Okay.. so we are 'accursed' travellers. But our stay in Belgium itsself was really wonderful. The height of joy, for me, was the Efteling.
I love this place, and so do my boys. Last year was the first time that a wonderful friend of mine who lives in the Netherlands, and I combined our families for the trip, and it was a huge success. This year we went together again, and added two more friends, one who is my son's Godfather. We had a group of 7 adults and three children and the most amazing weather.
We started our visit with a lovely picnic. You can buy food there, with prices ranging from VERY reasonable, to quite expensive if you want a medieval four course meal. But picnicking is encouraged as well. Do you notice how beautifully green that picnic meadow is?
After that, there were so many things to do: rides, like the beautiful dreamflight, where you fly amidst fairies and trolls, the funny carnival ride which resembles 'it's a small world' in Disney World a lot, the spinning cooking pots, the beautiful antique carrousel's, the train diorama's and so much more.
But the heart of the Efteling, and among the oldest parts of it, is the fairytale forest. Based on Grimm, Andersen and Folklore and originally designed by artist Rein Portvliet, this place takes you away to a land where children's fantasy reigns.
You can just see the wide eyed wonder in the eyes of my boys as they discover the gnomes, Giant Long Neck, the candy house in the Hansl and Gretl fairytale.
After the fairytale forest and tired of a day of walking around, we enjoyed a beautiful boatride on the tones of classic music: twenty minutes amidst a lovely lake, with flowers, ducks, and beautiful landscapes, where you think yourself more in a pleasure garden than an amusement park. As a last treat for Joseph, we took the oldfashioned steamtrain to ride one more time around the park. Then, the boys got to play for a few more minutes in an oldfashioned play ground (all that, and then in little nooks and corners, they still have room for some sand and oldfashioned slides and swings, and parent powered little turning things.
We had such a wonderful, wonderful day, and so many more wonderful pictures. Can you see how sunny it was? And how lush the green? Oh, I can't wait till we go back next year!