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Never expected this, and South Africa was for sure not on top of my list for a holiday, but it has been spectacular! The birthday of a friend brought us to Kruger Park, and we truly enjoyed it.

When driving into the park, and you are almost immediately confronted with about fifteen elephants... What else would we then see, in the week ahead? Well, it turned out we saw many, many more animals, and had such a great time with friends we had not seen in a while - totally worth the trip! 

Afterwards another week in Cape Town, and then we had to leave for home again... Plenty more photos to follow!

While relaxing in Winterswijk, seeing that birds arrive day in and day out, searching for food, we dropped some nuts on the table... Immediately it was rush hour of blue tits (Parus caeruleus), great tits (Parus major), willow tits (Parus montanus) etc. to get some food.

Blue tit grabbing his nuts...
Rush hour

Watching the news... It is shocking to see such a magnificent structure in Paris, being eaten by fire... Last time we visited Paris was in April 2011 - eight years and a week ago... Walking around the centre of Paris, all this history... Another huge blow for Paris and the French to deal with.

Yet again happy news in our family. D. and T. were born in the very early hours of January 18. Welcome, little ones!! Congratulations to mommy S. and Daddy W.

Congratulations to L. and L. on their wedding, on September 7.

B&W OsooyosA cloudy day, with rain, in the otherwise dessert-like Osooyos, British Columbia, Canada.

This past weekend giants were roaming Leeuwarden, in the north... A dog of 3 meters, a little girl of over 5 meters, and a diver of 11 meters tall... As a project of Jean-Luc Courcoult, the Giants of Royal de Luxe are a spectacular show, this time visiting the Netherlands. Very impressive to see how the volunteers were making these giants move through the streets... 

Reading about the many wild fires currently raging through California, makes me think back to the time we visited BC, Canada (twice). The first time we were confronted with the wild fires, and had to change our travel planes because of fires burning down the town of Barriere, and the second time, because we were confronted with the many burnt trees during a number of our hikes... terrible to see... On the other hand, we also saw that underneath the dead trees, new live emerged, so from something bad, something good can come...

 

End of June, harbour in Oudeschild on Texel... A lonely glove near the docks...

GloveIn the harbour in Oudeschild, Texel

Over a week ago, we had a weekend off on Texel, one of the islands laying from east to west to the north of the Netherlands. It was so nice to be back here again, after such a long time. During the evening we were on the beach near the lighthouse, and tried to catch the beams of lights as they turned and turned across the landscape. In the end we ended up with some decent shots, with this one being one of the best ones.

A warm welcome to a new member of our family!

Yesterday we were talking about zoo's... It has been a while since we been to one... This is from a visit to the Apenheul, Apeldoorn, where smaller monkeys are walking in between visitors, climb on your shoulders, and if you are not careful, steal stuff from your bag... This orangutan was just observing... Not us watching the animals, but also this fellow watching us as we walked by... We should visit a zoo again sometime soon!

Looking at me...Apenheul, Apeldoorn

A number of years ago, a wonderful weekend on Capri, Italy... Walking around the island, ending up at the harbour. The weather was warm and sunny, we ate at wonderful restaurants, great food, and wines... Amazed at the size of the many yachts in the harbour and around the island... And then what looked like a mafia wedding, with a large number of men, dressed in black, with sunglasses and earpieces... What a wonderful but also strand weekend it was...

Last spring we spend a long weekend in Zeeland, on the southwest coast. Beautiful weather, all weekend, and we had lots of fun with friends and family. Of course we had to show our friends from abroad the Delta Works, and the longest bridge in the Netherlands, the Zeeland Bridge.

Last full moon of 2017... Shot inbetween the clouds and showers... The atmosphere was not completely clear, so this is the best we could do tonight...

A number of weeks ago we were at the Open-Air Museum  near Arnhem. It has been decades since I was there - I can remember it having just a few of old farm houses, an old mill, and cottages. But these days, it was a lot larger, with more mills, and many more old houses, in the large open-air museum park. It shows how the Dutch used to live in the past, and it was nice to see that many of the staff of the park were actively playing their roll, of miller, post man, blacksmith, etc. With the park being a lot bigger than I remember, it was good to see that there were old trams driving around, that you could take you to the end of the park and back.

Yesterday we attended the show of the Spanish Riding School, in Ahoy Rotterdam. No DSLR allowed, but a small camera of my wife, was no problem. So with a bit of a handicap, resulting in higher noise, and some focussing issues, the two were decent enough to share ;-).

The Lipizzaner horses are spectacular to watch - these horses are bread to perform. After many years of intensive training with their riders, they are ready to hit the spotlights...

Spanish Riding School
Siglavy Bonavia and Bas de Recht

One of the first shots with my new camera... Amazing details, and plenty of pixels to play with... During a visit to Zeeland, I had a close encounter with... a sheep! It was approaching slowly, until it could almost lick my lens.

And this is a closeup of the eye, straight from the camera, no post-processing... I am very happy with the focussing options and the amount of details.

Market Hall

Short trip to Rotterdam today, and a walk to the (recent, 2014) new Market Hall. The building covers a large number of stalls with all sorts of great food, restaurants and office buildings and appartments. From the outside it looks like a captiral U upside down, and does not look that spectacular.

But if you are not there for some shopping, or some food, you must take a look at the inside: it has a large beautiful artwork by Arno Coenen, called 'Horn of Plenty' printed on the aluminum panels that make up the inside of the hall.