Two weeks ago we found ourselves being woken my our alarm at 2am. I'm surprisingly chirpy at this time in the morning, although I think the excitement of our upcoming trip probably had more to do with my sunny mood! By 6am we were on the Dover to Dunkirk ferry fantasising about the full on breakfast we were going to treat ourselves to...we did have breakfast but it didn't really match our expectations, thank God for Haribos!!
It only took us 3 hours driving from Dunkirk to find ourselves in the village of Waspik, where we were basing ourselves for the weekend. This gave us the afternoon to catch up with our friends before all their extended family arrived for a Gourmet. This is a traditional Dutch social meal. You put together lots of different bite sized pieces of meat and cook them on an indoor grill then eat it with salads, chips and bread. It's a meal to be enjoyed over the course of the evening and everyone chats over the grills while you wait for your meat to be cooked..
On Saturday morning we visited the town of Oosterhout, it's filled with cobble streets and little alleyways that open into courtyards housing bars and shops. I tried out my fledgling Dutch on our waitress at lunchtime, she replied in English so I think I may need to practise my pronunciation!!
In the afternoon we met up with friends to enjoy a boat ride on the Maas river. Every boat we passed we had to shout out "Hallo" to and wave, everyone was so friendly! Late afternoon we moored at Biesbosch and had a BBQ on the riverbank until the sun set and we headed home with full bellies and tired, beer squiffy eyes!
On Sunday we took a beautiful drive through the Dutch countryside to a town called Heusden. Every Sunday lots of motorbike riders meet up in the town square for coffee before going for a ride. We got there just as they were getting ready to leave and so sat for a while and listened to the roar of the bikes.
I finally found my traditional windmill and took an insane amount of photographs while the OH stood and waited for me.
On the walk back to the car I saw this street name which has to be one of the longest names ever. Its words like this that make me even more determined to learn Dutch!!
Our morning on Monday was just taken up leisurely packing and chatting to our wonderful hosts before heading back to Dunkirk. We finally got home at 10pm, tired but very relaxed and filled with happy memories.