Before I reveal our travel plans for August, let me tell you what has kept us busy this month and why I haven’t wrote so much.
We started the month having breakfast in the park during the Harlinger Parkontbijt, which is held once a year and is becoming very popular. A week later we increased the family with two more members: my grand father (85 years old) and my sister (16 years old). They flew from Madrid and while my grand father stayed for a week, my sister is staying for a month.
If you live abroad and get visitors from your home country, then you might know how busy you are looking for “entertainment” for them. To make a full schedule, add to it a full time job, a toddler and a grand father that needs lots of attention as he is forgetting everything: he’s starting with dementia and even though he remembers what he was doing when he was 18 years old, he needs someone to prepare his clothes everyday and to make sure he takes a shower. He loves spending the time with Liam and gardening, and luckely we didn’t have so many rainy days. Nevertheless I took them to the cheese market in Alkmaar, which takes place from 10:00 to 12:30 every Friday (from the first Friday in April to the first Friday in September).
We also went to the “Plukfeest Fruithof de Struikrover”, a harvest party where you can pick blueberries, raspberries and other berries, we took a boat tour to the Wadden Sea to sea the Seals and we joined a traditional farmer wedding in Joure. We also had dinner in the renewed Poffertjeskraam (pancake house) and a very tasty and fancy lunch at Havenmatjse. I think my grand father enjoyed the pancakes more than the fancy lunch 🙂
In July I was also preparing our upcoming trips. For us this August is the “wedding month”: we are invited to two weddings, one from friends in Talloires (lake of Annecy, France) at the beginning of the month and the second one is the wedding of my other sister, she’s getting married in Toledo, Spain. I would say weddings are the perfect excuse for travelling, at least for us. We are planning a 11 days trip around France and Germany.
This road trip is going to be something different from what we have done until now: we are going to be (mostly) camping!! Well, in Australia, New Zealand and California we were camping as well, but we had a camper which was fully prepared for it. Now we had our issues getting all the staff together and making sure it will fit in the car (not yet sure it all fit though).
Our second challenge was to break the trip to Annecy and after doing some research we decided that the best place to stay a night is Metz, which is almost 600km (of the 1100km) away. Why Metz? Not only because it’s half way, but also because we intend to visit the historical center. We are going to stay at Novotel Metz centre, as it’s a very family friendly hotel: rooms can accommodate up to two adults and two children, two children under 16 are also for free and has an outdoor swimming pool. It’s also perfectly located to go by foot to the cathedral or to the centre Pompidu.
Then we will continue the journey to Talloires. There we are going to camp for 5 or 6 days (depending on the weather). We’ve got a lot of information on things to do around Annecy from the tourist information office (they actually sent us paper guides!!) like visiting the farmer markets in the different villages, taking a boat tour around the lake or walking in the historical centre of Annecy.
From there we will continue to Germany, my sister wanted to visit Freiburg, so we included it in our route. Then we will enjoy a day at Europa-Park, which is not so far away from Freiburg. If you didn’t hear about Europa-Park yet, I can tell you that having 13 European themed areas, over 100 attractions and 11 roller coaster, it’s the largest theme park in Germany.
It’s also a park oriented to families with children of all ages. For those like us, going with a toddler you can take advantage of for example a shop with baby food, strollers to lend and the baby switch room: one parent waits the queue and rides the attraction, then the other parent can ride it as well without waiting, isn’t it genius?? You can plan your visit online and check which attractions are suitable for your children, while doing it I realized that there’s a part specially for the little ones but there’re also attractions for them in the other parts just next to the “normal” ones. I don’t know if I’m planning to much, but I thought I can ride a children attraction with Liam while Paul is waiting for an adult one, then we switch and everybody is happy!!
Afterwards we will drive to Dusseldorf and stay there for one night, as driving 700km in a day is too much for the little one. Well, it can be done, but we prefer to take it easy and visit some friends before returning home.
What do you think of our plans? Have you been in any of these places? What would you recommend us?