Noah’s Ark comes alive in Dordrecht

Have you heard about Noah’s Ark? As a child, I’ve learn about Noah and his ark from the church I went every Sunday. I read the story in the bible, I was reminded frequently when the pastor gives his weekly ministry and when I grew into my teens, I was even made to tell this story to the children attending Sunday school. (Yes, I used to be a Sunday School teacher.) Although I don’t attend churches anymore, this christian story has left a very deep impression in me.

After those childhood years, I was reminded once again when EVAN ALMIGHTY was aired. That was like Noah’s Ark in the 20th century. Funny and quite amazing too.   I enjoyed the movie very much. Have you watch it? Anyway, at that point, I thought, the story about Noah’s Ark just elevated from being a bible story into a movie. Cool!

Evans Almight – Noah’s Ark alike story line.

Even though I’ve not forgotten about, I leave the story of Noah’s Ark as that. And then in Feb year 2012, I moved to the Netherlands for the love of my life. To be honest, until today, I’m still in disbelief that I’ve moved to the Netherlands, Netherlands was never in my mind. Not a place I want to visit before but I made my way here anyway. It still feels so surreal, i can only smile in disbelief.

Anyway, long story short, the point I wanna make is …. I’ve not just moved to Netherlands for the love of my life, I’ve also moved next to my childhood memory that came alive – A Solid Massive, life-sized Noah’s Ark; a story, standing right in front of my eyes. I’ve not stopped being fascinated by it each time our car drove past it.

Noah’s ark (Ark van Noach) in Dordrecht officially open in Dec 2012 (The year I Arrived!). This massive full-scale and functioning Ark was built by a Dutchman (obviously), Mr John Huibers, who apparently claimed to have a vision from God that his country would flood. Many think he is crazy but I think it is quite understandable to be paranoid since the dutch are living in a lowlands with most part of the country lying below sea level. Although the dutch are protected from flood by dams, dikes and natural sand dunes, there is still possibility of flood. And for the record, I’m in high danger because I don’t swim; I sink!

The animals in the Ark – in pairs

A cafe in the Ark.

Oh did I mentioned this ark is fully functioning? Yes, this Dutchman is not building a toy boat, he is in this for real. The size has to be on scale 1:1 and it has to be able to move around like any other boats. How amazing is that? I think this guy is brilliant and awesome. But just recently, there was also news that he has the intention to bring his Ark on a world tour! So does that means no more Noah’s Ark in Dordrecht? Maybe it’s only for a world tour and the Ark will be back to home ground? Apparently, not! John Huibers thinks the people has enough of the ark and it should leave and never return! Aww.. that’s so sad! So having said that, what are you waiting for? Hurry rush down to Dordrecht, the beautiful little town in the Netherlands ! 🙂

I shall end this post with a video about the Ark. Check it out ! You should really visit before it leaves forever!

 

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A Spooky Experience @ A King’s Palace.

This feels like writing a composition when I was in junior school. I remember vividly how my teacher gave us a title and made us write a story according to the title. We could be creative and write basing on our imagination or it could also be something that had really happen before. Common titles are; A day I will never forget; How I spend My Summer break and My Best Friend. I’ve never felt writing a composition a chore. In fact I love writing composition, possibly my best subject!

Today, I am going to give myself a title and write base on the title, non-fictional with a dash of my own imagination.

While in London, for some strange reason, we were very drawn to the history behind King Henry VIII (spooky 1). After reading the haunting event happening within the Hampton Court (Spooky 2), we were determined to make a trip to visit the Hampton Court Palace and carry out our little “investigation”. So we did.

Are we nervous? Are we scared? Duh? Of course we are! So, the smartest move is for us to visit this “haunted” palace in the broad day light! We left our apartment as early as 9am after a heavy breakfast, put on the necessary stuff in our back pack and hop onto the tube.

When we arrived at the Palace, we were surprise to be greeted by a gorgeous sturdy building. We must say the palace has been so well maintained; it didn’t feel at all haunted. I’m sure you will agree with me. Sorry for the quality of the picture, it must be my shivering hand. No, I won’t blame it on my iPhone. 🙂

The Entrance to the Palace.

King Henry VIII

Now a brief introduction to this great King – King Henry VIII of England. Because of the urgent need to have a heir for the King (an excuse) or the playboy instinct within the King, King Henry VIII had to re-married six times. After reading the history of these six wives he had, it was clear to me at least that it was pure LUST.

Besides his first wife, Catherine of Aragon whom I think is highly remarkable. I was also pretty drawn to the his second wife; Anne Boleyn who was regarded as the most Happy but was also one of the two wives that was beheaded because of accused adultery.

Portrait of Anne Boleyn in the Palace.. wait there is another head! Spooky! 😛

And also his fifth Wife, Catherine Howard. She was beheaded also because of adultery. Now, the spooky part is, Catherine Howard died with a wrong caused and many believed that during the execution, King Henry VIII wasn’t even there. Although she had cried and beg to be spared, she was beheaded on the faithful day.

As such, her sad spirit lingers around the Gallery now known as the Haunted Gallery. As we walked along the gallery, we were also told that the residents of the palace have report witnessing a figure of a woman, dressed in white with long flowing hair drifting down the gallery. Just as she reaches the Royal Pew she lets out an unearthly shriek before hurrying back towards the top of stairs with a ghastly look of despair.

The Haunted Gallery.

While we walked along the gallery, a huge gush of cold wind pass me by. Instantly I check if any of the windows are accidentally open but there was no window in sight! Spooky 3!

His third wife Jane Seymour, the most faithful who has a motto of “To Obey & Serve” died less than two weeks after a long birth labor of 3 days. It was said that her death was due to complication of the placenta after the birth of her first son.

The apartments used by Jane Seymour can be found at the top of the Silver Stick Staircase. Several people over the years have seen a ghostly lady in a long white gown carrying a lighted taper down these stairs.

We have walked up these stairs and also skip our way down these stairs, well, just so we have a feel without scaring ourselves. Quite honestly, I cannot deny the fact that the spookiness in the air was felt without any effort. According to Jos, our water bottle was not place in the front pocket of the backpack when we enter the palace. It was shifted for some spooky reason. Spooky 4!

The numbered part are the haunted part of the palace.

To make the spookiness more spooky… the King came alive. We heard from a distance a very very low voice commanding “The King have arrived! The King have arrived! Now give way for the KING!” That scare the hell out of me because the palace was so quiet we can hear a pin drop! A discerning voice like this one came quite unexpected. And next, a fat and authoritative looking king surface from a dark corner, walking down the aisle. I was too stunt, I did not dare pull out my iPhone (too high tech) to take a quite picture of him. But wow, he looks real! Just like the picture on the flyers!

Despite the spookiness of the palace, the green part of the palace was pretty awesome. By now, we all have enough of the spookiness. Lets take a peek through the windows….. I cannot wait to run into the beautiful garden and feel the air! You too?

Look at the beautiful Garden!

Lets run out shall we?

P.S. The Lake was really Frozen, I could crack the ice…

So that ends our journey to the spookiness. It was eventful, nice, fun and pretty thrilling! Maybe you should go and check them out yourself. After this palace… I’m determine to visit more palace! 🙂

P.S. Did you have a good New Year Celebration? I was literally partying within a war zone! Believe it or not? Next post maybe… 🙂

P.P.S How is it there is a big space from the last picture to the last paragraph??? I did not arrange it like that… ewww spooky!

Historic Beauty

History amaze me. I love hearing stories from the past, learning what happen then and start imagining what would it be like if I were there. Picturing myself in the same situation and marvel at the wonders of being in that era. So being with Jos’ dad today and listening to the stories and putting my bare hands on historic items brings a lot of joy to me.

This tea-cup set was given to Piet by his parents and has been around since the 1930s. I carefully hold them to check for cracks but there was none. It’s heart warming to understand the sentimental values this little tea-cup set gives.

Next, the history book. This book was given to Piet by his teacher and was compiled since 1960s. Its a pity the book isn’t in English or I would have asked for a chance to read them. Although the book it’s old and tattered, I could easily see how much care was given to it since it’s store within a shelve on its own in a cupboard.

A Historic book that have been read a hundred times.

Piet explained the story of the reserve money can. It was used in the school to keep the money collected for punishment of some sort and then use it when the need arises. If you notice, there is a little pad-lock on it but there is no keys to this lock. However, the can was already broken and lock in tact. This was also kept since 1930s I was told.

A Reserve Money Box in the 1930s.

Well, I just wanted to do a short post to share my experience with these amazingly valuable items. I do think, one of the best things in life is to be alive to touch and feel these historic beauties, don’t you agree?