A friend of mine, Dyan has just returned from her first holiday to Bali with her little girl Miss B who is about 14 months old... I was surprised to learn that this was this Dyan's first trip, hasn't every Australian been to Bali - especially if you work in the travel industry? Isn't Bali where all Australians head off for a cheap and often drunken holiday ? Hence not a destination on my bucket list. Cliche right? - However following my catch up with Dyan I soon realised I may have judged Bali too harshly all this time - So was really thrilled when Dyan agreed to share her holiday with us and her tips on travelling with a toddler (Another friend with 2 year old Miss O joined the duo as well)
We debated for some time about adding Bruges to our itinerary - I had been advised that it was too touristy, did not feel real etc... but it seemed like the most logical pit stop when travelling from the Netherlands to France - using public transport - so we ignored all advice. The plan was not to hire a car on our last Europe trip and travel mainly on trains. (this failed... more later) The train planning was relatively easy when using the Man in Seat 61 to look up all train information across Europe. We took the early morning train out of Amsterdam and a train change at Antwerp got us to Bruges by lunch time.
The weather continued to work against us, yep travel is not always a bed of roses and sunshine... we spent two days exploring Bruges in the rain so it was a rather grey outlook. The town is gorgeous and easy to walk around if your kids are happy to use their walking legs. During our short time in Bruges we barely scrapped the surface - a picture perfect town with its architecture and canals - the land of Chips/fries and Chocolate...
When the Frechies decided to include Amsterdam onto our European summer holiday, we knew very little of this city other than it's standard cliches of the Red Light District, Canals and bicycles. Amsterdam is all those things and so much more. The only regret we have, is that we did not allow more time on our quick itinerary to truly discover this city. We booked three nights at Canal Home , a self contained apartment- It took us two days to get over the jet lag and get our bearings of this gorgeous city.
The last day of 2014 is almost here and the end of another busy year which seems to zoom past faster every year. I hope that your year was a good one, that you managed to find the time to travel and spend precious moments with your loved ones. The Frenchies are looking forward to some rest time at home mostly enjoying the best of the Melbourne Summer!
There are only a few more sleeps till one of the biggest days of the year! The kids are finally on holiday and I even caught my 12 year old snooping around the cupboards to see if he could find his presents... cheeky!
I do love christmas, a time to hang with my kids and hubby and the 'orphaned' Christmas now a tradition with some dear friends. The irony is growing up in India we never really celebrated Christmas and I don't even remember us ever talking about Santa.. I probably now make up for all the lost years and going overboard with Christmas gifts for the kids...