Published: July 20th 2012July 20th 2012
Team Free Exploring
Day 26 – Thursday 12th
to Day 34 - Friday 20th
July 2012. (Happy Birthday Fi)
It felt like a Contiki Tour……. But that’s OK.
4 Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark), 12 Cities, 7 Days. This is what happens in these small European countries. The plan was always to head through this part of the world quicker than we would otherwise like. The two main reasons are 1. Time and 2. Budget. We only have 4 months to get back to Kuala Lumpur and Europe is expensive, even more so when you travel with 3 kids and are using Australian Dollars to buy Euro’s.
We left Dinant in Belgium on Thursday 12th
July and went to Gent, not much to rave about, and then to the more popular Belgium city of Brugge. Well, was it popular? People everywhere and not a place to stay after visiting 8-10 hotels. Remember everyone, ‘The World is not built for 5’ – in Brugge, it’s not even built for 4, or 2!!!
We managed to find a car park and spent a good number of hours exploring the city. The canals are great and so is the atmosphere of the place.
Food and Wine Festive in in Hamburg
Even better if you could get a room. This is one of the not so better sides of ‘making it up as you go’. We made the decision to head to a smaller town across the border in The Netherlands. We soon arrived in the over-priced town of Vlissingen. The hotel was great, our best by far with all its 4 Stars. The city has a large port and it’s quite strange to be sitting in the restaurant having a meal only to see a massive cargo ship sail past a few hundred metres away. It felt like we were on a cruise ship!!!
With the dramas of Bruggge, we didn’t want to spend the next day trying to find accommodation in Amsterdam. We made our first internet booking so far this trip. It felt quite strange waking up the next morning to know where we were staying that night, and the night after. We had a good 2 days wandering around the streets of Amsterdam. The boys didn’t notice half the sights of Amsterdam, but did notice a few ‘balloon’ shops!!! Amsterdam was one of the first cities that Melissa and I actually had time to grab a
Relaxing in Amsterdam over a coffee.
few coffees and just chill for a while. This was nice….. However, we didn’t have time for any local produce or stage shows!!!
After 2 days in Amsterdam we continued to head north. We had another 3 days back in Germany with the highlight for the boys was definitely ‘Miniature Wonderland’ in Hamburg. Hamburg certainly put a show on for us. Both the QEII and the Queen Mary were in port, as well as a massive ‘food and wine festival’.
Good bye Euro's and hello Kroner's andScandinavia. We arrived in the small city of Horsens with one specific aim. To visit the original ‘Legoland’ in the town of Billund. Anyone with kids, especially boys, could imagine the build-up to Legoland. While we were in the UK, we drove past the Legoland in Windsor just to get a taste of what was to await the boys in Denmark. Legoland was even better than the boys could have imagined. Melissa could also appreciate the creations, as she is an ‘Official Master Lego builder’ herself.
The last 2 days have seen us relaxing in Copenhagen. Once again, it’s nice to be in one city for a couple of days. This
lets up catch up with the washing. Jackson and Harrison are now experts of the ‘hand-washing in the bathroom sink’ Hunter will have it sorted soon too!!!
Copenhagen is a great city to explore by foot with lots of restaurants, cafes and history. Melissa and I are actually finishing off this blog in a small cafe with Wi-Fi while the boys enjoy some ‘alone time’ across the road in the hotel.
Having now spent 4 days in Scandinavia, we have worked out that hotels are cheaper than Switzerland, but food and drinks are way more expensive. It’s like paying Versace prices at K-Mart.
The weather so far has been great. We have been very fortunate only to have come across the rain when we are driving. Jeff, the Volvo, is better built for the Sahara Desert. In other words, it leaks. It leaks a lot. This is due to the 15 year old sun-roof that needs the seal replaced. But hey, we’re backpackers and it’s better than hitchhiking in the rain any day.
Heading to Sweden today. Until next time……………….
There are more photos below