I’ve just spent the past week doing a bit of travelling with two of my favourite girls from Canada. Last week, Amy and Michelle arrived in Brussels for three weeks of touring the continent.
Amsterdam, Kinderdijk and Apenheul
We began our travels with a trip to the Netherlands. We had a beautiful blue sky overhead as we visited the windmills of Kinderdijk. This is the first time I have seen the UNESCO site when it wasn’t bitingly cold and windy. The sun and gentle breeze made the trip much more enjoyable than my previous February visits.
After the windmills it was time to visit the monkeys. Ok, so monkeys aren’t very Dutch but Apenheul Monkey Park in Apeldoorn is one of our favourite spots. Despite a brief downpour, the majority of the monkeys were outside enjoying the weather.
Our evening destination was Amsterdam and of course, supper at Los Pilones. There was plenty of Mexican goodness and perhaps a mojito or two to end the night.
The next morning we said goodbye to Andrew, who was headed back to Brussels, and found some Dutch pancakes for breakfast. Over the next two days, we wandered the canals, visited the Van Gogh museum, took a boat ride and ate some noodles, bagels and Dutch cheese, (not all at once). We hopped on the train for Brussels on Monday evening and got ready for the next adventure.
Tuesday, with laundry in the wash, we did a bit of sightseeing in Brussels. The requisite waffles and frites were eaten (again, not all at once) and the major sights were seen – Manneken Pis, Atomium and Grand Place, check!
Doolin and Dublin
Wednesday we were up before the sun for our flight to Dublin. The girls had rented a car and booked a B & B on the west coast of Ireland in a town called Doolin. The first few moments in the car were a bit hair-raising, especially for one poor man who thought we were going to run him down, but Michelle quickly mastered driving on the other side of the road and we made it to Doolin without any mishaps. When we arrived we hit the pub for some Irish food and music.
The next morning we explored the pier at Doolin and then headed for the cliffs of Moher, with a few castle photo stops along the way. The cliffs were striking and we had an amazingly clear view of the Aran Islands. After a hot hike up one side of the cliffs and then the other, we jumped back in the car to return to Dublin, where our hotel was located conveniently next door to another pub.
Friday we explored Dublin by bus and had a tour of the Guinness brewery. We wandered through Temple Bar and took in some more music and pub food. We were up before the sun again on Saturday for our flight home.
Now the girls are off on the next leg of their European Adventure and I can’t wait to hear the stories of the rest of their travels.