(I have also included Dutch and Shetland names to birds. Dutch names= Du and Shetland names= Sh)
Saturday the 13th
Our first leg of the journey took us on the Northlink boat, the Hrossey to Aberdeen
The Thialf, I've heard this is the biggest of its kind (lifting barge) and
it can lift over 14,000 tons with its cranes.
Sunday the 14th
We arrived in Aberdeen early so we spent some time exploring the Aberdeen Harbour before we went for breakfast.
A Great Black-backed Gull (Du=Mantelmeeuw) and eclipse plumage Eiders (Sh=Dunter or Du=Eidereend)
A young Common Gull (Du: Stormmeeuw)
The Ferris Wheel at Codonas
The Olympic Hercules and the Aberdeen Harbour Watchtower
While out walking we came across a flock of over 150 House Sparrows (Du=Huismus), two Song Thrushes (Du=Zanglijster), Swallows (Du=Boerenzwaluw) and House Martins (Du=Huiszwaluw)
Any ideas on what this egg is?
we didn't think it was Starlings or a Blackbirds but around the same size
After we'd arrived at our hotel, Steve, Laura and I went to Codona's sunset boulevard while Mairi, Abby and Ellie went shopping.
When we arrived there was a huge climbing-frame type thing that was over 60 foot high and I went to the top (with a harness of course)
After we'd all rendezvoused at the hotel we went out for tea, then we went to Codonas again (this time all of us) and we finally went to catch a movie before arriving back at the hotel for a nice long sleep (before our plane the next day)
Monday the 15th
So today we got our flight from Aberdeen airport to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam which took one and a half hours
The shadow of the plane against the clouds
A world in the clouds
A small island somewhere in the North Sea
One of our first looks at The Netherlands
(The flight was amazing, it was such nice and sunny weather which made the flight even smoother)
After getting off the plane at around 13.00 Netherland time (The Netherlands is an hour ahead of Shetland) we got our suitcases and made for a cafe.
House Sparrow (Du=Huismus)
After we had a bite to eat we headed to the bottom floor of the airport which was the train station.
From here we got the train to Groningen which took about two hours
Some strange looking architecture, but is actually amazing when you look at it.
The Netherlands has some of the best architects in the world.
The Royal Bank of Scotland
The stairs of this building go all around the outside of it,
imagine walking up it in a force 12 wind.
One of the Netherlands iconic windmills
And after finally arriving in Groningen, we met up with Marjolein and two of her daughters Marin and Alison.
Marin took Abby and I on the bus to Roden since there was no more room in the car.
We saw this really cool bus stop which we got to stand in a few days later
When we arrived at Steven and Marjolein's house in Roden, everyone said hello, hugged and greeted each other before we sat down and had our tea in their back garden.
Sap from the tree?
A snail on a courgette leaf
While I was waiting for tea to be ready, I noticed some Swifts (Du=Gierzwaluw) flying high above the house (most days you would see them, sometimes in twos and sometimes in a group of ten or more).
Tuesday the 16th
In the morning Marjolein and I cycled to the nearby shop, On the way to the shop we saw some Coots (Du=Meerkoet)
While she got what she needed, I took pictures of some of the things outside the shop.
Like this pony
and this moth of some sort.
Before we headed back to the house, we took a quick trip to a nearby lake that was quite good for wildlife (mostly bird and insects).
We saw this Grey Heron (Sh=Haegrie or Du=Blauwe reiger) fly into a tree (for me it is quite unusual to see them in trees since we don't have that many in Shetland).
Today we went to a large playground which had a petting zoo
(It was quite good I would say for people my age)
A panoramic view of a miniature train track (it must have taken months, maybe years to make)
A Dragonfly sp
A white Peacock
Some of the Goats
A Moorhen (Du=Waterhoen) chick
A Swallow (Du=Boerenzwaluw) fledgling
Just before we left, all the lasses took a five minute trip on a miniature train
(it was not the train track in this picture)
In the afternoon we all went to the town centre in Roden for shopping
Tiny tree, big pinecones
A Jackdaw (Du=Kauw)
Watering plants the easy way
A Woodpigeon (Du=Houtduif)
While we were out shopping, we picked up a few things for a barbecue that we were going to have later that day.
The men working the barbecue
A blurry photo of a Brown Hare
(Story continued on part 2 of our "Netherlands Holiday")