Elisabeth & Teije's reis website

About havetravelfun.com


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About havetravelfun.com

To introduce ourselves...
Everything Elisabeth wants to tell about herself (plus some pictures)
And the secrets of Teije (plus pictures)
Backgrounds of and facts about this website
We have two sitemaps, ordered by country and theme
Where we get our information
The camera's we use
Copying is allowed from this site!

To introduce ourselves:

To present ourselves: we are Elisabeth and Teije. We are together since 1998 and, although work takes most of our time, the best activity in our live is travelling. We love to travel and through this website we like to show you some of the pictures. But we do understand that, how interesting our pictures may be for ourselves, you may want more than that from a website. Therefore we have collected some nice links to and a lot of information about the countries we have been to.
The net is a big place, so we hope this site just gives a bit more than most sites with travelstories do.
We started this site in October 2001 and still have many plans to expand it, and as long as we keep travelling this site won't be finished.

About this website

The idea
Since we (Elisabeth and Teije) know each other, we like to explore the world together. First without a camera, but we got more and more fanatic: taking one camera, then two, travelling to more new places and finally it all led to this website.
We can't remember exactly how the idea of making this website was born. We happened to talk about it in September 2001, when we were visiting Scotland. Maybe it was to give our Scottish friends the possibility to watch our holiday pictures without us having to carry our heavy photo albums along. Anyhow it seemed a nice idea to claim the domain www.teije.nl; Elisabeth was too long (Elisabeth in Dutch, but that website existed already). But since October 2004 she has her own website, now also available in English: www.liessmit.nl!
The intention
Our most important intention was to, whatever the content of the site, make the information easily accesible. During the development this led to a recognizable style which returns on every page and a menu that is always visible. The subdivision of pages about every country was also kept the same throughout the website: a page with general information, one with links, a travel account and a page with the best pictures. But soon additional pages (about history, for example) were made, so the unambiguous style became the most important means of keeping the site recognizable and orderly. In 2004 we changed the order of the main menu's so that the travel accounts come first, than the page with only the photographs, then the jigsaw puzzles, which people seem to like a lot, and after that the information and linkpage. But you can always use the sitemaps and search box to find information.
The purpose
At first our only goal was to present our holiday pictures, so we could share them with friends abroad, a hobby which soon got out of hand. We both enjoyed working for hours a day on the website and watch it grow while we were working on it. Looking back, we can say it was, and still is, a captivating creative process which forced us to develop many new skills.
But slowly we also started to enjoy the fact that so many others seemed to like and enjoy our efforts and information. The number of visitors increased, more people mailed for more information and so the site expanded week after week. The best part is still that people write us sometimes that they get inspired by the website to visit a certain place.
Division of labour
Teije used to be a programmer and he develops the site. The layout, (most of) the texts and the programming is his work.
Elisabeth engages (for at least the same amount of time) in promoting the site by presenting it to search engines, conquering places on portals and applying for awards (well, we stopped with that after 2002). She also checks the site for style and spelling mistakes, searches for broken links and gives advice about the design.
Structure
We tried to make it easy: above is the menu bar that folds out vertically when you hover over it with the mouse. For every country or city we have published on the website we offer a few pages:
• 1 or more travelstories
• a page with all photographs of that journey
• an information page about that country or city
• theme pages, if there are any (like the one about Gaudi)
• a linkpage with other interesting websites about that country or city
• and, not to forget, the puzzlepages with puzzles of photographs from that country or city

Three buttons you will see a lot:
Go to the top of the pageThis button will bring you to the top of the page
Go to the previous pageGo to the previous day in a travelogue or to the previous puzzle
Go to the next pageGo to the next day in a travelogue or to the next puzzle

Plans
The last couple of years we have restyled the website again and again and this last makeover (end of 2017) was quite extensive. Now it is time to translate all travelogues we already have in Dutch and to add more stories and photographs. There are also a lot of new puzzles to come and off course we keep travelling so we aren't finished with the website yet.
Facts
• We started the website on October 14, 2001 with one page.
• Since November 12, 2001, we own the domain www.teije.nl.
• From Feb. 2009, we use www.havetravelfun.com for the website in English.
• Developping this site has kept us busy for more than 3,500 hours, already.
• January 1st 2005 the site used 100 MB, in 2017 more than 500MB.
• Januari 1st 2003 we had 1,500 photographs on the website, of which 378 of Scotland.
• September 2017 there are more than 5,000 pictures on the site and most from Scotland (1,900 photographs).
• The 10,000 unique visitor to the site came by somewhere in the beginning of April 2002, so within half a year.
• According to Nedstat the 100,000 visit (after April 10, 2002) was on Januari 28, 2003 about 10 o' clock at night.
• On September 24, 2004, aroudn 6 o' clock at night we had our millionth visitor.
• Our daughters call us internet-addicts, can you imagine?
• By making this website we got some nice new acquaintances.
• Want to know more facts? Just mail the question!
Number of visitors
The number of visitors on www.teije.nl kept growing from an average of 9 a day in 2001 to 300 a day in January 2003. In 2005 there are 2,500 visitors a day after which it declined a bit. Over the last three years the average is 1,960 a day. To be honest most of those visitors are visiting the Dutch website. According to the statistics about 12% of the visitors was English speaking and after a year of using havetravelfun.com we had about 1,000 visitors a day, more than we expected. For some reason this dropped drastically to 100 to 200 a day in September 2017. Maybe Google introduced a new algorithm? One of the reasons we decided to restyle and revive the website.

SitemapTo the top

The website has grown quite large (1,950 pages in November 2017), but we think it is still fairly orderly. 1,350 of them are puzzle-pages and the others are divided into a few pages for every country, city or other theme.
To not let this page get too big we have made two sitemaps:
Sitemap sorted on countries (alphabetically)
Sitemap sorted on theme, with the travelogues first and chronologically

SourcesTo the top

Obviously, we had to use some sources when we put all this information on the site; our long-term memories are not good enough to remember everything we once learned at school. Here follows a (as completely as possible) list of the sources we used, most are also listed on pages where we use sources. We made it our policy to always ask before we use information, unless we comply with the copyright notice on a site.
EVD (Dutch)
The Netherlands Foreign Trade Agency EVD, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, focuses its activities on the needs of Dutch small and medium-sized exporting companies and potential exporters. Use of information from this site is only permitted when mentioning the soure. So here we do. We only used their information rarely on our pages with country information.

The world factbook 2001 by the CIA gives a lot of information we use on our information pages; also the maps of countries is taken from their site. We couldn't find a copyright notice and we saw a lot of sites use these maps. So we didn't ask permission, but when the CIA shows up at our door we know why...

On the English part of the site we put a separate page about its history. With permission beforehand we were allowed to use their site. Thanks Jayne.

From this site we were also allowed to use their material. Thanks, Argiris Zias.Animatedgif.net A site with thousands of animated gifs, for free and without copyright. So, thankfully, we have used some of them.

The Library of Congress, country studies. No copyright, so we got some knowledge from them as well, used on the information pages.

The webmaster of this site claims that all animated country flags are free of copyright, so we got most of our moving flags there.

A Dutch site with much information. We didn't take anything literally, but we carefully read their site to get a good impression of the countries we visited. The website has changed from owner, though, and most of the information is gone.

This site was of great help making the English history pages.

Another site we carefully read, without copying anything literally.

This site hosts our puzzle galleries and they provide the script which makes the pictures into a jigsaw puzzle.

The website of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs helped us in making the English history page about Denmark.


Our search engine was provided by Sitelevel. Temporary problems were solved very quickly and friendly and they didn't complain when we had more than 1,000,000 words in 800 files. But their free service only goes until 1,000 pages so now we use the free service of google.

Gaudi, inleiding in zijn architectuur
This Dutch book was a sort of guide for us to make the page about Gaudi.
Several travel guides
Of course, we often looked through travel guides and booklets. But we tried not to copy anything, but to put it in our own words. Hopefully we didn't violate any copyrights. We have tried to make this list as complete as possible. Except for a few photographs all photographs have been made by us. A note is added when a picture is not made by us. And it is also clear by the watermark on the larger pictures which we only use on pictures we made ourselves. If you think we used some material without mentioning the source, please mail us so we can correct that.

The camera's we useTo the top

2000
In 2000 we used a camera from Therese, our oldest daugther (we have no idea which brand it was) and we didn't know how to use it. The photographs from that time are not as good as we would have liked to. At the end of 2000 Elisabeth got a nice and handy Olympus camera (not a digital) as a present.
2001 - 2004
After our summer holiday in 2001 we realise that we want to take more pictures and we buy a digital camera. After a long research we choose the 4-megapixel Sony S85 camera and we are very happy with it. Elisabeth still uses her Olympus camera.
2004
The scanned pictures of the Olympus are not really nice, although the photographs themselves are quite good. And we are happy about most of the pictures we take with the digital Sony. But when our granddaughter Esmée is born, we notice that the photographs of her face seem to be a bit granular when we take it from to close a distance, so we start looking for another camera.
So in September 2004 we buy two new camera's, both Sony and 5 megapixel: the W1 and de V1. Nice and handy things, but on our trip to Barcelona we find out that more than half of the pictures are unclear. We still have to read the manuals, but it is obvious that these camera's have problems when it is a bit too dark, or even when the sky is cloudy. Then we have to set things manually, but we have no idea how! Regrets? Yes, a little... But the pictures which are good are really very good! Maybe we just need more practise.
Januari 2005, a Minolta Dimage Z3 replaces the Sony V1
We were so disappointed with the Sony V1 that we have sold it and bought a new camera to replace it: the Minolta Z3. It is only 4 Megapixel, but has 12x optical zoom and the quality of the pictures is much better.
2006 - 2009
The Sony W1 died quite suddenly and we replaced it with a Canon Powershot A620 (5 megapixel) which we use mostly. The Minolta Z3 we only use for zooming in.
After 2009
After 2009 we have tried several other camera's, we can't remeber them all. In the meantime we have given (and sold) quite some pictures to magazines and books (in January 2005 a German guide about Scotland and in 2006 also a limited edition with lots of our photographs of 'My secret life in Egypt' by Paul Brunton. A Gambian musician used a photograph for his cd-cover and so on. We should become a bit more commercial, but until now we are proud that others have find a good way to use our photographs!

CopyrightsTo the top

Personally, we don't like copyrights when that means that it becomes difficult to get and spread information. We respect the copyright of other people's work, but from our material you can use what you like, unless it is protected by someone else's copyright. Of course, we would be very pleased to see our names mentioned as the source, or when a link to our website is placed (when information is used on a website).
Pupils and students can use material for essays or compositions. But in 2004 we saw more and more websites using our photographs giving the impression that they were made by the owner of that particular website, so we make a watermark (the name of the website) now in all our large pictures. When you want to use a photograph without the watermark fr non-commercial purposes you can always mail us.
Knowledge is power, so they say, but this is only true when just a few people have knowledge. Shared knowledge gives unity, we think, and can grow an understanding towards each other. We hope you like to share with us.

© Teije & Elisabeth 2000 - 2018 To the top of the page