September summary: Visserijdagen, Heerlijk Harlingen, Madrid & Switzerland

Every month we share an overview of what we have done and our travel plans for the upcoming month(s). September has been the month of the last minute bookings and the “kraanvisite” (visit a newborn ).

Visserijdagen

We started the month just enjoying all the events in our city. As much as I think that Harlingen in the winter is boring, in the spring and summer there’s almost an event every week. The first weekend, there was the biggest fest of the year: “Visserijdagen” (fisher’s day). There’re activities during the week, but the most important day is the Saturday. You can stroll around the many stalls in the city, visit the harbour, learn about fishing, see rescue demonstration with a helicopter or a boat, have a drink and even sail with one of the many ships for free. This year, we striped an item from our bucket list: appearing in the tv show “Piets weerbericht” (Piet’s weather forecast). Can you spot us? 🙂

Heerlijk Harlingen & Harlingen Ongeschut

The second weekend, there was the food truck festival Heerlijk Harlingen. It was really a pity that the weather forecast was really bad and there weren’t many food trucks. Anyway, we enjoyed the evening and had some great food. Since last year, in January there’s the winter version of Heerlijk Harlingen: Heerlijk Binnen (food truck festival as well but indoors).

The third weekend of September is time for Harlingen Ongeschut. The channels of the city are filled with boats and people. During this event, there’s a circular boat route around the city and in every corner, there’s live music and performances.

Kraanvisite

Between all the events, we also went to visit the newborn of a friend and I booked a last minute ticket to also visit our niece. I was doubting on booking for a Saturday or the Wednesday afterwards and my sister said: “go for the Wednesday”. Well, guess when she was born: Sunday! At the end, I spent 4 days in Madrid with the kids and I took some pictures of the little one.

 

Switzerland

For Madrid, I just booked a one-way ticket and said that I would buy the return once our niece was born. If she would have waited longer, I would have spent more days in Madrid. The same she was born, I looked at the one-way tickets from Madrid to somewhere up to 1000 km away from our home. Paul would drive with the caravan from home to the place and then pick up us from the airport in order to spend a week holiday. We choose Zürich!! I can’t remember the last time I have booked a trip with such little time to prepare. Fortunately, I have a friend that lived near Zürich (I visited her there once) and she gave me a lot of ideas. At the end, we decided to take a camping in Lucerne and we really enjoyed it!

 

We didn’t spend so much time in the city itself but exploring the outdoors around it. After landing in the morning, we spent the rest of the day in the Swiss Science Center Technorama. The second day we wanted to the glacier canyon in Grindelwald (close to Interlaken), but halfway the kids had already enough car (I didn’t have time to check the driving times in advance). As we don’t have a tourist guide, I just used our swiss coupon pass from Switzerland Travel Centre to find an alternative and we decided to stop at the open-air museum Ballenberg. With 66 hectares and more than 100 buildings, we weren’t able to visit all in one day, but we enjoyed a lunch in the sun, learn how to make bread and saw many historical rural edifices from all parts of Switzerland. With the swiss coupon pass, we only paid 24CHF/21EUR (instead of 48CHF). Our alternative plan turned a perfect family outing!

On our third day, we went up to Pilatus. The advantage of being in a camping in Lucerne: we used the public transport to get to Alpnachstad. We first took a bus to the train station and from there the train. The trains run every half an hour an arrive in time to get the connection to the cogwheel. The ride on the cogwheel is really amazing. Our kids weren´t the only ones saying ¨look, the lake!!… look, a tunnel!… look, the bridge!¨ and they were the only kids on board  The views are breathtaking both along the way and on the top. We were just in time before the clouds appeared. We walked around Pilatus klum (easy walk) and enjoyed the Swiss musicians and singers.
The aerial cableway took us to Fräkmüntegg. It was just a pitty that the weather wasn’t better and we couldn’t try the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland. After changing to the gondolas, we stopped at Kriensegg and the kids loved the playground Pilu Land. There were a lot of families and some of them were grilling some mashmallows. The kids were enjoying so much that we stayed for a couple of hours and at the end we took the gondolas to Kriens instead of hiking (it was starting to rain).

We spent the fourth day at the “Verkehrshaus der Schweiz”, Swiss museum of transport. What we loved about this museum is that it has a lot of interactive stations. Kids (and parents) can drive a train along the Gothard line, load a container into a train, drive a post motorcycle and many other things. There’s also plenty of activities outside the buildings: karts, boats, a container terminal, a mini train and our kids favourite a construction site. 

The next day, we started with a boat trip to Weggis (the ), it was cloudy but the mountains around the Lucerne’s lake looked magical. In Weggis, we took the cable car to Rigi-Kaltbad. Here there is a spa with an outdoor pool overlooking the mountains. For sure a good option no matter the weather. We continued to Rigi Staffel and later to Rigi Kulm with the cogwheel. The views from both points are amazing! The day wasn´t completely clear, but we could see far away. There were everywhere places to sit down and enjoy the views. In Rigi Staffel, the only thing you hear is the cowbells 

Liam saw the blue cogwheel and we “had” to take that one down. We descend through the mountains to Arth-Goldau. On the way, we could admire the changing colours in the trees. Once at the bottom, we took the train back to Lucerne.

We spent the last three days on the way back home. We stopped in Mulhouse (France) to visit the cite du train and continued to Saarburg (Germany). It was a pity it was raining in Saarburg, but we went to see the Saarschleife (the turn of the river Saar) and afterwards, Liam decided it was time for the swimming pool. On the last day, we stopped in Krewelhof for a brunch and the kids were playing for a couple of hours before going home (see the best rest stops for kids along the German highway).

 

Once more, we didn’t have many plans but we managed to do something every weekend!

 

What did you do in September?

This post also linked at Weekend Wanderlust and travel inspiration:

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12 Comments

  1. Anisa

    Sounds like you had a great month. In September I made a few trips to visit family and friends in Detroit, Phoenix, and Denver, so it was a pretty busy travel month for me. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  2. Looks like you’ve had another busy month. If I had temperatures in the 20s, I’d be out enjoying the area as well. The play area in Verkehrshaus der Schweiz looks like a lot of fun for the littles.

  3. What a busy month, btw I think that the last minute trips are the best, same as your trip to Swiss. I love Switzerland and it looks that you had very nice weather there. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  4. I was in Switzerland earlier this winter, and it is a truly beautiful country! These tips are definitely useful for when traveling there during the fall. I also love the fact that the activities are family friendly!

  5. We decided not to visit Switzerland when we were in Europe, and I’ve regretted it ever since. It’s such a vibrant and beautiful country, I would have loved it for the culture and photography opportunities alike. The transport museum there reminds me of MOTAT, an Auckland transport museum. They’re both very hands-on for the kids and make learning fun and enjoyable.

  6. Wow it was a fun and exciting month for the excursions! The sceneries in Switzerland and France is always out of this world! What a surprise in the end that Saarschleife is really special and beautiful! @ knycx.journeying

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