*~Mr. Bubbles~*, Alkmaar, the Netherlands


Posted Aug 4, 2008, 6:59 am
Hi there!  My name is Mr. Bubbles, and I am sure happy to have become a toyvoyager!  I am hoping to be adopted and am looking for someone who lives near a HUGE body of water.  If you fit this bill, please leave me a pm!

Posted Oct 21, 2008, 2:17 pm

Today i arrived in Alkmaar, the Netherlands.
My host is just as excited as i am to start this challenge.
I also met two other TV's today.
Pictures comes soon!

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Oct 21, 2008, 2:43 pm
Random act part 3: The arrival


As i said before i met two other TV's. Great to see two other ones wich the same goal in life as me: become a toyvoyager.
I was so glad to finally come out of the envelope. I really wanna see some daylight again.

But for now, i wanna show you my new friends:

I can't whait to show you more!

But now i'm gonna rest, because it was a long trip to get here.

Big Hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Oct 24, 2008, 3:20 pm
Random acts part 3: A typical dutch site


Today we went to the Northsea in Bergen aan Zee.
It was raining so hard, that we decided to make pictures and run back to the car as soon as we can.

Here some information about the North Sea:
The North Sea is a marginal, epeiric sea of the Atlantic Ocean on the European continental shelf. It is more than 600 miles (970 km) long and 350 miles (560 km) wide, with an area of around 222,000 square miles (570,000 km2). A large part of the European drainage basin empties into the North Sea including water from the Baltic Sea. The North Sea connects with the rest of the Atlantic through the Dover Strait and the English Channel in the south and through the Norwegian Sea in the north.

The North Sea averages about 100 m (325 ft) deep, with a maximum depth of 700 m (2300 ft) and in some areas shallows can be a mere 15 m deep. The North Sea lies above what used to be the triple junction between three continental tectonic plates in the early Paleozoic Era. Movement on the faults associated with these tectonic phenomena can still cause earthquakes and small tsunamis. The sea's coastal features are the result of glacial movements rather than tectonics. Deep fjords and sheer cliffs mark the coastline of the northern part of the North Sea, whereas the southern coasts consist of sandy beaches and mudflats. These flatter areas are particularly susceptible to flooding, especially as a result of storm tides. Elaborate systems of dikes have been constructed to protect coastal areas.

The development of European civilization has been heavily affected by the maritime traffic on the North Sea. The Romans and the Vikings sought to extend their territory across the sea. Both the Hanseatic League and the Netherlands sought to dominate commerce on the North Sea and through it to access the markets of the world. Britain's development as a sea power depended heavily upon its dominance in the North Sea, where some of its rivals sought power, first the Netherlands and finally Germany and to a lesser extent Russia and the Scandinavian nations. Commercial enterprises, growing populations, and limited resources gave the nations on the North Sea the desire to control or access the North Sea for their own commercial, military, and colonial ends.

Its importance has turned from the military to the economic. Traditional economic activities, such as fishing and shipping, have continued to grow and other resources, such as fossil fuels and wind energy, have been discovered and developed.

And here am i in front of the dunes, and in front of the sea:


Posted Oct 24, 2008, 3:23 pm
Random acts part 3: Information about The Netherlands and Alkmaar


Today I asked Eva to tell me everything she know about Alkmaar and the Netherlands. She told me some interesting 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

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 (14661536).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 (16291695) 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 Mr. Bubbles

Posted Oct 24, 2008, 3:25 pm
Random acts part 3: Typical things for the Netherlands and Alkmaar


I really wanna show you some pictures of Alkmaar and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands


This is the flag of the Netherlands


The Netherlands is a small country next to Germany and Belgium. On the left side lies the Nordsea.


Here you can see the Netherlands and the biggest towns. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.



The flag of Alkmaar


The weapon of Alkmaar


The map were you can see Alkmaar


This was the map of Alkmaar in 1652


The cities wich lies next to Alkmaar


and last but not least: the city hall of Alkmaar

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Oct 24, 2008, 3:31 pm
Random acts part 3: The weather this week


It is very cold here: 11 degrees. Luckely there wasn't rain for the last days, except today. Today we didn't see the sun at all! And there is also a lot of wind here. Hopefully we have better weather next week, but i keep you posted, and next week i will make pictures of me in front of the sky.


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Oct 30, 2008, 8:46 am
Random acts part 3: The animals


Today i wanna show you the pets that live here.

This is Dharma. He's a sweet little puppy, but he's also very wild! And he has very sharp teeth, so i have to watch out. His father is a French Bulldog and his mother is a Welsh Corki. He's now 8 moths old.

This fluffy cat is Isis. She sleeps almost the whole day. But she is eleven years old, and that's very old for her kind. It seems like she is mad, but that isn't true. She's one of the sweetest cats i ever met.

This is Mammoet. He's also very sweet. I was afraid of his teeth, but Eva told me that he never bites. He doesn't even know how to do that!

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Oct 30, 2008, 8:51 am
Random acts part 3: The house


It is time to show you the house were i stay now.

The hall:
You can find a closet here were my host has here tools and the toilet.

The livingroom:



The kitchen:

The bathroom:

Always a mess hihi

The bedroom:



Big hugs Mr. Bubbles


Posted Oct 30, 2008, 8:57 am
Random acts part 3: Saying goodbye


Today it was time to say goodbye to Bokkie. She become such a good friend. I'm gonna miss her a lot. Maybe we will meet agian sometimes. I hope so!

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 5, 2008, 12:56 pm
Random acts part 3: things my host does a lot


Today i wanna tell you more about my host and her live.
She's not working for the last two years because of her illnes. But she can't sit still, so she decided to let one of her dreams come true: write a book. First she write a book that she describe as rubbisch now. So she write another book and with this book she was very happy.
She send it to a publisher and he had good news: he really wants to publish her book.
A month ago it finally was in the stores.


For the last month Eva promote her book everywere. So that's what she does the whole day:
- make flyers
- call magazines and send them her book, so maybe they can write something about it
- she got interviews and some people want to make a picture of her

This is the flyer:

I know it's all in dutch, but the title of the book means: diary of an impulsive caracter.

She also made a site about her book: http://evakrap.hyve.nl/

But this is not the only thing she does. At the moment she is very busy with her next book. She allready send it to the publisher, but she is whaiting for an answer if he want to publish this too. It's a novel for children. In the novel are four fairytales. But the stories needs little drawings.
This are two examples:


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 5, 2008, 1:00 pm
Random acts part 3: The weather this week


This week was almost the same as last week, but it's a few degrees colder now.


Hopefully next week the weather isn't this boring anymore!

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 5, 2008, 1:02 pm
Random acts part 3: Saying goodbye again


Today i said goodbye to Amelie. She going to an other host in the Netherlands. I'm gonna miss her a lot! I hope she will have a lot of fun on her journey.

Bye Amelie!

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 11:02 am
Random acts part 3: A typical dutch site


We went to 'Korenmolen 't Roode hert' (translation: mill the red deer) in Oudorp/ Alkmaar.
It is the thirth mill standing on this place.
The first was burned down in 1817. The second one was burned down because of firework on september 15th 1924.
The mill you see now is build in 1925.

In this mill they make the ingredients to make bread. They are thinking about move the mill 300 meter from the place it stand now because the new stores in this area keep the wind away, and a mill needs wind to work perfect.
They are gonna do this is 2011/2012.


On our way back home we saw more mills!


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 11:06 am
Random acts part 3: The Dutch highway and....


Today we drove on the dutch highway. I had no idea were i was going to...

It was....

The carwash!





Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 8, 2008, 11:08 am
Random acts part 3: The Dutch MacDonalds


Today we went to the dutch MacDonalds.


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 11, 2008, 10:46 am
Random acts part 3: A typical dutch celebratrion


Today it is an exiting day in the Netherlands. The children celebrate 'Sint Maarten'.

Let me tell you something about it.
St. Martin's Day (or Martinstag) is November 11, the feast day of Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me."

The day is celebrated in the evening of November 11 in parts of Flanders and some parts of the Netherlands and most areas of Germany and Austria. Children go to houses with paper lanterns and candles, and sing songs about St. Martin in return for treats. Often, a man dressed as St. Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession.

In recent years, the lantern processions have become widespread even in Protestant areas of Germany and the Netherlands, despite the fact that most Protestant churches do not recognize saints as distinct from the laity.

Also, in the east part of the Belgian province of West-Flanders, especially around Ypres, children receive presents from St. Martin on November 11. In other areas it is customary that children receive gifts later in the year from either Saint Nicholas on December 5 (called Sinterklaas in the Netherlands) or Santa Claus on December 25.

In some areas, there is a traditional goose meal, although in West Flanders there is no specific meal; it is more a day for children, with toys brought on the night of 10 to 11 November. According to legend, Martin was reluctant to become bishop, which is why he hid in a stable filled with geese. The noise made by the geese betrayed his location to the people who were looking for him.

I hope i can make pictures tonight with the paper lantern and candies.
Eva also told me that we are gonna see Sinterklaas this saturday, because he's coming to the Netherlands on that day. But more about Sinterklaas soon.

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 11, 2008, 7:59 pm
Random acts part 3: The Sint Maarten pictures


As promised: here are the pictures of Sint Maarten.

Me on a paper lantern


The candies!

It was great to hear all those children sing the songs.
Here is one of them in Dutch:

Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten
De koeien hebben staarten
De meisjes hebben rokjes aan
Daar komt Sint Maarten aan

The translation:
Sint Martin, Sint Martin
The cows have tails
The girls wearing skirts
There is Sint Martin.

Big hugs Mr. Bubbels

Posted Nov 11, 2008, 8:02 pm
Random acts part 3: The weather this week


Yesterdag and today it was heavy weather.
There was a lot of rain and a very hard wind.

So the only thing i can say is: it's raining again, oh no, it's raining again :(


Big hugs Mr. Bubbels

Posted Nov 15, 2008, 3:44 pm
Random acts part 3: Den Helder


Today we went to Den Helder to visit Eva her grandma.
Den Helder has ever started with the arising of Huisduinen, a whaler village. Gradually it developed into Den Helder which we know now. A city which was built within the linies of the forten. Later formed a number of districts there around. The space between the different town parts is characteristic. Den Helder is a city with a strongly maritime screen. Sea-going, the rescue being, the offshore and the royal Navy natural.

The Navy has stipulated many years' the image of Den Helder. But the Navy shrank in, Den Helder threatened to become a city with no face. By nourishing the culturehistory , the tales of the seaman and with that the coherent heroiek Den Helder has rediscovered its own core values.

Eva told me this while i was watching the ship-building yard.






Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 15, 2008, 3:50 pm
Random acts part 3: Sinterklaas


Today Sinterklaas went to the Netherlands.
Sinterklaas (also called Sint-Nicolaas in Dutch and Saint Nicolas in French) is a traditional holiday figure in the Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles and Belgium, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas' eve (December 5) or, in Belgium, on the morning of December 6. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of, among other things, children.

It is also celebrated to a lesser extent in parts of France (North, Alsace, Lorraine), as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Additionally, many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. celebrate "St. Nicholas Day" the morning of December 6th. The traditions differ from country to country, even between Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas' Eve, (December 5th) is the chief occasion for gift-giving. The evening is called sinterklaasavond or "pakjesavond" ("presents' evening"). Traditionally, presents are ingeniously wrapped, and are therefore called surprises. Also, presents are traditionally accompanied by a poem from Saint Nicholas.

Sinterklaas is the basis for the North American figure of Santa Claus. It is often alleged that, during the American War of Independence, the inhabitants of New York City, a former Dutch colonial town (New Amsterdam) which had been swapped by the Dutch for other territories, reinvented their Sinterklaas tradition, as Saint Nicholas to be a symbol of the city's non-English past. The name Santa Claus is derived from older Dutch Sinte Klaas. However the Saint Nicholas Society was not founded until 1835, almost half a century after the end of the American War of Independence. Moreover, a study of the "children's books, periodicals and journals" of New Amsterdam by Charles Jones revealed no references to Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas ("Knickerbocker Santa Claus," New York Historical Society Quarterly, October 1954).

The horse of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet:


Sinterklaas himself:


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 22, 2008, 11:48 am
Random acts part 3: Dutch food


When Sinterklaas is in the country, his Pieten give candy to all the children. It is called: Pepernoten.

Here it is!

They taste delicious.

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 22, 2008, 11:50 am
Random acts part 3: Dutch food


Today i eat 'kroketten'. This is a typicall dutch snack and most people eat it with frites.

But as you can see you can also eat it with cheese on a bread. The outside is hard, but on the inside it's creamy.

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 22, 2008, 11:55 am
Random acts part 3: The weather this week


It is very strange weather in the Netherlands.
There is storm, rain, hailstone, thunderstorm and.....



How great is that? I saw it all this week. The storm is terrible. Trees are lying on the road and made more dammage.
Sometimes it's a little bit scary.
But the snow makes everything better now!

For the last time:



I can't get enough of it!

Here you can see how bad the weather is right now:

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Nov 24, 2008, 10:23 am
Random acts part 3: helping my host decorate...

A christmas tree!!
Okay, it's a little bit early for a tree, but why not.
My host couldn't whait anymore, so we bought a tree and stars, lights etc.


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Dec 19, 2008, 8:46 am

Long time, no see.
I have a new friend!
Today the mailman came with a big envelope. Eva and i were very curious who can be in it.


It's Papelbon.
He's so cute and it's great to spend the holidays with him.

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Dec 24, 2008, 1:56 pm

Today we went to Bergen in Nord-Holland.
There's a beautifull forest.
Unfortunally it's fall, so the trees have no leaves anymore. But still it was wonderfull to be there!


Big hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Jan 1, 2009, 5:41 pm
Happy New year!!!!

We celebrate it at my host her home.

First we drink a lot of wine:

We also watched tv and we were hoping to win 12,5 milion euro. But unfortunally we didn't win.

At 12 o'clock there was a lot of firework! It was so beautifull to see. Only one picture succeed:

It was great to celebrate this evening in another country.

Big Hugs Mr. Bubbles

Posted Jan 14, 2009, 5:40 pm

Today is my last day here in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. I had a great time, but it's time for me to go home. So just a few days mommy and we will see each other! I can't whait :D

Big hugs Mr. Bubbles