Posts Tagged ‘Leiden’

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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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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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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De Burcht is a fortress 11th Century years old built in a circle shape. It is located in Leiden and its a 20minutes walk from the train station.

De Burcht is build on a hill and you can see Leiden city very clearly from De Burcht.

Description of De Burcht on the sign board. “The elevation on which the Citadel of Leiden is situated was erected by the citizens of Leiden as a defence against the water of the Rhine. The Citadel itself was built around 1150. The city expended around the fortress, which consequently lost its defensive purpose. The cuty magistrate bought the location from the viscount in 1651 and turned it into the city park it is  today.”

These are the photos taken of De Burcht.

Outside of De Burcht

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Inside of De Burcht.

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View of Leiden from the De Burcht.

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Rachel Raymond


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Near East – Mesopotamia


The first cities in the world emerge between 4000 and 3000 BC, in Mesopotamia. We know them now as Iraq and Syria. They became a large centre of population and at least ten of thousands of people live in Babylon and Ur.

Assyria became a superpower in the 9th century BC. It’s large military campaigns managed to bring down a large part of the Near East to its defeat. The Assyrian then became the ‘king of the world.’



Having a shrine is the most important thing in the rich and the poor life these day. They know the risk of illness and death and to live only mean ongoing struggle. In line with their believe, thousands of gods, demon, angels, monsters and spirit is controlling the daily life.

It is very important to pray continually for protection. (at the shrine)


The Dead of Jericho

In Jericho, Palestine, hundreds of graves that were made between 2000BC and 100BC were hewn out of the rocks.

This grave contains 8 adults and 1 child, probably a family grave, dated from around 1700BC. The dead are normally buried with all their earthly possession for their afterlife. (wooden furniture, mats, pottery and also bowls of food)


Mother and Daughter Funerary Sculptures from Palmyra

Ancient Roman


Sensaos the daughter of Soter

Her story:

Egypt is now part of the Roman Empire, which makes her a Roman citizen. The Greeks had been ruling the empire before the arrival of the Romans which explains her Greek name.


The stones are funerary monuments

Normally, the stones reflects on what the Romans think about life and death.

The inscriptions normally tell us about the life the deceased had. If you are a soldier or an officer, your career will be in script with pride. For slaves who died before getting their freedom, is their master’s responsibility for burial.

On the 2nd photo, the texts on the gravestones reflect emotions, such as sorrow at faithful wives or those who died young. It also sometimes express the care and love of the living.



1st photo: Sarcophagus (Coffin)

2nd and 3rd photo: sculpture on the coffin wall

Believing in 1 God

The decoration on the sarcophagus are the scenes from the New Testament. In the 4th century AD, Christianity became the official religion. Belief in heathen gods and superstition are prohibited and all the temples are converted into churches or destroyed.



After the 2nd century AD, the death are buried in sarcophagi or stone coffins. Before that, cremation was very popular and the remains are kept in the urns, with the name and age of the dead inscribed on it.


1st photo: Statue of Emperor Trajan

2nd photo: Statue of Jupiter


1st photo: Statue of Emperor Maximian

2nd photo: Statue of Emperor Tiberius


1st photo: The God of Medicine

2nd photo: The God of North and South. Nehalennia.


The gravestone belong to a German name Gumattius, the son of Gaisio. He is burried like a real Roman. The relief on the gravestone is showing that he is enjoying an everlasting meal and can rest there forever.

The inscription on the gravestone is a record on which army unit that he served in.


1st photo: Mask

The mask was found on the bed of a canal near the Roman fort of Matilo (near Leiden) It is most likely owned by a high-ranking officer.

2nd photo: The golden helmet

Was found in the Peel marsh near Deurne. After a successful period of service, it was the practise to offer parts of the amour to the gods.


Roman milestone

More photos of the Ancient Roman’s Empire


Ancient Greek


1st photo: Hercules

2nd photo: Pan with the panflute




This head used to be part of a large statue of a young man. The features are still not realistic then, later, the head was used as a fountain with water pouring from the mouth.


Cypriot lady

For the photo below, look at the relief on the stone below the statue.


1st photo: Over all

2nd photo: Ajax and Achilles

3rd photo: Ulysseus and the cyclop

4th photo: The Calydonian boar


1st photo: Over all

2nd photo: Paris at the altar

3rd photo: Ceremony at an altar

4th photo: Paris at the altar


1st photo: Over all

2nd photo: Death of Myrtilus

3rd photo: Protesilaus visiting his wife

4th photo: Daedalus workshop


1st photo: Over all

2nd photo: Iphigeneia in Tauris

3rd photo: Ulysses in Ithaca

4th photo: Paris at the altar


1st photo: Troilos’ death

2nd photo: Protesilaos visiting his wife

3rd photo: Death of Myrtilus


Lid of a sarcophagus

More photos of the Ancient Greek’s Empire



Rachel Raymond


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Also known as the National Museum of Ethnology, it is a 5 minutes -10 minutes walk from Leiden Centraal. It is built along a canal.

These are some of the photos that I took in the Volkenkunde Museum in Leiden from different Exhibition. There are collection of item from  Africa, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Latin America, North America, Oceania, and Asia. However, yesterday, the Latin America exhibition was close for renovation. They are also having Maori Exhibition till December.

The entrance fee cost 8.50Euro. They have a locker for your bag and you can take photo for personal album without using the flash.



North America


China, Korea, Japan



Rachel Raymond


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These are some of the photos that I took of Leiden.




Rachel Raymond



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In Malaysia we have Christmas, in The Netherlands they have Sinterklaas. It is celebrated on the 5th Dec every year in The Netherlands.

Sinterklaas stories begin with St. Nicholas who throughout his life was devoted to live the life that Jesus lived while He was on earth. He is well known of his generosity and kindness, giving the poor and needy. It was said that, in theold day, when you have a daughter, the father will need to provide dowries for her to get married. One poor family had 3 daughters. Not having the dowries for marriage, they were to be sold as slaves instead. But on 3 different occasion, somehow, the poor family received a bag of gold enough for the dowry! It was said that the bag was thrown in the house from a window and went into the sock that was hanging near the fire place to dry.

So now, that is why people hang socks or shoes at the fire place for gifts from St. Nicholas.

Last night, we went to Leiden to get some presents for Maria, Frank’s sister, and also his parents.  We took the train from Voorschoten to Leiden Centraal and walked to the shops that was nearby.

Leiden was beautiful at night! We stopped at a bar and had some drinks then had dinner in a pizzeria. The pizza was very big, with a thin crust which was good!

These are some photos of Leiden that I took.


We are going to Sint-Maartensdijk, Zeeland on Saturday to Frank’s parents home and spend the weekend there for Sinterklaas. This is where Frank grew up and I look forward to visit his childhood place!



Rachel Raymond


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