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Special: In Honor of a Special Man, John Muir, a Man with a Vision/ Ter Ere van een Speciale Man, John Muir, een Man met een Visie

The Mountains are Calling & I Must Go.  John Muir protector of Nature in the Sierra Nevada, California - John Muir Beschermer van de Natuur in the Sierra Nevada, Californië
Tomorrow 21 April 1838,  180 years ago, a man with a heart for nature was born and due to this special man we are able to visit Yosemite National Park & Sequoia National Park. Those who have been to California have heard the name of this special man, maybe because you have visited John Muir Wilderness or Muir Woods National Monument.
Being only a part of the full quote: “The mountains are calling & I must go & I will work on while I can, studying incessantly”, many know John Muir for the expression:
“The Mountains are Calling & I Must go”
Many, from all over the world, have used this quote to expresses their love for wilderness .

John Muir (Dunbar, Scottland April 21, 1838 – Los Angeles, December 14, 1914) also known as  "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks"  w…

Special: Medieval Castle Muiderslot, One of the Many Castles we Dutch have / Middeleeuws Kasteel Muiderslot, Een van de Vele Kastelen die wij Nederlanders hebben.

The Netherlands, A Tiny Country Rich in Castles - Nederland, Een Kikkerlandje Rijk aan Kastelen


The Netherlands is a small country, has many inhabitants and we do often speak before we think, but what the Netherlands also has is a lot of history and many castles. And yesterday I was able to get acquainted with one of those castles during my bike ride. One of the most beautiful castles in the Netherlands: Het Muiderslot
The castle was built at the entrance of the river Vecht in the Zuiderzee, where nowadays the IJmeer lies. Immediately at the castle lies Muiden with its harbor. Little is known about the very beginning of the castle and it is suspected that the spot where this large square water castle was built, has been a toll booth where tolls were levied on ships that made use of the waterway that connects Amsterdam to the east of the Netherlands. .

The history of Castle Muiderslot goes back to the end of the 13th century. The castle is a moated castle and was built by Count Floris V, Co…

2018 Travel Tip 5 - One heck of a Road / Een Top Weg: Grande Strada delle Dolomiti - 2018 Reistip Tip 5

Hit The Road Jack!!! The Great Dolomites Road. Andiamo!!! - Hit The Road Jack!!! De Grote Dolomieten Weg. Andiamo!!!

Before I return to my beloved Dolomites, I wanted to ask your attention for or make you aware of one of the most beautiful routes in this area.  It is therefore appropriately called "The Grande Strada delle Dolomiti" or in English “The Great Dolomites Road”. The road was the first holiday route for the development of the Dolomites, which opened on September 13, 1909. It has a length of about 110 km, it runs from west (Cardano / Kardaun) to east (Cortina d'Ampezzo). It crosses three provinces in Italy, namely Bolzano, Trento and Belluno.

The Route: The Grande Strada della Dolomiti.
Some History. The idea behind the construction of the road was to give mountain lovers easier access to the Dolomites. Two initiators from Merano and Bolzano wanted to open the road in 1898 in honor of Emperor Franz Joseph's 50th anniversary with the name Kaiserstraße but this plan w…

Special - Katmai NP's Centennial - Let's Celebrate & Visit / Katmai NP Eeuwfeest

Katmai National Park & Preserve: 100 Years Protected Wilderness Area Katmai National Park & Preserve: 100 Jaar Beschermd Natuurgebied
Let me start with to apologize for the quality of photos as these were taken in the for me non digital timezone (2000), so I scanned the photos in but the time definately has damages the photos. But nevertheless I wanted to put in a couple to show what you can expect.
One of the most beautiful things I've seen during my travels in North America lies in Alaska and if I'm honest I think that my round trip in Alaska was one of the most beautiful trips I've made thus far. This year, in September, Katmai National Park & Preserve exists 100 years. Although it was only recognized in 1980 as National Park, the protected state of National Monument exists since 1918. The park is mainly known for its "Alaskan Brown Bears" and "Valley of The Ten Thousand Smokes".
Katmai NP is an American National Park in the south of Alaska, abo…

Special: Den Ham & Estate Haarzuilens, Let’s Explore / Ridderhof Den Ham & Landgoed Haarzuilens, Op Ontdekking

Donjon Den Ham: An Iconic Landmark - Woontoren Den Ham: Een Iconisch Orientatiepunt.


For years I cycle through Vleuten and I see the Hamtoren but due to the new bike path you see the Hamtoren in a different and more impressive way. The Hamtoren is the remainder and I can say an impressive remainder of  Castle Den Ham in Vleuten in the Province of Utrecht. In the Province of Utrecht there are many  Ridderhofsteden as they where called in the past.  (See my blog about Kasteel Loenersloot and the explanation of Ridderhofsteden).
It is mentioned for the first time in 1325 and it is assumed that it was built around 1260 as a residential tower (donjon) and in the following centuries wings were built, until there was a castle with an area, about six times larger was the current Hamtoren.
A pen drawing from J. de Beijer: Castle Den Ham around 1750

It was strategically chosen at an inlet of the old Rijnloop because it was better defensible. With the tower the owner could exercise power on the env…

Special: Let’s visit a Dutch Heritage - Castle Loenersloot / Bezoek een Nederlands Erfgoed - Kasteel Loenersloot

Loenersloot Castle, Dutch Heritage and Worth a Visit. - Kasteel Loenersloot, Nederlands Erfgoed en een Bezoek waard.

Castle Loenersloot is a castle and former  “Ridderhofstad” in Loenersloot, located on the western bank of the river Angstel. Ridderhofstad is the name for a historic estate (house and grounds) whose origins go back to an owner who was a member of the knighthood in the province of Utrecht.
1258: the castle is mentioned for the first time in history and then probably only consisted of one
           defense tower (donjon).  1435: Van Loenersloot family sold the castle to the Van Swieten family 1516: then sold to the Van Amstel van Mijnden family. 1707: the castle came into the possession of Diederik Johan baron of Stepraedt 1766: Hendrik Willem van Hoorn becomes owner. He started with the demolition, but went
           broke four years later and the property was sold to Andries Strick van Linschoten. 1791: the castle comes into the possession of the Martini Buys family; th…

Special - Let's Explore: Timmelsjoch High Mountain Road / Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstraße

Timmelsjoch High Mountain Road Celebrates 50 years. A Road You Should Drive when in the Area. - Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstraße Viert 50 jaar. Een Weg die je Gereden moet hebben als je in de Buurt bent.

Introduction At the end of the ÖtztalValley lies the "Diamond of the Alps" or the skiing and hiking area Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.
Obergurgl (1.930 m) is at the end of the valley, in the summer and winter an excellent place for outdoor entertainment.
The Road to Hochgurgl (2.150 m) deflects, about 2 km before Obergurgl and is mainly a ski resort with almost only luxury hotels  which are, with an exception of a single one,  not open during the summer.
Summer it’s a heaven for motorcyclists, bikers and motorists, because the Essence of this BLOG starts here with the presence of The Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstraße.
This beautiful mountain pass celebrates its 50SteBirthday in September.


The Timmelsjochor as the Italian name states Passo Del Rombo, is a 2.509 metres high mountain pass on the border…