Here are the highlights of the past month.
December 10 - We arrived back to Eindhoven (in Dutch only) in the Netherlands. We thought you might enjoy a recent eerie, early morning photo from Erik's window. Remember the Evoluon?
December 13 - We drove to The Hague (Den Haag) to get Nan's South African visa. She'd started the process before leaving the States and had arranged to actually get the visa in the Netherlands at a time closer to leaving Europe for South Africa. On the way home, we stopped for lunch in Delft. The church in the market sqare is shown above.
December 14/15 - Nan attended a graphics seminar in Leuven, Belgium (Part III) while Walt looked for a place to junk our car in that area (near Brussels) as our flight to Lisbon is leaving from Brussels. Alas, we were not successful, but we did subsequently find a used Japanese auto parts dealer in Heeze (near Eindhoven) who is buying the car for 75 guilders ($37.50! - Hey, it's better than having to PAY to junk it!) on Saturday.
December 19-22 - We had winter in Stuttgart, Germany (Part IV)
Christmas and New Years both were spent in Eindhoven. That's Erik's mother with us on the right.
His niece, Sonja, is with him on the left. She got to help everyone open their presents.
New Year's Eve was fairly quiet (until midnight!). We backed up the computers, watch New Year's Eve around the world on CNN, and had some champagne to celebrate. Then "Apocalypse Now" happened as it does every New Year's Eve in the Netherlands. Unbelievable amounts of fireworks were shot off, filling the air with lights, noise and smoke. It was impossible to see across the yard. The red in the photo on the right is the aftermath the next morning!
Then was a stint of museums. The first was a visit to a Star Trek exhibit in Rotterdam on December 28.
December 30 - Airborne Museum dedicated to the battle immortalized in "A Bridge Too Far" located in Oosterbeek near Arnhem.
January 5 - Walt visited the war museum at Overloon (In Dutch only) which is just as fascinating outside
This boat was used to motor, sail, row and drift to England to escape the Nazis in the Netherlands. Here are some other interesting related sites: Programs, Netherlands Slave Laborers - WWII, and Operation Market-Garden
January 7 - Last Sunday was a lovely day so we went for a hike on the outskirts of Eindhoven.
Our destination was this water mill in Opwetten. The water wheel, the largest in the Netherlands (9 meters 30) was built in the 11th century and was painted by Van Gogh!
As some of you know that Erik is a good billiards player. He's been in competitions all of this week. We really enjoy watching him play. Unfortunately, smoke free environments are virtually impossible to find in the Netherlands for this game!
In the meantime, we're wrapping things up here as we leave for South Africa via Lisbon on Monday, January 17. So, we've been sorting through everything, trying to get stuff to fit in our suitcases, shipped several boxes of stuff home (printed material and winter clothes - thank goodness for the trips this summer and in November back to the States when we were able to send home other accummulations!), buying supplies (e.g., a spare set of contact lens), giving away things too bulky to carry, and returning borrowed items. And, in my spare time, I've read and reviewed three chapters of a new parallel processing book.
So long for now. Stay tuned for the next episode "Out of Africa"!
Just in case you missed them, here are links to Part III - Visit to Belgium and Part IV - Trip to G ermany.
Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page