Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Haarlem's mystery

A frequent reader sent me an interesting fragment of a Dutch TV show, where they were investigating the myth about secret tunnels under the city of Haarlem.

See the fragment on-line (Windows streaming media), or visit their website for more options.



Christoffelberg.On Monday, the third day of our stay, we made a trip to the other side of the island, to "Westpunt". I thought that Westpunt was something like a small village, so when we asked for a bus to that village in the hotel that caused some confusion: there is no village, it's just the name of the west-side of the island.

We wanted to visit the national park on the island, the Christoffel park, named after the highest mountain on the island, Christoffelberg.

At 9.30 am there was a bus from our hotel, a small mini-van, and we were the only passengers. Although the park was not the official destination the driver dropped us of at the entrance of the park. It was warm and sunny, so we had brought water, some snacks and a very good sunblock -- which we would need badly later that day.

There were a number of trails to walk in the park, and we decided to climb the Christoffelberg itself. It was a beautiful hike, but we had underestimated the effort a little bit, and it turned out to be a four hour trip under the warm Curacao sun. It was good we brought our supplies, especially the sunblock.

We made some nice pictures of our hike.

We were back around 3.15 pm, and our van came to pick us up. We were glad to be back in the civilized world and I'm proud to say that I have climbed the second-highest mountain in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the highest being the mountain on Saba).



Vacation on Curacao.Last week we went on vacation to Curacao, an island in the Netherlands Antilles. It's located just north of Venezuela, in the Caribbean Sea.

We were looking for a place with good weather and good beaches, but also for culture and cities -- not an average beach-resort destination where all you can do is lie on the beach. And we found it!

Curacao was the perfect destination for us: excellent weather, beautiful nature and beaches and in Willemstad a very interesting mix of cultures. We booked our trip on Expedia, where we found a very nice hotel, Kura Hulanda in the heart of Willemstad, that added to the whole experience of the vacation.

After we arrived in Curacao on Saturday afternoon, we checked in the hotel and went for a walk through the harbor and the city. It has such a similarity to Amsterdam! Of course, it's a Caribbean city, and a cruise-ship port, but there is something distinctively Dutch in the architecture and the city layout with its squares, narrow streets and terrasjes.

The next morning we took the hotel's shuttle to the beach. The beach is called Blauwbaai, or Blue Bay, and it is absolutely gorgeous. It's a small, protected bay, with a sand beach and many palm trees that serve as naturals parasols. It was very sunny and the water was great, so we were swimming a lot.


Travelling to Curacao

Curacao Airport.Saturday morning we woke up very early, after a short night we took a cab to the airport at 5.30. I routinely told the driver "Dulles airport, please" but luckely Sasha corrected me and told the driver to go the Reagan instead -- I was still asleep.

Check-in was smooth, I am very glad we were flying American Airlines so we could use the priority line, it was busy at the airport.

We flew to Miami first, and after an hour on the airport there we went into our plane to Curacao.

When we landed on the island we had to close the shutters of the plane because of the heat -- it was so warm outside! Wonderful weather.


To Curacao

Tomorrow morning early we are leaving for Curacao!

It will be the first real vacation since our trip to San Antonio, and we're really looking forward to it.

The flight is at 7.15 am, and it's midnight now, so it's gonna be a short night.


PR - snow - PR

Today I am in Puerto Rico again. I arrived this morning, after spending a few days in Arlington, where it was snowing this Sunday and it was pretty cold.

I am not sure if it's the temperature difference or not, but Sunday evening my throat started hurting and sure enough I have a cold now. Feeling better than on Monday though, and at least I won't be cold in Puerto Rico.

It's high season here, something I didn't really take into account so it was a bit difficult to get a room in our hotel and all rental cars at the airport were taken.

I really enjoy being here, and the work that we're doing right now, but I am much more looking forward to next week... Sasha and I are going on vacation!


8 car trains

8 car trains.Since a few weeks Metro is running an experiment with longer trains on the Orange line.

The usual maximum length of a train is six cars, but their are experimenting with running longer trains to alleviate the problems during rush hour when trains are often overly crowded.

More on Metro Opens Doors.


Back home

The plane had a 3,5 hours delay.When we I left the office in Puerto Rico I thought it it will be my usual routine.

First put the luggage through agricultural control, check the suitcase in and get my electronic boarding pass printed. With a little bit of luck the lines for security are not too long and I have some time to get dinner, followed of course by a visit to Starbucks for an espresso.

The flight to DC used to be at 5:40 last year, but it was moved to 7.10 pm and we left the office around 5. Rather late, and the traffic was very bad. At one point I was rather sure we wouldn't make it, but we arrived at the airport about 45 minutes for take-off. We were running for the the check in counter.

It turned out that our plane had a delay, so the rush was not necessary at all and we had plenty of time for dinner & Starbucks. We were told that the aircraft we were taking had a mechanical problem on its original departure point, St. Thomas, and it was not until 10.40 pm that we left Puerto Rico. I was home around 2.00 am.


Superbowl XL

Superbowl XL.Last night was the Superbowl, the final match in the American Football competion. The game was between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks. I was supporting the Steelers. The Seahawks team kicked the Redskins out of the play-offs, and a couple of my colleagues are fan of the Steelers as well.

I watched the game with Prakash, a colleague, at his place on a huge screen with a projector. We had an excellent time, drinking Budweiser and jenever (he brought a few bottles from Holland a few years ago). We enjoyed the game and the famous commercials. The game itself was not the best football game I've ever seen, but I heard that's quite common for Superbowl matches because the teams are very nervous. The Steelers won with 21-10.

I was home quite late, and packed my bag around midnight. The alarm went at 4.30 am, to be on time for my 7 am flight to Puerto Rico.


Match Point

Match point.Yesterday we went our for dinner in Georgetown, to Bistro Francais. It's was the first time we were in this nice french restaurant, with a beautiful interior and good food.

We had a really good time and stayed till late in the restaurant. Afterwards we went for a late movie; we saw Match Point in the Georgetown Loewie theater.

Match Point is a story about an ex-tennis player who joins high-society in the UK by marrying a rich girl, and who falls in love with his brother-in-law's fiance. The film is directed by Woody Allen, and the main theme is Allen's long-held belief in the power of luck in determining people's destiny.

It's a good movie, a thriller, and although Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is not playing a very good role as the main character, the other actors are compensating for this (most notably Scarlett Johansson).


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