This blog is about the adventures of a software developer from Amsterdam who is now living in Nice and working in Sophia Antipolis, on the Côte d'Azur.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Soon there are elections in Brazil, Holland, and France, and probably in more places. To find out in what political camp you are, you can take a 10-questions test here. My result is:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


You think of Holland as a small country. Think again; between Nice and the Italian frontier lies a tiny mountainous settlement, that to this day managed to save its independence from France and the European Union. The ruling family call themselves princes, since François Grimaldi in the year 1297 treacherously gained entrance to the Genoan fortress on the rock, hiding his weapons under his monk's disguise. At 15 minutes from the Nice Ville train station it makes for a nice day trip, where everybody takes almost the same photographs. So did we!

The Monaco train station, built inside a mountain

Banana tree near the casino

The royal palace on the rock

Cristina assisting the defenses of the Principality

Canon balls

Heikki and Cristina on a cannon

Sainte Cecile, in Monaco mistakenly taken for a patron of musicians

The port of Monte Carlo

Some Brazilian influences?

From afar it looks like a favela

Restrictions on civil liberties protect the sensitivities of the royal family

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Colline de Chateau

Staying in Amsterdam had left me with a cold from which I've still not fully recovered. The contrast in climate with the Rivièra is particularly striking this time of year. Cristina and me took a walk up the Colline de Chateau, the hill between the old city and the port, where there used to be a castle until its destruction in 1706 by Louis XIV. For reference here you have an image of Nice in the old days, when the castle still stood:

The hill now has a beautiful park, with waterfalls and great views of the town and the sea. Believe it or not, this was the first time we actually went up there. Enjoy the pictures!

Cristina entering the ruins of the castle

View of Nice

The Cascades, the waterfalls at the Colline de Chateau

Cristina in front of the Cascades

The Cascades

The Cascades

The Cascades

View of the sea

View of the sea

View of the old city

View of the old city

On top of the hill


View of the port of Nice






Flowers. This one smells exactly like passion fruit.

The old town


People swimming in the sea

The light of the setting sun striking the Colline de Chateau

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wedded !

The wedding! On an autumn Monday morning with sunshine, rain and strong winds in Amsterdam. The ceremony took place in the city hall known as Stopera. Complete with speeches by Alexander and my mum, the latter recited by Youri. Cristina was very beautiful in her white dress, and did not faint at the moment suprême, as she had predicted. Daniela kindly did a great job of translating (almost) everything to Portuguese. Gertjan performed the role of ring-bearer. Sylvia took photographs, Youri made a film, my Hamburg friends Rik and Delia acted (with Daniela) as witnesses, Ingrid and Roy just back from Costa Rica didn't bring their IDs so they couldn't join the witness table, and Maurice and Hévila were almost in time. Could not have been more perfect!

Vows and rings having been exchanged, we went with this party to the nearby Cafe Danzig, and then we went home to consume the marriage and prepare for the party in the evening. Home being Elma's house, our temporary dwelling; she herself unfortunately could not be there because she was in Mozambique. The party in the evening, lasting late into the night was very nice with lots of people and live Brazilian music by the great Mozambican musician Leo. At some point there wasn't a single person not dancing!

A fuller photo report will be posted here once I have some more photos; most were taken by other people who have yet to send me copies (hint, hint). Here is a small preview, from the pictures on my camera.

The night before: Cristina in Cafe Cuba, Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam

Daniela and Cristina just before the wedding ceremony

Heikki and Cristina before the altar

Done! Sanctioned kissing, from now on!

My mum looking at my hand where my engagement ring used to be..