Mulalu, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherla


Posted Feb 7, 2008, 3:18 pm
Today my life as a TV begins.  I am very excited!!!!  I will first spend some time here in South Africa.  Lizzie says I need to practise my ear flapping skills because I am getting lazy from drinking too much wine.....She also says it is almost time for me to make my way into the world,  to experience new things and cultures,  because where I lead, she might follow.

She also whispered in my ear that she might have a surprise for me soon......I will ponder it over and over with a bottle of  Pinotage, obviously after I finish this lovely glass of chenin blanc......CHEERS TO TV!!!

Posted Feb 8, 2008, 12:23 pm
Today I went on my first Mini-adventure,  although this is my valley, so I know it well.  First stop Spier Wine Estate.  Here you can taste wine, picnic, visit the restaurant and swim with the fishes...hehehe.

Posted Feb 8, 2008, 12:38 pm
We went frolocking in the Vineyards.......and had a Beer to cool down...

Posted Feb 8, 2008, 12:45 pm
After the day's adventures we felt a bit peckish so decided to go for snack at the Spur, MEET MY FRIENDS...... Mr Hansa and Mr Tabasco!!!  They are yummy!

Posted Feb 9, 2008, 11:22 am
Today we are visiting Lizzie's parents,  they live in a very nice little town not too far away.  I have lots of friends here that I need to come say goodbye to....they are all very jealous of me, cause they know Lizzie's mom is never going to let them go anywhere. Solong suckers!! 

Posted Feb 9, 2008, 11:25 am
We then spent some time in the garden.  It is a very hot here as we are in the middle of summer.  Refreshments are needed.

Posted Feb 9, 2008, 11:28 am
This is where we live and where all the new TV buddies that are coming for a visit will explore....

Posted Feb 9, 2008, 11:30 am
These are the places Lizzie and her parents have travelled to.  I hope to add my own little pin things soon.....

Where to next???  This decision will need a Serious bottle of wine....

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 1:18 pm
Lizzie said I had to help make food......I consider myself a guest

SOOOOO I rather went for a "sundowner" on the porch!!


Posted Feb 11, 2008, 1:27 pm
Finally dinner was ready!  Lizzie got distracted with the "sundowners" . Sucker!

We had nice home made hamburgers,  Lizzie said I am not getting any chips because if my ass gets to big that I wont be able to fit into my travel pouch and then nobody would want to host me.  This is just an excuse for her being lazy......I am one of the most streamline Elephants I know!!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 2:53 pm
On Saturday I was officially part of the Rent a crowd!  We went to go support the local Bowls team in the Western Cape Championships at Camps bay.  It is very close to the beach so we made a day of it.  However after cheering and booing the whole day,  no offical payment was made??? Fishy I say!! 

Lizzie said an Elephant like me doesn't need a lot of money,  I think she is wrong.  She got paid in wine (fishy again)  so atleast she let me share the spoils!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 3:24 pm
We then made our way to the beach around the corner,  we only got halfway down the hill and decide to head for the nearest tree. Knowing we had to come back up the hill again....

Anyways we were here to drown our sorrows from the absolute unluckiest loss of all time..... no time for playing in the sand. Sorry boys!! Almost had it!!

Posted Feb 11, 2008, 3:48 pm
All of the sudden I feel much better!!! Spirits are lifted!! World here I come!!!


Posted Feb 11, 2008, 3:59 pm
Couldn't leave without saying Goodbye to Table Mountain.  The only
Mountain I have ever loved...............Wish me well on my travels!!

Posted Mar 3, 2008, 7:45 pm
Australiaaaaaa here I come!!!!

Posted Mar 11, 2008, 9:45 am
I arrived in Australia today! It was really really warm for an autumn day with barely any wind at all so the heat was really shocking. Kinda reminded me a lot of home! I was sure glad to get out of that strange traveling compartment though...

..and when I finally got to my host's home I got to meet up with all the other toyvoyagers that are currently visiting with Sara...

There are sure a lot of them... but from left to right they are Luke, Mel, Cronus, Alpina, Leo Lion, Benni, Charity Bear and the walrus, lobster and turtle are soon to be toyvoyagers, they're just waiting for their tags!

Sara says we're going to Blayney tomorrow and I'll be able to see some sheep on the way there... :-) Maybe I'll have a close encounter, we'll see how it goes!

Posted Mar 14, 2008, 7:07 am
First things first, we had to all say goodbye to Benni and Charity Bear... it was pretty sad, but we all know they're going to have fun and going to a safe place.

We went to Blayney, we've been going everyday to feed the animals at Sara's father-in-law's house... no photos with those animals though they're too crazy. But we stopped to see the local emu, we're not sure if he's a wild one, or someone owns him... but we think he just got stuck in the paddock since he was younger, he comes and goes... he's SO big though...

Next stop, our destination... something kinda unique about this though is - it's one of four Marsden cottages they were built for the workers of the wealthy Marsden family. They're listed on the national trust and heritage as historically important. The house in front of me is the one that's most intact and in best condition of the three of them and has most of the original everything that was originally in the house. The house was built in the mid 1870's. We heard a lot of stories from Sara about some spooky stuff that's happened there, she lived there for 10 months with her father-in-law before moving to Orange in May 2006...

Animals are fed... so next stop... Church Hill...

Church hill is a large hill in the middle of town, so Sara got some photos of Blayney from a bit higher elevation... it was a nice clear and hot day so we didn't spend too much time there before moving on... it wasn't long before we got to spend some time with... sheep!...

Here I am near the sheep, but then quickly I guess I got too close, me being so big must have spooked them...
...there they go... there sure were a lot of them! But how awesome is that, it was a hot day so they we're all under the tree, then I came up - whoops... it was awesome to see anyways. :-)

We had to also say goodbye to Cronus he's off to Costa Rica, how exciting!...

...and then we had a chance to do a mystery shop with Sara and Daniel... we "shopped" a petrol station... and had to do a report on our findings... there was a lot of information to write down... we all helped how we could...

Then we got to visit a pet store and pick out two little mice, Sara has three other mice that are a little bit bigger so we've been having trouble introducing them together, but slowly but surely they're starting to get introduced one at a time... introducing... Pancake and Waffles...

It's been a long day though, I'll have more to update with what happened on Friday, you'll just have to wait and see, it won't take too long! :-)

Posted Mar 14, 2008, 7:38 am
Today we got to visit Banjo Patterson's Birth Place a bit outside of Orange... it was pretty exciting. Banjo Patterson is famous for his poetry and wrote the song "Waltzing Matilda" and "A Man From Snowy River"...

Here's a picture of me next to the statue in memory of him...

...and here's the sign from underneath the statue...

The important part of this sign says "The bricks in this plinth are from the original templer's mill that stood on this site during the time of Banjo's birth. The mill was demolished in 1971."

Here's the sign in front of the ruins of the templer's mill:

...and a close up of the sign and what the sign says...

We even then went and saw another sign in memory to Banjo Patterson...

...then last of all before we left, we actually got to sit on the ruins of the mill...

As we left, we all got to learn the words of the famous Australian song... "Waltzing Matilda"...

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
"Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me?"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong,
Up got the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he stowed that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Down came the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Up came the troopers, one, two, three,
"Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
"Who's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?",
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Up got the swagman and jumped into the billabong,
"You'll never catch me alive," said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you passed by that billabong,
"Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me?"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me
And his ghost may be heard as you passed by that billabong,
"Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me?"

...then on the way back from our stop in Blayney we got to see John Lister's grave...

He's the first person to find gold in Australia in 1851... he's buried in Millthorpe, a tiny town 10 minutes towards Orange from Blayney with a population of only around 800 people....

When we got home... Sara showed us a $10. note, it features Banjo Patterson... that shows how famous of an Australian he is... so how cool to see and learn more about him... today was another huge day, and it was again, so hot... we're hoping for a cool down soon since we're almost a month into autumn now... well time to rest for a while... I'll post again very soon! :-)

Posted Mar 20, 2008, 8:46 am
We had to say goodbye to a dear friend today!  He's leaving to go on his journey, first stop Victoria in Australia and then possibly India. We're not sure where he's going, it was sad to see him go, but so exciting! We hope he has a fun journey!

Have fun Leo Lion!

Posted Mar 20, 2008, 9:10 am
This week has been a pretty lazy week we haven't done much, and then we got a new visitor Bon the long haired mouse... :-) How exciting we have a new friend to hang out with now! :-)

...and Sara says Easter is coming... :-) How fun! :-)

Posted Mar 29, 2008, 7:30 am
Sorry I haven't updated in SO long! Sara's been busy cleaning and we've all tried to help however we can, but we can only do so much being only a few inches tall. :-) Sara decided last night to introduce us to all of her animals. She's a huge animal lover so we got to spend a lot of the last week with them! :-)
Here's me with the mice, you can see one of the baby mice (they're all female) on the bottom right hand side of the door, that's Waffles. :-) There's 4 others, another baby called Pancakes, and three adult females called Moo, Charlotte and Little Foot. They're all SO cute!
Here's a close-up of Waffles, I couldn't be in the picture since that would scare her away... she's a very social mouse. :-)
Next stop I got to see the fish, most of the fish are swordtails, platties, one guppy and various danios. Sara also has a huge suckerfish which you can see at the bottom of the tank, he's sucking on the drift wood. There's lots and lots of baby platties that are just big enough to be in the big tank now, it's pretty cool t see them! All the platties look the same though, hehe. :-)

...and last but not least, here is what we've been listening too since we got here... the birds...
I couldn't get photos with all the birds because they're not used to me being this close so they get scared easily... and I'll tell you why a bit later... but here's the type of birds in the cage...
There are three diamond doves, all of which are pictured here... they make sounds like "who-hooo" it's pretty cute and they usually only do it at night time. Sara says they're the smallest dove in the world. There not much bigger than any of these finches. They're names are Silver, Bluey and Gumby.
There are three pairs of Gouldian finches. Most of them are red faced and yellow faced. No black faced gouldians (which are the most common suprisingly)... this is one of the males. They're called Mr. Colors, Tweet, Twiddle, Bunyip, Puggles, Grimey (think the Simpsons).
There's a pair of spice finches, which are also called 'nutmeg' finches. The mating call is almost silent and it is a strange sound towards the end I don't know how to describe it. But they're called Pepper and Paprika.
There's 5 pairs of star finches, this is a red faced male, there's also yellow faced star finches. Sara has a unique one that has an entirely different song than the others, that makes him the head of the whole aviary... they're called Peep, Dotty, Spots, Mr. Peep, Prickles, Goo, Stars, Comet, and two red females which are unnamed as of yet. :-)
I have pairs of zebra finches... this will come into more detail later... but their names are Mr. Zebra, Frank, Squeak, Bell Beep (which was supposed to be a female - but obviously isn't), Meep, and another unnamed female... so obviously not all paired up, but Sara can't get anymore at the moment, and this is why...
...and this is why, you can see Bell Beep (the one that was supposed to be female but obviously a male - his plumage is just coming in)... one of the female yellow stars on the top of the nest, and the unnamed female zebra in the nest... she's "warning" the other birds to get away - because she had 4 eggs she's been sitting on for the last few days... so hopefully we'll have some babies soon! :-)
...and last but not least, the newest addition to the finch family is the owl finches... they're very good birds to adapt into a mixed aviary, as with the spice finches, so they've all bonded quite well with the stars especially, which is good since they're the leading group of finches in the cage... the owl finches are called owlie and owllet. :-)

Hopefully this week we're going to Cook Park and Mount Canobolas, the extinct volcano 20 minutes from here.... :-) We'll see how this next week goes! :-)

Posted Apr 4, 2008, 3:35 am

I arrived safely today at Kylie's house. I was met by some toy voyagers who she already had at home - Charity Bear, Benni and Phillip Grammy. We're having a toy toyager party here!

I hope to have heaps of fun here, and will send another message in the next couple of days!

Posted Apr 5, 2008, 8:57 am
I spent a beautifully sunny autumn day today at The Entrance. There is a gorgeous water fountain there that kids can play in. I watched but didn't go in as I didn't want my fur to get wet!

There was a bit of a carnival thing happening while we were there, with 2 HUGE jumping castles, face painting, plaster painting, and lots of yummy food for sale like corn on the cob and fairy floss.

The Entrance is famous in Australia for it's pelican feeding every day. We all went down to the water (not too close!) and had a look at these big funny looking birds!

This is the information about the feeding on the website:

Pelican Feeding is the Central Coast's most popular tourist attraction and operates 3.30pm daily, 365 days a year come rain, hail or shine.

The pelican feeding attracts tens of thousands of families back to The Entrance where they get an entertaining and educated commentary about the pelicans, bird and marine life and general information about the area.

Just over twenty years ago, the pelican feeding started by accident when staff from a local fish and chip shop would throw out scraps. It became such a ritual that whenever the staff were late in throwing their scraps out, the pelicans would cross the road and come up to the shop to be fed.

One of the main objectives of the pelican feed is to keep an eye on the pelican's medical conditions as many have hooks and lines tangles up in their gullets, wings and other parts of their body. The feed is a chance for the co-ordinator to assess their well being. It's certainly an amusing show to come and see.

At least 1 or 2 birds a week are removed from the water and sometimes the outcome is bad for the injured birds but most times its just a simple extraction of a hook and they are on their way.

The Entrance has now been internationally recognised as 'The Pelican Capital of Australia' and we want you to be part of it. So when you visit us at The Entrance be sure to wander down to the pelican pavilion on the foreshore for an experience you will treasure.

The Pelican Feed is proudly sponsored by local businesses within and around the Central Coast and if it wasn't for their support and enthusiasm it wouldn't be as successful as it is today.

We all got our photo taken in front of a sign showing how far some of the nearest places overseas are! Boy Australia is a long way away from anywhere else!

When we got home we found there was a bush fire on the hill near Kylie's house. Bush fires are very common in Australia Kylie tells me. Even though we've had a good season so far, the fires can still be bad!

Posted Apr 16, 2008, 1:09 pm
I'm sorry I haven't written home very much in the last week. A tummy bug has gone through the family leaving a heap of washing for Kylie to do, and not much time for outings and taking photos!

Today we got to welcome a new toy voyager into our party! Flutura came for a visit! It's so nice having heaps of us all together.

As you can see, there's me (Mulalu), Mel, Flutura, Alpina is hiding behind Phillip Grammy and then there's Charity Bear. Benni had just been packaged up in his parcel to be sent off, so didn't get to meet Flutura!

Kylie had mother's group at her house today, so we all got to play with the toys after they left!!

I went with Kylie and her family to trivia tonight. I got to have a beer in a true Aussie pub. It was an RSL club which is a group of clubs for returned service men and women from the wars. I finished off a little bit of Kylie's mum's beer...

I liked it so much they bought me a beer of my own!

By the time I was finished though I think I was just about ready for a sleep!!

Kylie's team at trivia won today! It was heaps of fun, although I didn't know too many of the answers.

Posted Apr 28, 2008, 12:25 am
It has been raining here for over 2 weeks. It's a record that hasn't been matched for 15 years! Kylie aso didn't have a car all of last week, so she had to walk whenever she went somewhere - in the rain! I haven't been allowed to go out too much as my fur would get wet...

We were able to get out of the house though to go to The Entrance today. I had yummy fish and chips (although a pelican wanted to eat it first).

We also fed the seagulls. They are very noisy animals! And they get very close!

Posted Jun 26, 2008, 2:13 am
Hi again! I had heaps of fun going to a railway museum for a model train show.

This is me in the car going on the F3 Freeway to Richmond Vale Railway Museum.

There weren't just model trains though, there were REAL steam trains! I got to have a nice close look at one. They are really big and make a lot of noise...

I also got to have a trip on the train with all my friends. It was noisy and dirty but heaps of fun.

Posted Jun 26, 2008, 2:29 am
I went to a golf club today for a very very nice lunch. I got my photo taken looking out over the golf course and the housing estate that's around it. It was very pretty.

Posted Jul 25, 2008, 7:34 am

Today i arrived in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. I'm lucky because it's beautifull weather today.
Pictures comes soon.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 25, 2008, 3:19 pm

Here i am again.
I finally have some time to show you the pictures of my arrival.
The others were talking about me that my envelope was huge. They were wondering what kind of animal i was.

For me it was so funny to hear them talking and keep them waithing for me.
But after a few seconds i really wanna get out and get to know this 'voices'.

This are from the left to the right:
* Clem
* Strider
* HitchaRideDooey, but we call him Dooey

They are very nice so i think i'm gonna make great friends here!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 30, 2008, 10:02 am

It's such strange weather here in the Netherlands. It's very hot and we have a lot of rain and thunderstorms.

That's why we wanna play a game.

First we played 'Huisje, boompje, beestje' what means: House, tree, animal. It's an expression in the Netherlands.

After that we made a puzzle. We had no idea what's it gonna be, so we helped each other to make it.

Look what a wonderfull picture!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 30, 2008, 10:08 am

Today a new tv arrived.
This time it was a tiny envelope and of course we were all curious who can be in that.

Suddenly we heard the TV screaming:
'I'm home! Suprise!'
We didn't understand a thing of it till he came out and Eva start crying. It is one of her one tv's who came home.

Meet Pip.
Here in Holland Pip is very famous. Everybody here knowes Woezel and Pip. He told us his story.

"We are caracters from a story for children here in Holland.
The woman who brings us to life is Guusje Nederhorst. For many years Guusje played in a soap called "Goede tijden slechte tijden'' (good times bad times).
In 2002 she discovered her real passion: writing stories for children. That was the beginning of Woezel and Pip. Two inseparable dogs who experience funny and sometimes naughty adventures.
The little novels are a big hit here in Holland.
Unfortunally Guusje never had the change to see how many children enjoy the adventures of Woezel and Pip. She got breast cancer and died in 2004. Her husband set up the Guusje Nederhorst foundation as a memory for her creative, headstrong and brave personality."

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 30, 2008, 4:47 pm

Another TV arrived today. Great to see so much others here and get to know them.
This time it was a small envelope again and Eva told us that this time she was expecting someone. She told us we get to see a new bear here.

It's Roots Bear!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 30, 2008, 4:55 pm

Because Eva isn't able to go outside at the moment we decided to show you information and sites about Alkmaar at another way. I hope you enjoy it!


This cheese market is open every Friday morning between 10 and 12 from the first Friday in April until the first Friday in September. Market activities are explained in Dutch, German, English and sometimes Japanese. There are four teams (vemen) of cheese-porters (kaasdragers), who can be recognised by their differently coloured straw hats: red, blue, green and yellow. Two porters bring cheese on stretchers to the weighing house (Waag) - a typical stretcher "weighs in" at about 160 kilograms. Merchants sample the cheeses and decide on a price using a barter system called handjeklap, literally clapping hands.

Ruin church in Bergen:
This picturesque ruin church in Bergen once was the biggest church in Noord-Holland. From the 16th century church there is only a ruin left now, because the Beggars started a fire here. Only the choir of the church was rebuilt, so from the original church you can now only see the ruins.
In the village Bergen in Noord-Holland there are many beautiful old houses situated around the old village church.

Big church
During building the largest medieval church in Alkmaar, the church was already called the big church, because of its size. The big church is not only the largest and highest church in Alkmaar, but also the church which trough the centuries, stood most and called the jewel of the city. Originally the church was dedicated to Saint Laurens. That’s why, for centuries, the church is called The Saint Laurenschurch.

The church was probably designed by architect Anthonius Keldermans (Belgium) (1440-1512)

Beside Anthonius Keldermans brother, also his son was involved in the disign of the church, in which 26 freestanding columns support the roof. The Saint Laurens church is a basilica,

The outside walls rest on a fundation which is just below the ground. Built in the Brabant’s gothic style, which is bigger and more massive in its form than the French gothic. The building is 35 meters high and has a cross length of 85x56 meters. The outside walls rest on a one meter broad foundation which is just below thethe ground, and gradually becomes broader to a depth of tree meters. The last resauration of in-and exterieur was accomplished in 1996.

The large saint Laurens church counts two, world famous organs: Van Covelens organ (also called choir organ) and it VanHagerbeer/Schnitger or large organ. The choir organ descends from 1511 and has been placed against the northern wall of the church. The last restoration of this old, still playable, organ in the Netherlands, was completed in the year 2000. In 1636 arose the idea for the construction of a large organ in the church. Several organ builders have worked on it, but in 1645 Jacobus Caltus van Hagerbeer completed the large organ. Jacob Van Campen devised the organ cupboard and in 1643  Caesar Van Everdingen got the task to paint the doors of the organ cupboard with the ‘triomfe van den Coninck Saul’. This painting belongs to his first large work. Above the organ the painter Romeyn de Hooghe painted in baroque striking, (‘de deugd, die de ondeugd verplettert’)" virtue crushing the vice". From 1723 up to 1725 the large organ was restored and extended by Frans Caspar Schnitger. In course of time there have been several restorations on this organ.

St. Joseph Church
This church was put in use in 1910. Designed by famous church builders and students of PJH Cuypers, the Margry brothers. The church is built in neo-gothic style, which shows by the way the towers are placed and by the arched roofs.

The church is placed beautifully and is in possession of wonderful stained glass windows. The statue of Christ has been placed in 1948, in memory of Alkmaar war-victims. Their names are placed on a memorial plaque on the churches wall.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 30, 2008, 4:57 pm

Today we asked Eva to tell us everything she know about Alkmaar and the Netherlands. She told us some funny stories!

Alkmaar is above all Holland's cheese town. During the season from the first Friday of April to the first Friday of September a traditional cheese market is being held here on Friday mornings between 10 and 12.30. The cheeses are sold by dealers on a clap of hands. Thereupon the 400 year old cheese porters' guild goes into action, carrying the cheese off on barrows after the lot has been weighed at the Waag (the official scales). In the Waaggebouw - in which the scales are housed - a cheese museum that tells everything about dairy farming has been established.
Cheese has been weighed in Alkmaar since 1635.

Alkmaar is historical with around 400 monuments. The Waag, dating back in its earliest form to the 14th century, the 16th century town-hall, Grote St. Laurens Church and the many courtyards, facades and canals give the town an ambience all of its own. With the past as a setting, the town has a modern stock of shops offering a wide choice. Besides the predominantly small shops in the old centre, the Noorder Arcade with large scale shopping facilities stands by the side of the Noord Holland Canal.

Alkmaar is the biggest town in the region. Relaxation can also be found in the Geestmerambacht recreational area close by.

The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland]) is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean. The Netherlands is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy, located in Western Europe. It is bordered by the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east.

The Netherlands is often called Holland. This is formally incorrect as North and South Holland in the western Netherlands are only two of the country's twelve provinces. As a matter of fact, many Dutch people colloquially use Holland as a synecdoche, being well aware of the widespread use of this name. For more on this and other naming issues see terminology of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying and densely populated country. It is popularly known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, its dikes and surge barriers, and, on the other hand, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. But primarily, the Netherlands is a modern, advanced and open society. An old parliamentary democracy, the country is more recently known for its rather liberal policies toward recreational drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia. The Netherlands is also one of the most densely cabled countries in the world; its internet connection rate is 87.8%, the 2nd highest in the world.

The Netherlands has an international outlook; among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. Along with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Netherlands is one of three member nations of the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international(ised) courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. All of these courts (except the Special Tribunal for Lebanon), as well as the EU's criminal intelligence agency (Europol), are situated in The Hague, which has led to the city being referred to as "the world's legal capital."

A remarkable aspect of the Netherlands is its flatness. Hilly landscapes can be found only in the south-eastern tip of the country on the foothills of the Ardennes, the central part and where the glaciers pushed up several hilly ridges such as the Hondsrug in Drenthe, the stuwwallen (push moraines) near Arnhem and Nijmegen, Salland, Twente and the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.

Main article: Religion in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the more secular countries in the Western Europe, with only 39% being religiously affiliated (31% for those aged under 35), although 62% are believers (but 40% of those not in the traditional sense). Fewer than 20% visit church regularly .

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 34% of Dutch citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 37% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 27% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

In 1950, before the secularisation of Europe, and the large settlement of non-Europeans in the Netherlands, most Dutch citizens identified themselves as Christians. In 1950, out of a total population of almost 13 million, a total of 7,261,000 belonged to Protestant denominations, 3,703,000 belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, and 1,641,000 had no acknowledged religion.

However, Christian schools are still funded by the government, but the same applies for schools founded on other religions, nowadays Islam in particular. While all schools must meet strict quality criteria, from 1917 the freedom of schools is a basic principle in The Netherlands.

Three political parties in the Dutch parliament (CDA, ChristianUnion and SGP) base their policy on the Christian belief system.

Erasmus (1466–1536).The Netherlands has had many well-known painters. The 17th century, when the Dutch republic was prosperous, was the age of the "Dutch Masters", such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruysdael and many others. Famous Dutch painters of the 19th and 20th century were Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondriaan. M. C. Escher is a well-known graphics artist. Willem de Kooning was born and trained in Rotterdam, although he is considered to have reached acclaim as an American artist. Han van Meegeren was an infamous Dutch art forger.

The Netherlands is the country of philosophers Erasmus of Rotterdam and Spinoza. All of Descartes' major work was done in the Netherlands. The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) discovered Saturn's moon Titan and invented the pendulum clock. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms with a microscope.

In the Dutch Golden Age, literature flourished as well, with Joost van den Vondel and P.C. Hooft as the two most famous writers. In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the bad treatment of the natives in Dutch colonies. Important 20th century authors include Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Simon Vestdijk, Cees Nooteboom, Gerard (van het) Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she died in The Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages.

Replicas of Dutch buildings can be found in Huis ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan. A similar Holland Village is being built in Shenyang, China.

Windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, cheese and Delftware pottery are among the items associated with the Netherlands.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Jul 31, 2008, 4:16 pm

Feeling hot, hot, hot!

In reality it's 30 degrees here but as you can see it feels like 40 degrees. And you can't find any refreshment here.
That's why we decided to get a tan...

But it was so hot that we want to sit in the shadow again. The only shadow you can find here is at the dreamhouse in the garden. In this house are living two dwarfes. But they weren't home so we couldn't get into the house. Hopefully later while i'm here because i really wanna see it from the inside.
It's such a lovely house!

Big hugs from a hot Mulalu

Posted Aug 1, 2008, 6:15 pm
Happy birthday to HitchaRideDooey!

Today we celebrate his birthday.
First we sing a birthday song in dutch for him.
It goes like this:

Er is er een jarig, hoera hoera
dat kun je wel zien, dat is hij
dat vinden wij allen zo prettig jaja
en daarom zingen wij blij
hij leve lang, hoera hoera
hij leve lang, hoera hoera
hij leve lang, hoera hoera
hieperdepiep, hoeraaaaaa

First we gave him his present

We wrapped it up in orange paper, because the national color of the Netherlands is orange.

It was a t-shirt with toyvoyager on it! He loved it.

After that it was time to eat some snacks. We really want chips.

It was time to play a game! As you can see on the picture above this text we invited two other animals.
We were in a naughty mood and decided to play a kiss game. We were sitting in a cirkle and when te pen point at you,you have to kiss the one that was turning the pen. We had so much fun!

Now we are gonna dance all night long, woepie!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 3, 2008, 6:10 pm

Today we went to 'Het Geestmerambacht'.
The recreation area Geestmerambacht, which lies at north of Alkmaar, offers all kinds of possibilities for recreation in natural surroundings.
There's a nature area and a big lake and many many more, but we want to see the lake.

This is me in front of the lake:

There are also a lot of birds here:

Some pictures of the lake:

we found a thing in the water and Eva let us sit on it:

The vieuw when you look at the other side:

On our way back we saw the neighbourhood Eva lives in behind the field with vegetables:

And this is the neighbourhood Eva lives in:

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 4, 2008, 3:53 pm

Today it was time to say goodbye to Clem.
I'm gonna miss him a lot, but i'm also happy for him, because he was very excited to see more of the world.
Maybe we will meet again.

Today i get my last hug from his huggy arms:

Good luck Clem!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 4, 2008, 4:08 pm

Today we saw the prison of Alkmaar.
It is called Schutterwei and it's a prison for men.
Th prison lies in a area called Alkmaarderhout. This park is a part of an old forest with many old trees. You will find an animal farm and the prison.

Unfortunally we only saw the prison from the backside. On the front are a lot of houses so you can't see much of it.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 4, 2008, 4:26 pm

Today Eva went to the cemetary to see the graves of some relatives and she took us with her, because on the way to it you can see ducth mills.

On the parking space we first saw something else. Each year in the summer volunteers organise JOL.
Children in the age from 4 till 12 years can come there.
The main thing children do there is building cabins of everything they can find like wood and other stuff. There were some lovely cabins there. All the children decorate there own to show it is theirs.

On our way back we finally saw some mills!
But my picture failed a little bit because there was a lamp post in my way....

Om Strider his picture you can see what the meaning was. i'm sorry!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 4, 2008, 4:38 pm

Today we were helping Eva build eh... something.
She loves to make furniture, so we were all guessing what it was gonna be.

Tadaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! It's a book-closet!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 12, 2008, 1:38 pm

Today Eva had an appointment in Schoorl, the Netherlands.
Schoorl is a village near Alkmaar with duines and a wood.
On our way to it we drove trough the woods and i wanna show you that mommy.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 12, 2008, 1:46 pm

In the morning it was terrible weather. It rains a lot and there was a thunderstorm here. We watched it.

Because of the weather we were a little bit bored. Suddenly the door bell ring so we walked to the door and opened it.

Magicwoman stood there! It was such a suprise, because she is also a host here for TV's and she had two other TV's with here.

It was Count and Henry the adventure hound.

we talked a lot and it was so funny to be all together.

We also want to rest a bit. Isis the cat lives here and the only she does is sleep all day long. We decided to sleep together with her.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 18, 2008, 10:24 am

A new tv arrived today.
We were very curious who can be in that envelope.

When he came out i immediately liked him.

It is Muumipeikko!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 18, 2008, 10:36 am

This weekend Eva went to her boyfriend and she took us with her.

First Eva showed us his room. He lives in a house with students so we thought it would be a mess. Luckely this house was clean, but we found a little mess on the couch.

This evening we had a little party. Eva her boyfriend went to Mexico this holiday and as a souvenir he had a bottle tequilla. Of course we had to drink from it.

Today was allready our last day here. So i enjoyed the view from the window.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 22, 2008, 1:22 pm

Today we went to the dutch Mac Donalds. it was delicious. We ate a cheeseburger, quarter pounder, french frites and drink a milkshake.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 24, 2008, 1:49 pm

A new tv arrived today. This time it wasn't a big suprise.

We allready met him at the tv meeting with Magicwoman.

It's Henry the adventure hound!
For us it's great he's here now, because the day we met him we allready loved him.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 24, 2008, 2:31 pm

I ride on a bike today! It was scary! But i also love to do it! Fortunate for me the bike has wheels on the frame. So i kept well in balance.
Look at me mum!

When i'm home a want a bike for myself. You feel the wind and you can go fast if you want. I notice that in Holland they do not wear helmets for their safety. Everybody here rides on a bike and the people learn it to there children almost before they can walk. I looked my eyes out.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 5:08 pm

Today we eat a typical dutch snack called 'kroketten'. It taste delicious! We also eat áardappelballetjes'.

Because we learned a new dutch word we askes Eva to tell us more. Here's a list of the words i learn:

stuffed animal = knuffel
hug = knuffel
kiss= zoen
i love you = ik hou van jou
thanks = bedankt
you're welcome = graag gedaan
the Netherlands = Nederland
bye = doeg or doei
hello = hallo

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 27, 2008, 5:18 pm

Today we said goodbye to Strider. He's going home now. I'm gonna miss him a lot! It was great to get to know him, because he is such a sweet and funny bear.

Bye Strider!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Aug 30, 2008, 5:31 pm

Today it was time to say goodbye to Roots bear. He's joining the dutch trail so he's going to a friend of Eva. He was saying goodbye to us, but suddenly HitchaRideDooey asked him if he can join him on his trip. Dooey never travels alone, so this was a great oppertunity for him. Roots said yes, so now we had to say goodbye to both of them.

Hopefully we will meet again!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Sep 2, 2008, 1:16 pm

Today we baked 'cakejes'. They are delicious!

Here we have all the ingredients to make them.

The cakejes are ready!

But now we still have to decorate them. We used circus animals and little balls.

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Sep 6, 2008, 6:26 pm

Today we celebrate the birthday of Eva her son Mirdin.
First we decorate the house with 'slingers' and 'balonnen'.

After that we ate a delicious pie!
There were 4 candles on it and mirdin blow them out in a second.

Suddenly the doorbell ring. Eva didn't expected more people. It was an envelope with a tv in it!

It was Amelie! Great to meet a tv with the name wich inspired people to host toyvoyagers.

Eva and Mirdin asked us to help making little presents for the children in his class. We wanna do that!


It was a great day!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Sep 10, 2008, 3:05 pm

When you read this i'm at the postoffice, because today was my last day here in Alkmaar. I had such a great time and make many friends here. Hopefully i see them again, but i heard i'm going to Marjolein and she also host and gonna host some friends of mine. So i'm looking forward to meet her!

But first it was time to say goodbye to the tv's here.

Bye Alkmaar. Den Bosch here i come!

Big hugs Mulalu

Posted Sep 13, 2008, 10:05 pm
Hi! Just wanted to let you know I have savely arrived in 's-Hertogenbosch or Den Bosch as the Dutch usually call it. Meet the other tv's here:

Count, Hinz + Kunz, Chompers and Ambrosius.

Marjolein offered me a beer right away, I like her already! ;)

No this ain't Smirnoff, the beerglasses where all dirty.

Let me just smell this...

Mmmm I sure like Dutch beer! So clearly you see me standing next to an EMPTY beercan on this next photo...

Wow check out the alcohol these people have!!!

You might not believe it, but Marjolein never drinks any alcohol! Wow, her boyfriend sure is an alcoholic.... But no worries Marjolein, I am here to the rescue!! I will be happy to help you get rid of all this alcohol hehe.


Posted Sep 14, 2008, 6:11 pm
Hi mum,

We went for a very nice bikeride today. The weather was very nice and Count wanted to go to a cemetery. It was a beautiful cemetery with lots of trees!

On the way back we went to a park.

Marjolein told me she has seen a lot of these parks in the Netherlands. All cities and big villages have a little lake with trees and stuff surrounded by houses.

Tonight we are going to a stand-up comedy show!

Hugs Mulalu

Posted Sep 15, 2008, 11:57 am
In the night we went to a comedy club. This was in the Verkadefabriek in 's-Hertogenbosch. The Verkadefabriek is a former factory of the brand Verkade, who make cookies! Too bad they didn't had any more cookies in the factory hihi.

The stand-up comedyshow was very cool! Altough I didn't know the comedians, they where very funny. Yes, I am learning a lot of Dutch here in The Netherlands!

Across the road of the Verkadefabriek was yet another former factory. This is a sigaretfactory of Willem II.

This factory is also a place for theater, music and other performances now.

Doeg doeg (bye bye) Mulalu

Posted Sep 24, 2008, 10:02 pm
Hello mummy,

I went to the party of Marjolein's grandparents today! They are married for 55 years! Wow that is a very long time!! I got a very nice invitation just for me! We ate cake and drank coffe and after that made a boottrip, on the Paterswoldsemeer. That's a lake near Groningen.

After this we ate lots of food! Very, very nice food! And that wasn't all: they had cake! Mmmmm it was very nice!

Hugs Mulala

Posted Jan 17, 2009, 11:52 am
Merry Christmas!

Marjolein says sorry for waiting so long with updating! She was extremely busy with school, but now it's a bit more slow at school.

Today we went to the zoo Noorder Dierenpark in Emmen.

I saw lots of elephants! These are Indian elephants.

I also saw a really old elephant! This one is from the prehistoric time. He didn't say that much.

And of course they also had other animals, Marjolein made photo's of a few of them.



Posted Mar 6, 2009, 6:11 pm
Today Marjolein bought a little present for her boyfriend:

Yummie!!! That's all milkchocolate, ooh lala :D I hope a get a little piece....

Hugs Mulalu