Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
22Trip End Aug 15, 2008
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Our campsite is about 30 minutes from Amsterdam, and is fab for the children. We're back to swimming pools, a big park, and lots of other children, which is the best bit! Jess and Millie have made new friends, and although the weather wasn't great for the first couple of days, it did clear up and the sun has been shining. So what have we been up to?
On Saturday, Sunday and Monday we couldn't really do much because it rained constantly. It reminded us of the English weather, whereas before when we'd had rain it would often clear up for part of the day, and you could almost forget it had actually been raining! We did however on Sunday manage to get out between a couple of showers for a walk in Katwijk, a little town by the North Sea
It brightened up on Tuesday so decided to explore Amsterdam. Again, a lovely city with beautiful canals throughout. It had a completely different feel to Venice, and both Pete and I agreed we prefer it here. Although there were plenty of tourists about, there was more to the city to discover than Venice. On this day we simply walked down to the Dam Square from Centraal Station, finding the best chip shop so far on our travels. They were yummy, and apparently have had awards for their chips.
Jess loved watching all the street entertainers in the Dam Square, so we spent about on hour in the sunshine watching an American trying to escape a strait-jacket! Not mine and Pete's cup of tea, but Jess wouldn't budge, so we let her enjoy her time.
We carried on strolling down past the many canals over to Anne Frank's house. Although we had to queue for a while, it was definitely worth the visit. It really had a sense of history, and it was one of those times that made you feel so lucky for what we have! Although it wasn't furnished as it was when Anne lived there, you were guided through the rooms she lived in along with 7 others for 2 years
We had another quiet day on Wednesday so the children could enjoy the campsite facilities, and then had a surprising text from Chris and Marie, friends of our in Bristol, saying they were hoping to come and visit us for the weekend on Friday. How fantastic!! We all got very excited, and hoped they'd be able to arrange it as we are all so missing home, although still enjoying our time away.
Jess and Millie have been so brilliant on our adventure, and have had to visit a lot places that maybe were not what would be there first choice. We've tried to avoid going to theme parks, etc, simply to try and keep our costs down, but we decided that they deserved a treat. So, Thursday was dedicated to going to 'Linnaueshof', which is stated as being Europe's biggest play park, about 20 minutes from the campsite. It really was a big play park. There were no big rides, it was simply come and have fun, and not many queues. Some of the equipment were like fair rides, but powered by children or adults, so you could go as fast or slow as you liked for your children. It really was a great day out, and we all enjoyed it. For Pete and I, it was just so great to see the children running around, and not having one moan I think for the day!
Friday was an exciting day because we knew Chris and Marie would be arriving that evening
Saturday and Sunday we spend exploring Amsterdam more with Chris and Marie. It was so lovely to have company again from home, we loved every second, but it went far too quickly. The girls latched themselves to them, Jess walking, holding hands with Marie, and Millie beating Chris up in the back of the car! We did lots more walking around the city, and managed to take in the Van Gogh Museum, and Jess revisited Anne Frank's house with them. It was lovely to have lunch out with them, even though the electricity cut out on one day, and we ended up back at our favourite chippie, eating chips in the rain! Sunday was not a great day for Jess, as Pete managed to close the car door on her hand. Luckily no broken bones. Then she lost her handbag, camera and all her money at some point during the day! And then she managed to trip over Pete's foot when they were playing and took a big fall in Amsterdam. Then to round things off, Chris and Marie had to go home and we had tears in the car from both Jess and Millie
However, Monday was a new day, and Jess and Millie have now started waving to every plane that goes overhead, and shout 'hello Chris and Mer'! We had another quiet day as it rained for most of the day.
Unfortunately, we are now heading home a couple of weeks early. We knew that at anytime we'd have to go home due to Pete's work, and we're so lucky we've been able to stay away for as long as we have. We leave The Netherlands on Thursday, and will then spend a couple of days in Belguim before leaving for the UK on Sunday, to spend a couple of days in Bristol. So the next time we write up the blog will be when we are home in Par, as we know the next site hasn't got any internet facilities. Thanks for reading, and being a part of our adventure with us. Look forward to seeing everyone soon!!!!!!