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Travel on Willem's Blog

Is the Apple Watch the modern tool watch?

Testing the Apple Watch's usefulness in real life

Nov. 2, 2018
I tested the Apple Watch during my work in Frankfurt this week where I had to go inside an internet data centre.

This week I went to Frankfurt for business. I had to perform maintenance to servers in a data centre. This seemed like a great opportunity to test the Apple Watch's usefulness in real life (other than health and fitness). I wondered, is the Apple Watch the modern tool watch?

Space travelling from El Teide

Visiting Tenerife's volcano at the Canary Islands

Aug. 21, 2018
On Tenerife you'll find Teide, the world's second highest volcano with extra terestial views and a perfect altitude for stargazing.

This summer holiday brought me to Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands, Spain. It's a popular destination because of the climate, but it's also the home of Teide, the world's second highest volcano (7500 m, measured from the sea floor). The incredible views reach way beyond earth, into outer space, the Milky Way and other distant galaxies.

Lunch by plane

Flying from Hilversum to Texel in a Tecnam P2002JF

May 9, 2018
This week I went out for lunch by plane from Hilversum to Texel with a good buddy of mine.

This week I was invited to fly along over the Netherlands in a small aircraft, from Hilversum to Texel. A good buddy of mine is a pilot and planned to fly to the Texel island for lunch (and good fun!). The weather was excellent, so packed with my photo camera, I didn't hesitate for a moment to join him for lunch!

Creating the ultimate commuter bike

Riding at 35KM/h with Nexus Alfine 8 and Gates Carbon Drive

Feb. 24, 2018
Creating the ultimate commuter bike by upgrading the Sensa Cintura belt drive bike.

This winter I use a Sensa Cintura bike with a Gates Carbon belt drive as my daily commuter. It's a bike designed to be nice to ride thanks to its sporty lightweight frame. It's also meant to be low on maintenance thanks to the belt drive and Nexus Afline 8 integrated gear hub. After 1800KM in just eight weeks, it was time for some upgrades.

Climbing Mount Etna

Visiting an active volcano on Sicily, Italy

Sep. 2, 2017
Climbing Mount Etna, an active volcano on Sicily Italy.

Last week me and my wife went to Sicily for a little summer holiday. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous region of Italy, along with surrounding minor islands. It's home to Europe's largest active volcano: Mount Etna. We had a chance to visit this lava spurring monstrosity and it was quite the experience.

Fietselfstedentocht 2017

Cycling the 235KM bicycle tour through Friesland

June 30, 2017
Cycling the 235KM long Fietselfstedentocht through Friesland

This month I cycled the Fietselfstedentocht, a 235KM tour through Friesland. This tour brings you through various Frisian cities throughout one of the most Northern provinces of the Netherlands. The tour was first organised in 1912 and has grown to become legendary due to its history, challenge and popularity; well worthy of a blog post!

Beast of the Green Hell

Driving the Mercedes-AMG GT R

May 31, 2017
Blog post about an amazing AMG Circuit day at the race track of Zolder, Belgium.

This month I received an invitation to join Mercedes at the Zolder circuit in Belgium to drive in "the beast". The Mercedes-AMG GT R, a furious green coloured performance car that gets its nickname from the Nürburgring where it was developed. It was an incredible experience, well worth a blog post!

One year of cycling

GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava

Dec. 31, 2016
GPS recording an entire year of bike rides using Garmin and Strava.

One year ago I started recording all my bike rides, including commutes, short grocery trips and long Gran Fondos. I equipped my bicycles with Garmin Edge computers that recorded location (GPS), speed, cadence and my heart rate. I covered more than 7683 kilometers during 320 hours of riding. It's time to review all the data and share some photos I took along the ride!

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Etna is big enough to see it from space (NASA Earth Observatory)
Etna is big enough to see it from space (NASA Earth Observatory)
For longer rides (>8 hours) the bike computer required additional power. I installed small USB power bank in my seat bag.
For longer rides (>8 hours) the bike computer required additional power. I installed small USB power bank in my seat bag.
4.0L V8 Twin turbo AMG engine
4.0L V8 Twin turbo AMG engine
Pico del Teide as seen from the south of the caldera
Pico del Teide as seen from the south of the caldera
Renault Twizzy from Texel Airport
Renault Twizzy from Texel Airport
Mercedes-Benz G-Class - a 4x4 powerhouse
Mercedes-Benz G-Class - a 4x4 powerhouse
Industrieterrein Elburg, with the Flevomeer (top left) and Drontermeer (bottom right)
Industrieterrein Elburg, with the Flevomeer (top left) and Drontermeer (bottom right)
The C63S is definitely my favourite, a rudimental monster with an open roof
The C63S is definitely my favourite, a rudimental monster with an open roof
Radar image from NASA showing the Teide volcano on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (Wikimedia Commons)
Radar image from NASA showing the Teide volcano on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (Wikimedia Commons)
One of my nightly rides went through the McDrive - bikes are welcome, apparently :-)
One of my nightly rides went through the McDrive - bikes are welcome, apparently :-)
Happy boy, driving AMG-goodness on the open road
Happy boy, driving AMG-goodness on the open road
Landscape inside the Las Cañadas caldera is similar to Mars
Landscape inside the Las Cañadas caldera is similar to Mars
The Gates CDX rear sprocket installed
The Gates CDX rear sprocket installed
House seen from above near Hollandse Rading
House seen from above near Hollandse Rading
Passengership in de Waddenzee (near Texel)
Passengership in de Waddenzee (near Texel)
Data Centre in Frankfurt
Data Centre in Frankfurt
The less powerful A45 (left) is actually faster at the agility challenge than the S63s (right)
The less powerful A45 (left) is actually faster at the agility challenge than the S63s (right)
Not your average Taxi...
Not your average Taxi...

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