Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Holiday in Germany, via Belgium 2011

Scally loving the train :)
We normally go to our Villa in Crete for the Summer, but this year we went earlier in May and decided to visit Germany instead.  A tad random, but Chris used to work with a guy who left his job to renovate a 16th Century house he'd bought in the Mosel Valley, which they turned into rental accommodation.  The promise of good wine and good company was too much to turn down!
I don't do boats, so we decided to take the Eurotunnel instead.  I love it, drive your car onto the train and 35 minutes later you're in France!
We'd booked 2 nights accommodation in Belgium to break the journey up, as we figured going direct to Germany would have been a nightmare with the children, and besides we had 10 days to play with.  We stayed in a little studio room on a farm.  The lady was lovely, and the food was good, but the room was a bit basic for the money.  However, location-wise it was excellent, and that afternoon we went to Breskins in Holland, and had a lot of fun watching the kids jumping off things from the lookout point!  Silly game really but got some cracking photos.  Breskins itself had a nice feel to it, but apart from that it was just a little seaside town, though too cold to enjoy the seaside!  Forgot to mention that it was freezing and I had packed for high Summer - silly me!  I did enjoy the fact that in one day we'd been in England, France, Belgium and Holland, blessing the Euro currency!  The next day we decided to go to Gent as so many people had said how lovely it was!  At first, driving around, we weren't so sure, but eventually we found the centre and was blown away by everything! We thought we might be there a couple of hours, but we stayed until 6pm and had a fabulous time!  First of all we took a boat trip, the sky looked iffy but the clever lady said they had umbrellas!  Indeed 10mins into the trip the heavens opened, and yes, thankfully they did have umbrellas.  It was a great tour, fun and informative.
Looking over the river
The old Brothel
Big Ben/Westminster
Steps from the Bell Tower
We found out that the Marriott used to be a brothel!  The two swans in their frontage - who normally mate for life - are deliberately not facing each other!  We also found out that two of the other buildings are modelled on Big Ben and Westminster Cathedral, the first is a little short of our own and hmmm on Westminster!  After a very reasonable lunch we went to investigate the castle, with its display of torture equipment, including a guillotine - with original blade!  All sorts of other nasties were a great attraction too  After that we went to a Bell Tower with a fab exhibition on how the bells are made - most extraordinary, and then up to see the bells in situ.   We chose to take the lift back down, but Chris took the 225 stairs route!
Ended 8-2 whoops!
Oh dear!
Lastly, as we had found an Irish bar earlier showing Sky Sports, Chris decided he would quite like to watch a bit of the Man Utd vs Arsenal game.   If you know what happened I think these pics say it all! That night we decided to go out for a nice meal.  The local restaurant, The Red Mouse, was about 20 mins walk away. We'd ordered silly for lunch on the first day, but being a bit better informed we had a successful 2nd go.  Chris had an amazing steak and I had some wonderful garlic Gambas - the kids enjoyed spaghetti and the wine and ales were good.  Along with the double rainbow we saw the evening ended better than I expected!
The next morning, after breakfast we began the 3 hour drive to Germany.  Between my iphone, loaded with Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Jasper's DSI, it all went swimmingly!  Apart from the row I had for being overcharged in the services, don't ask!  We eventually, finally arrived here and I was geniunely open-mouthed!  You can see from the website for Zur Alten Weinkelter why!  Will update further when I have time :)
Thanks for reading!
Annie x

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