Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

We made a short trip to Rome middle of June and had an overwhelming experience in the beauty of the place!

We stayed in a B & B (Capo D’ Africa)  just next to the Colosseum, and it was a beautiful room and a very homely B & B and will recommend for anyone to stay there if there are going to Rome! Owner was very friendly.

Quite a challenge trip to Rome…..forgetting ticket….forgetting camera, forgetting charger…. Phewwwwww…….But we managed to get everything back so that was ok :S

Frank left his camera in the driver’s car who picked us up from the airport. Luckily we arranged the pick up service from the B & B so we got to owner to help us out. And they driver was an honest person and told the owner that he will return it the next day! Which he did! Thanks God for honest people in the world.

The first night was spent enjoying dinner next to the Colosseum. Not the best restaurant, was expensive, but it was the Colosseum, so closed one eye. Being pampered by the Dutch food portion, I was shocked to see my Penne Arabiata pasta came in this huge plate with…I don’t know, 27 penne pasta in it I guess! pffffttt….Again….For the Colosseum view sake, I ate it and made sure the plate was finger licking clean!

Enjoy the photos.

The Colosseum

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The Palentine Hill

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The Forum

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The Spanish Steps

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Trevi Fountain


Piazza Popolo



Trajan’s Market

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Ponte St. Angelo

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Vatican City



















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I will skip the photo in the Museum because it won’t bring justice to the beauty of the painting when you are there to experience it yourself.



Rachel Raymond



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After our exciting day trying to visit all the megaliths, we took it easy the next day. We cant rent any tandem or bicycle as most of the shops were closed on Sunday.

So we checked out early of the hotel and decided to visit a few other places on our way back.

Enjoy the photos!


It is a small town and it was very quiet on a Sunday Morning.

The only castle in Drenthe is located in Coervorden which is now a restaurant. We were there to try see the city wall but there was nothing much left of it. From the map you can see the shape of where the city wall was, and maybe from air you can have a better view. ImageImageImage




The next city we visited was Kampen in the province of Overijssel. It was a really nice old city. The city is located near the river and there is a high tech bridge to cross over from the train station. The city has 3 city gate that is still standing and still used. I saw at least 3 bible college in the city. It is not really a big city as we walked around it in 2 hours.


After Kampen, we took the train back to Zwolle. We had to wait for half an hour so we decided to walk around Zwolle, and we liked what we saw. It was a nice little city and there were lots of people just sitting in the park and sitting on the terrace.ImageImageImageImageImageImage



Rachel Raymond





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During the week, we decided that we would go visit the province up North called Drenthe. It is a big area and the land are mainly used for farming. It also lays the oldest monuments in the Netherlands. The Hunebedden (megalithic tombs).

The Hunebedden were built more than 5000 years ago by people of the Funnel beaker Culture – the first farmers in Northen Europe, who burried their dead in the hunebedden. It has walls, a roof and an entrance.


Once Frank arrived home from work, then we cycled to the train station and took the train and the weekend begin!

We took the train from Leiden Centraal to Zwolle and took another train from Zwolle to Emmen.

From the train station we walked for about 20minutes to the hotel. There was a big sewage project going on and the road was a mess.

DSC_0322 With Frank reading the map, we always managed to find our way around. So we check in the hotel and we out for a walk with our Nasi Goreng and sandwiches.

We found a nice grass under the sun in front of a college, and we lay our picnic mat and we sat and enjoy our dinner. Being in a small town, everyone who passes by will greet you.



After our full filling breakfast, we went back to the train station to rent a tandem. It would be the first time I will ride a tandem and it was so much fun!!!! Something I dont mind doing again!

We arrive 45minutes too early and the bicycle rental shop only opens at 10am.

So we walked to one of the Hunebed site which is 15 minutes from the station. D45. It is one of the largest in Drenthe and it was built on top of a sandy hillock. For every hunebed, there was also an entrance and it is quite fascinating trying to imagine about how the hunebed really was back then.

D45 – Emmen

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Once we rent our tandem, we rode the bike from Emmen to Borger. Along the way there were many more hunebed sites and we try to stop at everyone of them!

We cycled for hours through the farms and it such a beautiful sight! I will let the photos do the talking soon enough.

We cycled through Exloo to get to Borger. Exloo was more touristy and it was slightly busier than other places. It was a nice weather for everyone to travel around.

Our Tandem

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Enjoy the photos!


D38, 39, 40 – A Trio in clearing

It is suggested that mostly one group of people use 1 hunebed. In this site, there are so maybe more than one group of people lived in the same area or later occupants building a new hunebed next to the old one.


In the 1st photo, you can see the biggest hunebed on the left, and 2nd biggest on the left and the small bump in the middle of the photo is where the 3rd one is.

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D35 – At the water’s edge

This hunebed is oriented exactly east-west and it lies at the edge where the water use too be. With the depression on the land, you still can tell where the water was.Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 170 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 169 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 155 Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 160

D18 – A Neolithic Tomb

This hunebed was built between 3400 and 3100 BC. It is a prehistoric burial monument made of large boulders. These stones were transported to the northen part of the Netherlands by glacier ice from Scandinavia around 150,000 years ago.

In the olden days, people thought that hunebedden are built by giants. (hunen means giant)

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Hunebedden Museum

Here you can see the stones that was transported down from the Scandavia mountain. It was also mentioned that, for thousands of years, the province of Drenthe was covered by 1000m layer thick of ice.

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D27 – The largest hunebed

In the museum also lies the largest hunebedden in the Netherlands. Measuring up to 22.6 metres.

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D32 – A humble trio

There are 2 sites in Drenthe that has 3 hunebedden lying together. The one near Emmen D38, D39 and D40 and D32 in Odoorn.

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D21, D22 – The most elegant and the smallest together

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Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 351We thought it would take us another 20minutes but we were already very near the town and reached 15mins before 5pm. So we return the tandem and walk into the centre. Looked for a nice terrace to sit in the sun and went to a Greek Restaurant for dinner.

Was a good day! 🙂



Rachel Raymond


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Lat Tuesday evening, we rode our bike to Leiden to meet Maria. It was another beautiful day and the part that I am liking the most was the fact that it is still so bright at 10pm! There are so much things that could get done. So we sat on something that was like a barge in the canal, and had a few drinks. It was a nice evening and everyone was happy that the sun is up and shining.

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On our way back, an insect flew into my right eyes and now i have an irritated right eye.:(

The next day, I decided to go and ride my bike in the park that leads to the farmland. It was a park that I always walk by and with all the green leaves, it looked different to me.

I cycled along the small beach area, and sat there and enjoy the view. Looking at the water makes me want to be in the water so bad.

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Flowers along the beach.

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Then I continued on cycling into the farmland and passed a beautiful area where people were bird watching. It was a serene landscape and you can never get enough.

I also passed by a few farm house with their horses busy munching munching.


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As  I cycled into the farmland, I saw this beautiful heard of Galloways. I have never seen them before and there were already another lady standing at the fence just enjoying the herds grazing away.

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Weekend 7 June - 9 June - North Holland 038  CUTE LITTLE ONE!

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On the opposite of the herd of Galloways, was the Dutch cows. I always loved looking at them in the train, and that day, I get to see it up close!!!! Until one of them looked at me and mooed me away…. 😥

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After spending half an hour watching the cattle, I continued on cycling till I reached a golf course and decided to turn back as that was the end of the farmland.

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And yes, I am tanner here than when I am in KL!



Rachel Raymond



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We are almost half way of the year 2013, and when you work there is nothing much to post or blog about. I am sure no one wants to hear about my complains at work.

In January i got myself a new job. Got to work in the famous Twin Tower. It was a really nice place to work in and I thought you know, this is it. I will work here FOREVER! But that was not the case. The job was not the one that i was looking for, so I got myself another job last month, May.

I was on a 2 weeks holiday before starting my 1st new job and I spent it in Holland visiting Frank. It was another snowy winter in Holland and people were not too happy with snow, but it didn’t stopped me from smiling looking at the snow. It was also in fact the 1st winter that I made my first snowman with the help of Frank and Maria!


It was also the time we discovered panorama function in our phone. So everything after that was panorama view photos! 🙂

Train Den Haag Laan van NOI railway station.

Tholen Habour in Tholen

And of course the most important part was also getting to know the Dutch Football, we went to a Feyenoord game. Feyenoord

After signing the contract for the new job, I have a month in between before starting the new job. So I flew to Holland early June. This would be the first time I am in Holland for summer.

The day I arrived, it was a very sunny day, and according to Frank, it was actually one of the first day that they had a nice weather. So I guess I arrived at the right time.

My flight arrived 50minutes earlier than scheduled. The weather was really sunny and the skies were blue and it felt like an afternoon instead of a morning.

From the train, I could see that the fields are green, flowers are blooming, everything was so pretty. Of course they never fail to capture my heart…..FAT SHEEPS!!!!! The look so cute in the middle of the green field!

Walking from the train station to Frank’s apartment, the town somehow looked abandon because the grass was long and everything was green (a view I have not seen in winter), and at 7.30am there were hardly anyone on the streets! Not hardly, it was just the 2 of us in fact. of course I have to think about how it is back home. On a weekend morning, the streets will be filled with people lining up to eat their favourite dim sum in 2020! yum yum.

After unpacking a few things, then we went for a bike ride along the Vliet and rode our bike all the way to Leiden.

Cycling along the Vliet



In Leiden we parked our bike and we sat under the sun and had something to drink and decided to rent a rowing boat.

So we rowed our boat in the canal in Leiden. The traffic in the canal was so busy! With a big rowing boat and a long heavy oars that was not real ideal in that small canal with 10 more boats lining up to pass you! 😥


We managed to make it without sinking or crashing into anyone or boats. Then we stopped by the famous English Pub in town, and had our drink and cycled back home to go to Lindeboom to meet everyone.

On the way to the bar, we stopped and bought ourselves Greek food (I LOVE GREEK FOOD!) If it was not for Frank, I would have eaten everyday, from the day I discover that little cafe!

Arriving the bar, it was good to see everybody and of course Chiko the Boss, and met Amber the new dog from Bonaire, adopted by Fiona and Erwin. It was good to be back and everyone was in good spirit, with the sun up and shining.

The next morning was unclear to me, but I got up at 1pm! 🙂 I have got to learn to say NO!



Rachel Raymond


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Pedestrian Alert – KL City

To all visitors in KL, please be extra careful when you are walking on the road.

My colleague got snatched last night in front of our office building. We are located just 2minutes away from KLCC.

Where ever you are in KL just be extra careful. I would never imagine things like this happening to myself or friends but then it happens!

Some pointers while walking.
1) bring minimum cash or put cash in pocket.
2) be aware of your surrounding, avoid walking near motorcycle
3) try walking in pairs
4) bring pepper spray while walking (?)
5) if it happen, dont fight back

Stay safe.

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The plan was to see summer or good weather in in May, but due to the work load in May, I had to bring forward my vacation instead, and got everything sorted out a week before I flew over! pheww…

I arrived early morning in Schiphol and Frank as usual, was already waiting for me at the gate! Oh and it was my BIRTHDAY!!! Smile

As Frank’s family discussed earlier the week, I will have my birthday 7 hours longer this year! Awesome!

So we took the train to Leiden which took 20mins and on our way, the sun was saying hello!

It was a really beautiful morning and the sun made everything beautiful!

For my birthday, I got a collection of DVDs and he got me one of my favourite movie, Conan The Barbarian! In the evening he gave me a bouquet of flower and planned to have a nice dinner at one of the restaurant in town.


We made a mistake to go to the bar first. Will come to that.

Sabine the owner put on a Happy Birthday song and they guys sang Happy Birthday song. Was a bit shy of course! Open-mouthed smile But I appreciate the welcome back greetings from everyone.

So we had too much drinks and when Frank told me to go for dinner, I was already feeling comfortable sitting in the bar and did not feel like walking out. Smile with tongue out

So lesson learned, always have dinner first before drinking.

On Friday, went to the market, and met up with Patni. So she bought a few things for us to cook at her house. She is a good cook! And I learned a few new recipe from her too!

From her house, I went to Frank’s office borrel. They were having Italian food. His colleagues were very friendly and I got to meet the people he works closely with daily. I thought that was cool. Visited his office and the company has 3 big building with few floors! When I arrive the office I was not aware that they have 3 different site.

On the weekend, we went to Sint Maartensdijk to visit his parent and sister.

On our way the train had some technical problem so we had to alight the train at Zevenbergen. With snow and ice, the railway station is always in a mess.



Normally the train company will organise a bus if the train have problems. So we waited in the cold but luckily the sun was shining.

We visited Frank’s parent first since Frank sister will only finish working in the evening. And don’t forget the train problem that she has to endure.

The next morning we went to Antwerp, Belgium. It was a 30mins drive to Belgium. It was not far at all!

This was also the first time I experience‘driving’ in the snow. Everywhere was white! Not so sure how people know which is the path with all the snow on the road.












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I visited Leiden and The Hague again since I could travel there using bus easily.

I was going to Leiden one evening and the plan was to meet Frank there after he finished work, but ended up in The Hague because I took the wrong bus. Confused smile

In Leiden we went to the English Bar and had dinner in a Greek restaurant. And that is when I fell in love with Tzatziki! The most delicious dip in the world beside guacamole!

The souvlaki tasted so good and I would recommend any Greek food to everyone!

The only Greek food I have before was, Greek salad and for some reason always assumed that they are all famous with their vegetable recipe which is not really something I would go to a restaurant and ‘try’.

Since I did not have much time in Leiden as I was lost in The Hague, I just walked around the centre and saw people skating in the canal!

If you look at my previous blog post on the trip to Holland last year, then you would recognise some of the place is in the same area for this trip too.



If the canal is not frozen, you will them all swimming instead of skating.




A windmill and a bicycle– I am definitely in Holland!

A few days later I went to The Hague and after Frank finished work we met up in one of the famous bar Schelemmer. Where politicians and journalist normally hang out. It was a nice bar and Frank saw one Dutch politician which I obviously don’t know about.





While waiting fro Frank, I spent time walking around The Hague. I went to the Binnenhof and the lake was also frozen and everyone was skating on it. So I went and walk on the ice and it was scary. When you walk on the ice, there are parts when it makes a sound. And for me who never walk on ice, of course was quite ready to die of hypothermia if the ice would break!

I then visited the Gevangenpoort(The Prison Gate). The entrance fee is €7.50.

It was the main gate of the Binnenhof then around the 15th centuries, it was used as a prison. The upper room was the room of the judges, and when the sentence is given, it will be announced from a window facing the Binnenhof.

The door to the prison was shorter than me. I had to bend to get into the prison room. There were different types of prison rooms. For the poor and for the rich. If you have money, you can have a bigger room and you can have visitors to bring you food etc.



Poor people Prison Room


The Knight’s Chamber – Prison Room for the rich


The Hostage Room – debtors imprisoned

This is where the people who could not pay their debts sleep. VERY SMALL place!


A drawing of a ship in the 18th centuries.

IMG_7790Prisoner’s writings on the bedsteads

ZMDWDVS -  are the first letters of the days in a week in old Dutch, so the prisoners could tell which day it was.






Above are some of the equipment in the Hostage Room which I did not want to know the usage!

Below are the photos in the Torture room.


The Delft blue marble tiles on the wall are the rejects tiles. If you see the pictures on the tile, some of it are upside down, because these were not used as decoration in the torture room, but it will make it easier to clean when something is going on in the room.




After the rich historical knowledge of the prison (!) I went to drink hot chocolate and spend my time waiting for Frank reading my novel.

When Frank arrived, after a few drinks we went to have dinner in a Turkish place. The food was not bad but the tzatziki was different from the greek place. Then we took a cab home. And yes, it was a Benz!

Most of the days were spent walking around Voorschoten. At night normally we go to the bar and managed to have good convo with some of the people there.

The canals in Voorschoten were also frozen and everyone was skating!





Bird foot prints frozen on the ice in the canal

Above are photos taken while we were walking on the frozen canal.


Above is how you learn how to ice skate.





The last Saturday I was there,Frank and his friends in the bar had a Boonake (Dutch card game) Tournament in the bar. The tournament was against another bar in a different town. So they came to the bar in Voorschoten and play. Not an easy game at all!

On Sunday afternoon I flew back to KL and it was a great trip and was good to meet Frank again. Till we see again!







Walking on the canal in Voorschoten!

Frank normally look good in photos, but the cold is affecting his looks while taking photos. Smile with tongue out



Rachel Raymond


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