canal on the way into Amsterdam...   What the heck word is THAT?
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A teeny little car!   Another teeny little car!

Finally we arrived back at the Golden Tulip in Amsterdam - where we'd begun back on Saturday. Time to drop off bags in the new room, wash up and head down to the bar for a drink...

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Stacy checks out the new room...   King size bed, baby!
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The view from the window (not the same as last time)...   Downstairs at the bar - party with the geeks!

We sat with Paul and Anne Sheriff for the final SDGN dinner, which was a fine buffet of fish, beef and other goodies.

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Paul and Anne looking like a cute couple...   Richard and Stacy go for the same...

And that was the end of the stay in Amsterdam. The next morning we would leave for Turkey... unfortunately, we'd just heard that Lufthansa (the airline we were supposed to fly to Turkey) was going to go on strike at midnight...