Netherlands American Cemetery

Located in Margraten (10 km east of Maastricht), and administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission, this war cemetery is a haven of peace.

Very few visitors and bystanders walked today its long aisles and large fields; the harsh cold was dissuasive.

The lawn covered by a thin layer of snow, and the trees stripped of their leaves make this picturesque cemetery a wonderful winter landscape.

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The burial area is divided into sixteen plots. Here rest more than 8.000 American soldiers, out of which 8 were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Thousands of marble crosses and Stars of David spread all over the place remind us of the horrors of a war that took too many human lives away.

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On the 28th May 2005, President Bush attended a large solemn meeting to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the World War II.

The following quote is from the speech he gave that day:

“[…] For the Americans who rest here, Dutch soil provides a fitting home. It was from a Dutch port that many of our pilgrim fathers first sailed for America. It was a Dutch port that gave the American flag its first gun salute. It was the Dutch who became one of the first foreign nations to recognize the independence of the new United States of America. And when American soldiers returned to this continent to fight for freedom, they were led by President (Roosevelt) who owed his family name to this great land (the Netherlands)”.

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Eleazar.

Cantabria Infinita

Land and sea, mountains and sand, cliffs and waves. Such a privileged natural environment.

View over Bay of Santander:

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In the foreground, Playa del Camello. In the background, Península de la Magdalena and Isla de Mouro:

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Views over Playas del Sardinero, summer resort in Santander:

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Views from Faro de Cabo Mayor, Santander:

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Views over Ría de Mogro and Playa de Valdearenas, from La Picota mountain:

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Playa de Los Locos, Suances. In the background, the Picos de Europa mountains:

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Eleazar.

Winter holidays back in northern Spain

This is what I found this time:

Watery mirrors reflecting the images of the old and the new industry

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Remote villages threatened by a permanent shade

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Grassy meadows and wooded hills bathed by a fading sun

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Quiet waters disturbed by a fleeting fog

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Tireless tides fighting the land

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And brave men challenging the elements

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Eleazar.

Monschau, Germany

Crossed by the Rur river and surrounded by the hills of North Eifel, Monschau (Montjoie in French) is a small village in western Germany, 2 kilometers away from the border with Belgium.

Its old maisons à colombages, its busy narrow streets, its finest art galleries and cosy gift shops full of handmade items make this resort town extremely picturesque.

In Christmas time the main squares of the village are taken up by small wooden houses, where you can have delicious glühwein and eierpunsch with cream to fight the freezing cold.

Here you have the impression that time stopped flowing by so long ago.
Here you have the feeling that the history of Europe will be kept untouched forever.

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Eleazar.

Fog over Valkenburg forests

“I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it”, Olivia Newton-John

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“Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots”, Victor Hugo

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“I once asked a hermit in Italy how he could venture to live alone, in a single cottage, on the top of a mountain, a mile from any habitation? He replied, that Providence was his next-door neighbour”, Laurence Sterne

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“If you are going to build something in the air it is always better to build castles than houses of cards”, Georg C. Lichtenberg

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“No object is mysterious. The mystery is your eye”, Elizabeth Bowen

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“Weather forecast for tonight: dark”, George Carlin

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Eleazar.

December sunsets

Winter is coming.

The sun is weak, the wind is treacherous, the cold is harsh.

Only nightfall warms up the city with its orange trail.

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What could be more delightful than walking through the fields when all you hear is your own steps and all you feel is your sole presence?

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What could be more exciting than finding yourself in an unexpected adventure through the upcoming night, when all you can rely upon is a dying sun and a rising moon?

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And what could be more inspiring than getting lost in the middle of nowhere when all the lights fade away, all the noises die out and all the landmarks disappear?

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December sunsets: they enlightened my spirit, they obscured my fear.

Eleazar.