27th March 2018 – 05th April 2018
We spent a whirlwind three weeks with as many family and friends that we could get to see and left a day later than planned as we couldn’t believe where the 3 weeks went, time just flew passed. As we were leaving, me thinking have we got everything, passport, money, dog. David says as we are getting in the car ‘have we got my sausages?’ Always thinking of his belly !
Now to give you an idea of where we are going on this ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Part 2 adventure, we are heading to Greece through Germany, Switzerland, into Italy and catching a ferry to Mainland Greece. We plan on staying in Greece until the end of June and then when it is too hot, leaving on the ferry back to Italy and the rest is still to be finalised.
Back to current events, we caught an early tunnel crossing out of the U.K. and our first stop was to the beautiful little town of Gouda in the Netherlands/Holland, famous for it’s cheese. We stayed within walking distance of the town and spent a couple of days enjoying Gouda cheese, wandering around the many canals and windmills around the town and eating Gouda Cheese soup and cherry beer (well me !). As it was Easter, a chocolate Easter egg was on my radar and with David saying in the chocolate shop, have whatever one you like, I chose the largest possible. This lovely shop called OLALA (quite appropriate), had the large mixing bowls full of melted chocolate swirling round at the back of the shop, which David had to stop me diving into !
Our next destination was to Keukenhof Gardens. This spring garden, said to be the most beautiful in the world, only opens for 8 weeks a year and is filled with over 7 million spring bulbs. To make it even better, Chloe could go into the gardens as well and she became quite an attraction herself with the Japanese tourists wanting to have their picture taken with her. It has been on my bucket list to visit the gardens and it did not disappoint. With the cold weather the flower beds outside were not in bloom but the gardens still took our breathe away. The bulbs displayed in the indoor gardens were amazing, just stunning in colour and in full bloom. If you love flowers and gardening, try and get here once in your lifetime. It is the best garden we have ever visited.
We spent a further couple of days in the area, getting into the cycling mode of transport. It is such a joy cycling in Holland, at the traffics lights the cycle lane goes green before the car lane. The country is covered with cycle routes and everyone cycles, you feel safe, cars don’t cut you up and there are plenty of places to leave you bikes. We loved Holland.
Now as we want to spend some time in Greece and with our crossing booked we are on a schedule for driving. Next stop Germany. We stayed for two night just outside the small town of Ladenburg home to Karl Friedrich Benz, famous engine designer and posh cars ! It was Easter weekend and buzzing with people strolling around eating ice cream. Since we have been in Germany we are amazed how many people are eating ice cream ! It’s not as if we are having a heatwave here, very strange. We of course joined in, each consuming a small tub of ice cream and not sharing, much to Chloe’s annoyance. The following day we cycled a 14 mile round trip into Heidelberg. A tourist destination due to it’s landscape, Heidelberg Castle, the Philosophers walk and the lovely old town. Situated on the river and home to Germany’s oldest and Europe’s most reputable universities, we spent the day eating, drinking and being tourists. Again, Germany have designated cycle roads which we took through the lovely spring countryside. It makes cycling a complete joy and Chloe has now got into her mode of transport laying down in her trailer with David pulling her, just watching the world go by. What a life she has. On the way back we passed two small farms with little farm shops attached so we stocked up on some provisions, fresh fruit and vegetables. No sausages ! Talking of sausages the following day as we near the border into Switzerland we stop for a couple of days in the countryside and needing some fresh meat we walk to the butchers that I spotted on the way to our campsite. To say David was in heaven was an understatement, the shop was full of sausages and he left very happy after buying several packets of bockwurst. This shop also had a vending machine outside full of packets of sausages, just in case you fancy a midnight feast. ! I think David would quite like to live in the village of Burgunderstrabe.