Sunday, September 13, 2009

Amsterdam - the final stop

Another big day driving from Freiburg, through Germany, into the Netherlands and up to Amsterdam. The kids are getting sick of the driving but thank goodness for I-pods and PSPs, we have also managed to play lots of word, number and memory games.
The budget is down to the final few euros and so we are back in the tent for three nights and then a cabin for the final night as we leave Amsterdam early to drive to Calais and catch the ferry.
Meals are starting to get down to the basics - pasta cooked on my campstove...unfortunately I have run out of fuel and this new fuel doesn't cook at a very high temperature (yes, Josh, I agree...that was the worst pasta I have ever cooked!)
On Friday we went into Amsterdam and visited Anne Frank's house. Rebecca & I have just read 'Anne Frank's Diary' and so it was really interesting to go and see the actual place where they hid for over 2 years. It makes you appreciate the space and freedom that we have - even if it is only a tent, at least we can get out and about.
It was interesting wandering around Amsterdam looking at the canals and seeing all the different bikes - they really are everywhere, and there are even traffic lights and special lanes for the bikes. We had a yummy lunch - Dutch pancakes! Lionel & I shared a savoury (bacon & pineapple) and a banana & blueberry pancake - the savoury ones aren't as good as the sweet ones. Rebecca had apple & banana & cinnamon and Josh had banana & strawberry with whipped cream...I think this is one food we may have to continue eating in New Zealand!!!

On Saturday we went for a drive north of Amsterdam and saw a village set up like a living museum where there are lots of working windmills. Lionel & Josh went into one and were amazed at the power of the wind that the sails made when they were out on top, they also saw the working mechanism of the windmill. We then drove up to Volendaam which is a fishing village - more of a tourist place now with a huge marina. We had one of the best meals here since we left New Zealand and we were sitting right on the water edge looking out over the marina.

The weather has turned very autumny since we have been in Amsterdam and the jeans and sweatshirts are out of the suitcases for the first time in weeks. Unfortunately we have had rain today - it would happen the day we have to pack up the tents! They aren't too wet but we will have to get them out again when we get back to the UK and have a dry out before the final pack up!

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