Before we left you may have got the impression that I was a little excited to be having a holiday. That impression would be correct. As much as I love taking the girls for our annual summer jaunt to my mum's, actually going somewhere different and seeing new stuff thrilled the hell out of me. As an easily excited person, even getting on the Eurotunnel train thrilled me to no end.
Once on the other side we wasted no time heading for a campground I had booked us into near Ghent in Belgium. The drive was just over an hour and a half which reminded us how easily accessible so many things are just the other side of the channel.
I had booked us into a 'hiking cabin' which is a basic accommodation with even more basic cooking facilities, and no bathroom facilities at all, but beds that proved very comfortable which made it so much better than being in a tent in my eyes.
We were in a gorgeous and peaceful location, with just a short walk down through the campground taking us to a beautiful lake. The campground also had a massive bbq you could use if you so wished. It was conveniently located right by our
Sunday started with a pedal boat ride on the lake. The best bit of which was someone deliberately steering his boat into the lake fountain so he stayed dry but Emily most definitely did not. I did not possess the skills to adequately steer a pedal boat to even attempt doing this to Helen. We then took a jaunt over the border into Holland where himself has a cousin, met our first 'real' windmill and then went into Ghent with the cousin and his wife to explore.
Ghent is a beautiful city and well worth a stop if you are ever in the area. The centre is full of traditional buildings, lovely narrow streets to wander through, a river lined with restaurants and cafes, and right in the middle of all that an excellent castle. All the more excellent as children enter for free. Free! As someone who lives just up the road from Warwick Castle where it would cost £107 for a family of four to go if we didn't book in advance the 28euro charge for Ghent Castle was a welcome surprise.
The views of the city centre from the rampart walls were excellent. The room showing instruments of torture used in medieval times fascinatingly gruesome.
We finished the day down by the lake as it turned out that we booked in the same weekend as the annual summer festival which culminated in a fantastic fireworks show that night. We watched those while we ate Belgium waffles, apple fritters and Helen had candy floss. Thank you Zele, Belgium!
Monday we had a very relaxed start before we headed off to Rotterdam to meet my Canadian brother, his kids, my mum and step dad, my Aberdeen brother and his wife, and my dad and his partner. We stayed right in the city, each of us having a flat in the same building. The flats were in a converted school house with massively high ceilings inside which allowed for a loft bedroom in each one. We also had the use of the owners garden as he was away, which was a nice perk.
Across the street was a great playground and a basketball court which was visible from our windows so we could see the cousins at play. We then all went for a long walk through the very big nearby park until we e
But that's enough for this post. If you want to know what we did for the rest of our holiday then please come back for the next post.