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Category: Travel

Posts about interesting places I’ve been or want to visit

Exploring the Locations used in Rituals of the Dead

Exploring the Locations used in Rituals of the Dead

My latest art-related mystery, Rituals of the Dead, is set in Papua and the Netherlands – two nations on opposite sides of the globe yet connected by a colonial past.   Dutch New Guinea Dutch New Guinea – as the Papua Province of Indonesia was known until 1963 – was considered to be one of the last truly wild frontiers. The seemingly impenetrable interior and extreme weather, combined with rumors of headhunting and a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, enticed many explorers wishing…

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Mission Museum Steyl

Mission Museum Steyl

At the southernmost tip of the Netherlands is a hidden jewel unknown to most tourists and locals – the Monastery village of Steyl. It is situated on a bend in the Maas River, across the water from Germany and close to the Belgian border.   Steyl Mission Congregation The village was founded in 1875 by Father Arnold Janssen as the home for his newly established Steyl Mission Congregation. The brothers and sisters of this Catholic organization built their own self-sufficient…

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The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery Goodreads Giveaway

The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery Goodreads Giveaway

Don’t miss your chance to win two thrilling art mysteries! Starting today, Goodreads members will have a chance to win a signed paperback copy of The Lover’s Portrait! And don’t forget to enter to win Rituals of the Dead while you are there. Happy reading!   The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving…

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Sinterklaas has arrived in the Netherlands!

Sinterklaas has arrived in the Netherlands!

While my American friends and family are preparing for Thanksgiving, here in the Netherlands our ‘Christmas’ has already begun! On Saturday November 18, Sinterklaas and his helpers (Pietjes) arrived by steamboat after a grueling trip across the rough seas. We know how difficult his week-long trip from Spain was because a special ‘Sinterklaasjournal’ – a fifteen minute news program for kids – is broadcast every night on national television, bringing us the highs and lows of his long and arduous…

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November 11 is Sint Maarten

November 11 is Sint Maarten

Last night, Dutch streets were lit up by hundreds of children carrying lamps, in search of candy. November 11 is Sint Maarten, or Saint Martin’s Day. Officially, it’s the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours, a Bishop who was a patron of the poor. One of his more famous acts was cutting his cloak in half and giving it to a beggar. Nowadays, it is a day for children – often dressed up as little bishops, Spiderman or whatever…

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Travel and Memoirs Giveaway

Travel and Memoirs Giveaway

I am thrilled to see a preview of Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand included in the Travel and Memoirs Giveaway this week on Instafreebie. If you love to read travel stories, memoirs and travelogues, you won’t want to miss this chance to download 24 free travel books and previews authored by adventurous souls. These books span the globe from Australia and New Zealand to Argentina and the Czech Republic, with fabulous places in between! They capture experiences as…

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The world’s first Homomonument turns 30

The world’s first Homomonument turns 30

On September 5, the Homomonument turns thirty! In the shadows of the Westerkerk is this unique and imposing monument which was erected to ‘inspire and support homosexual men and women in their fight against denial, repression and discrimination.’ It was the first monument in the world to honor homosexual victims of World War Two. The thing is, you may not even realize you are standing on the monument when you are there 🙂  Three pink marble triangles placed into the…

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Pride Amsterdam 2017

Pride Amsterdam 2017

Amsterdam is painted in vibrant rainbow colors this week! Pride Amsterdam kicked off Saturday night and continues until August 6. This is one of the most fun weeks to be here thanks to all of the celebrations, street parties, outdoor concerts and over-the-top outfits you’re bound to encounter when roaming around the city center. My favorite part of the week is the Canal Parade. Eighty boats representing a diverse array of LGBTQ-friendly organizations will sail through the city center on…

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Amsterdam: Family Fun for Everyone

Amsterdam: Family Fun for Everyone

Despite its reputation as Europe’s Sin City, Amsterdam is a wonderful destination for a family vacation. For starters, there are a plethora of free playgrounds and parks spread throughout the city you can let you little ones loose in. Most cultural institutions have created interactive exhibitions geared towards young children and several tour companies offer special family tours via bus, boat or foot. As a parent of an active six-year-old, I want to share three of my favorite places to…

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Family vacation in Little Switzerland: Echternach, Luxembourg (Part Two)

Family vacation in Little Switzerland: Echternach, Luxembourg (Part Two)

Luxembourg is a fascinating little country that is quickly becoming one of our family’s favorite holiday destinations. On our third trip to this tiny country, we choose to head south to the Mullerthal region, also known as little Switzerland. Echternach, the area’s cultural capital, was indeed the perfect place for us city folk to get back to nature for a few days and explore the hilly, forested region. In Part One of this post, I shared pictures and stories about Echternach. Today…

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