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Thursday, February 14, 2008
On this special day, it is Valentine's day you know, Elgar decided it was time to show off the new look of the Hiking Moose.

The Hiking Moose, an Elgar look-a-like, now adorns the website.
Elgar is very very very proud on his look-a-like, as it really resembles him: a moose with naughty eyes but a happy and sweet character.


The HikingMoose mascot is designed by Travis Oakes , as well as the background (with hills, trees, rising sun, etc). Amazing how someone can create such a great mascot just from a stuffed Moose (sorry Elgar, it is just what you are actually).

Design of the blog was done by Mel from Emtwo.

We do hope to fill this blog with more and more content, so visit us now and then.

Elgar the Moose • 11:10 PM • Filed under: Miscellaneous • (0) CommentsPermalink

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Monday, September 17, 2007
Plentiful rain and a shortage of summer sun have provided perfect munching conditions for these slimy creatures; they obviously enjoy this weather much more than most people do. Their numbers have increased rapidly lately.

Here is one photo of a slug in the Netherlands and one slug enjoying some courgettes in Scotland



(The loss or reduction of the shell is a characterisc for the Slug. This in contrary to Snails who have a prominent coiled shell)

Elgar the Moose • 02:31 AM • Filed under: Miscellaneous,Clan MacMoose • (1) CommentsPermalink

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Saturday, August 11, 2007
Today we visited Maria Laach and its vicinity. All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Maria Laach, originally Abbatia S. Mariae ad Lacum (St. Mary’s Abbey on the Lake) or just “ Laach” (Lake) is situated in a geologically interesting area.
The lake owes its origin to a volcanic cave-in, it is a maar.


As you descend to the Abbey you have to become fascinated by the portico: The entrance to Paradise.

Arcades on three sides provide delightful glimpses both of the inner courtyard with the jet of the Lions’ Fountain and the scene outside.


There are a lot of ornaments. f.i. this little devil of Laach noting the “ sins of the people” on parchment.

The interior of the Abbey is sober with a lot of mosaics and glass windows, but as it is not allowed to take pictures inside, you will have to go yourself to have a look at it.
Nowadays there are only 56 monks in the monastery.


After visiting the Abbey we decided to do a walk in the vicinity of about 14,5 kms (around the Maar). Of course we have taken pictures of that walk which will follow this week in a separate entry. Elgar Moose was with us during the whole day and is prominently photographed. Stay tuned.
Elgar the Moose • 03:28 AM • Filed under: Miscellaneous • (0) CommentsPermalink

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Saturday, July 21, 2007
The Aachen Cathedral, frequently referred to as the "Imperial Cathedral" (in German: Kaiserdom) is located in Aachen (Western Germany), just about 20 km’s from our hometown.
It is the oldest Cathedral in Northern Europe. If you are in the vicinity it is well worth a visit. Besides Aachen is a beautiful city with lots of old buildings and fountains.

Charlemagne (in Dutch “Karel de Grote”, in English “Charles the Great”) began the construction of the Palatine Chapel in 786. He was the first Holy Roman Emperor, crowned in 800 on Christmas Day. When he died in 814 he was buried in a tomb in this cathedral.
The main entrance to the cathedral still has the nice original door in bronze with heads of lions, melted at the time of Charlemagne. This door is often referred to as “Wolf’s Door”. In the right bottom corner you will notice a crack. And this has got to do with a legend about a Wolf and the devil. Do some 'googling' yourself to read about that legend.


The cathedral obtained its present shape in the course of more than a millennium. The core of the Aachen cathedral is this Palatine Chapel, rather small compared to the later additions, but at the time of its construction it was the largest dome north of the Alps. There is a sixteen-sided aisle with a gallery overhead encircling its central octagonal dome.



The sidewalks are decorated beautifully

Underneath the dome, according to tradition, was the tomb of Charlemagne. In the year 1000 Otto III opened the imperial tomb and found (it is said) the great emperor as he had been buried, sitting on a marble throne, robed and crowned as in life, the book of the Gospels open on his knees. The remains of Charlemagne were placed in a shrine, which can be found in the Capella Vitrea (a choir hall extension to the Dome).

The chair (“Throne of Charlemagne”), now placed in the gallery overhead, is formed of four pieces of white marble, without ornaments or sculpture. There are six steps up to it, two of which are of granite, the others of marble.


A colossal brass chandelier (1160 – 1170), donated by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa, crowned in Aachen in March 1152, swings down from the dome.
The huge chandelier was hanging over Charlemagne’s shrine. It is 4,5 meters in diameter and weighs more than 650 kg (including the cable).


For 600 years, from 936 to 1531, the Aachen cathedral was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and emperors. The “Throne of Charlemagne” was used in these coronation ceremonies.

In order to bear the enormous flow of pilgrims in the Gothic period a choir hall was built: a two-part Capella vitrea (glass chapel).
It was consecrated in 1414, the 600th anniversary of Charlemagne's death. The 13 windows are each 100 feet high. During world war II the windows were however more or less destroyed and have been replaced by rather modern designed glass windows.


Charlemagne collected a variety of relics during his lifetime, which are still kept in the Cathedral (in a shrine) in this Capella vitrea area:

- the cloak of the Blessed Virgin;
- the swaddling-clothes of the Infant Jesus;
- the loin-cloth worn by Christ on the Cross; and
- the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Baptist after his beheading.

In the Middle Ages, these relics attracted swarms of pilgrims from Germany, Austria, Hungary, England, Sweden, and other countries. In the mid-14th century, it became customary to show the four "Great Relics" only once every seven years, a custom which continues today (in June 2007 the relics where shown again).

A last view of this impressive building. In the middle you see the Dome (the Palatine Chapel), on the right the Glass Chapel.

Elgar the Moose • 01:56 AM • Filed under: Miscellaneous • (1) CommentsPermalink

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