Destinations,  Europe,  Madrid,  Spain,  The Netherlands

May summary: Madrid again, Valencia, Beekse Bergen, caravan update and I won a trip!

I can’t wait to tell you that I have won a trip!!! Who can wait to tell such a highlight??!! You don’t win a free holiday every day. Well, when I told my colleagues in the office, they said “again??” 😀 In the past, I have won a couple of free holidays and just two weeks ago I published the post about the 5 ways to get a free holiday. What a coincidence!!  But before I tell you what trip I have won, here is the May summary

May Summary

After a week at home, I flew again to Madrid. There was, of course, a reason for this trip. I had to go to the dentist 😀 It sounds funny maybe, but even including the price of the tickets, going to the dentist in Madrid is cheaper than here in The Netherlands. A second reason was my friend’s annual escape to Oliva (Valencia). The 15th of May is a bank holiday only in Madrid (if you’re in Spain, try to make it to Madrid on this date, it’s “San Isidro” feast) and a great opportunity to go to the beach without the crowds of Eastern holidays and also at a reasonable price.

We were lucky and had great weather. The kids, especially Mika, loved the beach and the sea. They spent hours playing with the sand. Unlike to other trips, the only thing we did during those three days, was going to the beach. Which it’s also nice from time to time.

After two weeks in Spain, we had a weekend at home. We spent the last weekend of the month in Beekse Bergen, which is a safari park with its own camping. We wanted to try the caravan before going to Slovenia and as the Thursday was a bank holiday, we spent a long weekend there.

car safari

The good thing about the camping is that by paying extra 25€, you can enter the safari park and Speelland (= play world) every day of your stay. And that’s what we did!! Thursday, we spent a couple of hours walking. Friday, we took our car to the park for the car safari in the morning and spent the rest of the day on the “beach” of the camping (it was really hot). Saturday, we took first the boat safari and then continued walking. When the kids were tired, we went back to the camping and later we used the camping’s pool to cool down.

boat safari

By the way, if you wonder how I can spend so much time in Madrid, the answer is simple: I can work from “home” (well, anywhere with a good wifi connection) and my mother loves to take care of the kids. A win win situation 😛

Pimp the caravan

My initial goal was to have the cushions and curtains ready before our weekend to Beekse Bergen, but at the end, I was able to “only” have the cushions ready. My aim now is to finish the curtains and change the top of the tables before leaving to Slovenia. I almost have  4 curtains ready, so 4 more to go. Actually, I only need two or three hours to complete them, but it so challenging to find the free time lately.

 But even if I not finish, the caravan is ready for the holidays. It’s good that we first tested it for a long weekend, as we missed some things like soap to wash clothes. We weren’t thinking about doing a laundry in 4 days, but kids get dirty quickly and some cloth stain has to be washed immediately. Further, we enjoyed the caravan and camping life!! Kids just love to be outdoors the whole day and found quickly friends to play with. It was just difficult to put them to sleep as they were having too much fun 😀

 Travel plans & the trip I won

Where are we next?? Well, this weekend we are camping again, this time in Ermerstrand. It’s a camping close to Emmen and it was just 25€ for the 4 nights!! I saw the action in and I couldn’t resist. I also bought  tickets for Wildlands via markplaats for 12€. In this way, it keeps affordable, regular prices are 27,5€ for Slagharen (but they offer now 10,5€ tickets on their website) and 26,5€ for Wildlands.

Then we have one more weekend and we will be on our way to Slovenia!!! And of course, once we are back we can think about our next trip. The one I won last week. It was so weird. Someone leaves a message just saying “I’m from vente-exclusive, please call me back”. And I was thinking, “what do they want to sell me?” ha,ha,ha. Just an hour later, they called again and said: “do you remember you have participated in our giveaway?… well, you’re one of the winners”. At that moment, I had two children screaming and just asked: “what did I win?”. “Well, you’re the main winner, you have won an MSC cruise for 2 in the Mediterranean Sea!!”. I was so surprised that it took me a minute to react. So now the dilemma is which route to take. I feel really attracted to one starting in Venice and stops in Bari (Italy), Katakolon (Greece), Mykonos (Greece), Athens (Greece), Sarande (Albania) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). Not bad, right?

picture from MSC Poesia (

This is all for this month. So tell me where have you been? Do you have any travel plans for June? Have you been on a cruise before? What should I pay attention to?


  • Rhonda Albom

    Congratulations on winning the cruise. MSC is very family orientated (kids cruise for free). As far as dentists go, Southeast Asia is a common place for people “down under” to go for inexpensive quality dental work.

    • Shere

      I had a look at their website as we want to take the kids with us and indeed they look very family oriented. They have 3 kids clubs (depending on age), babysitting and animation. I’m still trying to figure out the cabin options.

  • Jim ~ Reflections Enroute

    Wow, what luck! MSC has a very good reputation, especially for their Med cruises. I’m sure you’ll have a blast! In my area, people travel to Slovakia or Hungary for dentistry! What a funny world we live in. #wkendtravelinspiration

  • Anda

    The RV seems to be working great for your family, Shere. I think it’s the best way to travel with small kids. You had quite a busy schedule so far. How in the world can you travel so much and not get tired? I’ve done 2-3 trips since April (two of which were only business related) and I feel exhausted. Well, I guess it probably age… #THeWeeklyPostcard

  • Scarlett Begonias

    How lucky to be able to visit so many beautiful places and to have won a wonderful Mediterranean trip! We love Slovenia too 🙂 I have done the cruise route out of Venice around the boot, and some of those port stops are incredible. You are going to love that trip 🙂

  • Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)

    Congratulations on winning the cruise – how exciting! Love the caravan, and the tent on the front is great. We’ve been thinking a lot about getting one ourselves, so we’re always interested to see others. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

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