Archive | January, 2014

Moving on to Antwerp

30 Jan

 

 

 

Good morning everyone!
Piggletino is making his way towards Belgium this time! His scout decided to stop by Antwerp briefly, and Piggletino learnt of a terribly shocking story about the origins of the name ‘Antwerp’! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Legend has it that there was once a giant who lived at the Scheldt river, who would require a fee from those crossing the river. If they failed to make their payment, the giant would severe their arms and throw it into the river! The giant was later subdued by a young hero who would also chop off the giant’s hand and throw it into the river. There the word ‘Antwerpen’ was derived from ‘hand’ and ‘to throw’ in Dutch.

OH MY! Here’s the statue of the young hero throwing the giant’s hand, right in front of the town hall!

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Piggletino was so freaked out that he had failed to listen to another version of the origins – one of which was that ‘Antwerp’ was derived from the Latin ‘antverpia’, referring to ‘ante verpia’, or ‘before sedimentation’. Since Antwerp was part of the Low Countries, it seemed that such was a reasonable explanation for its name.

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Ok, so Piggletino doesn’t have the attention span for all that history. He’s going to keep moving! Stay close!

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South Holland: Den Haag and Madurodam

25 Jan

Piggletino has headed off to Den Haag (The Hague)!
While the scout was explaining that The Hague is the seat of government in The Netherlands, Piggletino had found an interesting location to visit…

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This is Madurodam – a park and city that houses a range of perfect 1:25 scale model replicas of famous buildings located around The Netherlands! Piggletino feels at home as he takes a walk around the little city –

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where everything was of the right size for Piggletino! Even the Rijksmuseum was of a good size. Check out the windmills too!
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But Piggletino was most pleased with the miniature Schipol airport – he could finally take a photo of the ‘full building’ without being too close to the camera! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Piggletino could watch the planes come in and land right before his eyes…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and maybe even watch the entire stadium roar when a soccer match was on-going…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All in all, a beautiful and happy day for Piggletino in Madurodam! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

North Holland: Zaanse Schans

21 Jan

Still within North Holland, Piggletino decided that the trip wasn’t complete without checking out Netherlands’ famous windmills. Where else to visit but Zaanse Schans village?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zaanse Schans is a popular tourist attraction by the Zaan river, that still preserves the industrial heritage of windmills, many of which are still working mills. Some of the mills are mustard mills, some sawmills and some oilmills. Here’s Piggletino inside a windmill! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some windmills have an entrance fee of about 2-4 euros, which is fairly reasonable given the need to maintain these traditional trades. It’s an interesting sight to watch how the windmills function as they pick up speed when the winds approach!
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Piggletino shall soon be leaving North Holland after this. Hope you have all enjoyed reading about his little journey! Where to shall he go next?

North Holland: Volendam

18 Jan

Piggletino is on a boat! Ah, such a beautiful day out at sea… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…but after awhile, the winds got a little too harsh for the little pig…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…he quickly hopped off and dashed into the Cheese Factory at Volendam! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That was where Piggletino was headed to!
This cheese factory has a live demonstration and a factory that made its own cheese. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is where the demonstrations take place, where you will learn about cheese making process, its equipment and techniques etc, before heading back up to the shop front to select your favourite cheese.
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But as usual, one greedy little pig decided to head out for some photos with the wheels of cheese! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

North Holland: Marken

14 Jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell where Piggletino is today?
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That’s right – that’s the Beatrix Brug at Marken, in North Holland.
For those of us who have conveniently assumed that Holland = The Netherlands, let’s have a quick clarification here: The Netherlands refers to the entire country; we have North and South Holland as two provinces of the country. Relatively well-known provinces of the Netherlands include Utrecht, Friesland, Limburg etc.

Back to Piggletino’s trip in Marken…
Marken is a little fishing village with many wooden houses and some amazing traditional trades like clog-making!
Look at the gorgeous designs encapsulating the Netherlands on these clogs – full of tulips and windmills! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Unfortunately, they didn’t have any clogs that fit Piggletino’s size…
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So after a picture or two, Piggletino decided to make his way to yet another little fishing village…

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Where is Piggletino heading to?

NEMO, Het Scheepvaartmuseum and Rijksmuseum

9 Jan

Hello everyone! Piggletino has rented a bus for himself!

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Just kidding! That’s actually the Hop On Hop Off bus for Amsterdam! Piggletino is on a trip around town! To check routes and departure times, visit the Hop On Hop Off website here.

These buses are naturally equipped with audio guides in various languages, but Piggletino shall leave the task of knowledge acquisition to his scout…

Unfortunately, as time was tight, Piggletino could only visit a few places. This is the NEMO Science Centre, which you can spot from afar due to its unique shape. This ship-like structure sits most appropriately within the harbour district and houses numerous exhibitions that will tell of how the world around us works.

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But something else caught the scout’s attention – that’s the Het Scheepvaartmuseum – or National Maritime Museum of Amsterdam!

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The museum contained many artifacts and rich information related to Amsterdam’s maritime history. It was to Piggletino’s delight too, that he could board ship replicas that were accessible from the museum! You could get a great view of the harbour district when you got on the ship moored by the museum – and the NEMO is just nearby too!

Ahoy there!

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Having had a good share of fun on the replica ship, Piggletino joined his scout to visit the museum quarters of Amsterdam. Bustling with culture, the Rijksmuseum or State Museum, has been around for 200 years and stands grandly within a short walking distance of the Museum of Modern Arts and Van Gogh Museum. Be sure to get a Museum Card if you plan to visit all three museums!

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Stroopwafels, the Dam Square, and the Royal Palace

5 Jan

Rise and shine!
When in Amsterdam, eat a lot of Stroopwafels!
If anyone might like to know a little history of the stroopwafels, this yummy snack originated from Gouda, The Netherlands, in the 1800s. It was once made from leftovers in a bakery, made tastier by adding some syrup. The stroopwafels are a little soft and the filling within has a pleasant taste of cinnamon. Piggletino was told that to eat it in the traditional Dutch manner, one had to place the waffle over some hot beverage such that one side of the waffle was soft and warm while the other was crispy.

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After a simple breakfast, Piggletino went on a cruise along the canals of Amsterdam. Look, it’s the Victoria Hotel again! How very convenient!

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Meanwhile, his scout was visiting the Royal Palace Amsterdam at Dam Square. The Royal Palace isn’t always open; if you wish to visit, remember to check the opening dates and hours each day!
This is a picture of the central hall of the Royal Palace.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Dam Square has several attractions that you might like to check out as well. Across from the Royal Palace stands the WWII War Memorial, and beside the palace is the Nieuwe Kerk. The Nieuwe Kerk was a church used for investitures, but is today used as an exhibition space.

Now, where did Piggletino go during this period…?