Rembrandt….

Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606 ~ 1669).
Rembrandt is known as probably the most important painter in Dutch History.  He was one of the “Dutch Masters” from the Golden Age (1600s).  Here in Amsterdam, there is a Rembrandt Square, a Rembrandt house-museum, a Rembrandt corner, various bars and even streets that carry his name.  Safe to say that when you say “Rembrandt” people know you are talking about a Dutch artist famous for such works as “The Night Watch” and the “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.”


This Statue of the famous Dutch painter “Rembrandt” sits where?  In the middle of Rembrandt Square of course!

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Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk (Old Church) Built in approximately 1300 AD

I went to look again at the Oude Kerk (Old Church), it had been many years since I was last there.  My friend Dave in San Diego mentioned to me that the Old Church had a wonderful Pipe Organ that he had read about.  Dave is an accomplished Organist himself.  Years ago he played the organ for the San Diego Padres Baseball Team.  I wanted to take a few pictures of the Old Church Organ for Dave.  Since I was not able to use flash, the pictures are not the greatest but it’s the thought that counts… Enjoy Dave!



The Grandest of the two Pipe Organs in the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam.





The Smaller of the two Pipe Organs in the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam.



A small “practice organ” in the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam…. Oh How I Love Amsterdam!

In early 1992 I visited Amsterdam for the first time.  I immediately fell in love with this city.  I have been back many times in the last 19 years.  It’s many canals, narrow shop-lined streets and beautiful building facades make a walk in Amsterdam a visual adventure no matter how many times you do it!  I find myself just walking with no destination in mind.  I follow one canal to an interesting looking street to another canal… and before I know it I need to pull out my map.  Wandering is not only fun but its good exercise too.  They say life is about the journey and not the destination, I would say that is also very true for a walk in Amsterdam, enjoy the journey!

A typical canal scene during a walk through the streets of Amsterdam.  A tour-boat, a house boat, a bridge and a church steeple make the picture almost complete.  The only thing missing is someone on a bicycle!

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Escape From Africa….

I spent almost a year in Equatorial Guinea, Africa.  An experience I will long remember.

As Saint Augustine said,
                      
                   “The World is a Book,  those who do not travel read only one page.”

I don’t read a lot of books but I believe one can learn as much through life’s experiences.

As I turn the page on a new chapter of my life’s experiences, Africa will no doubt be in the front of my book.

I recently visited Mainz, Germany.  I enjoyed being able to drink water from the tap, something I had not been able to do in Africa.  I also enjoyed the order and punctuality of everything in Germany, shops open at the time stated on their doors and trains arrive on time.  I also enjoyed the “Bretzels.”  The Germans know how to bake bread!

Mainz was a fort city of the Holy Roman Empire and has been a strategic location for over 2000 years.   The Roman Fort in Mainz commanded the west bank of the Rhine River and formed part of the northern most frontier of the empire.  The Rhine has been host to many famous armies, from the Romans to Napoleon to George Patton.

The Theodore Heuss Bridge over the Rhine River in Mainz, Germany.

Old Town Mainz.

Mainz Cathedral.

Mainz Cathedral 2.

Saint Boniface, Mainz Cathedral.

Drusus Monument.  Drusus was a nephew of Julius Caesar and was Commander of Roman forces in Mainz over 2000 years ago.  His men built this monument to commemorate him on the citadel overlooking the city and the Rhine River.

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A New Chapter Begins

Today at 05:15 AM, my plane landed in Paris.  I then caught a connecting flight to Frankfurt, Germany where I now sit as I up-date this Blog.  I departed Africa late yesterday on an Air France flight.  My “Posts” from Africa have ended.  The program I was working on in Equatorial Guinea, Africa ended and it’s now time to begin a new chapter in my life.  I spent about 1 year in Africa and had some wonderful experiences but time has come to move on to a new adventure.  As I try to capture my year in Africa I can’t help but think how fortunate I was to have such a unique opportunity to work there.  To experience another culture up close and personal.  Now when I hear a news story about a sub-Saharan Africa country I will better understand the situation because I actually lived there.  To all my Equato-Guinean friends I want to thank you for letting me be a visitor in your country.  I wish you all a happy and secure future!

For the next few weeks I will call somewhere in Europe home!

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