I had rather planned on blogging about the last couple of days in detail, but as it is I haven’t really had the time (or access to a computer) to do so.
Anyway, here is a brief run-down of whats been happening:
Grandparents arrived at our house at around 3, and we left for Sheffield to pick up my Dad’s Dad, so that we had a complete collection of grandparents! And from there we left for Hull to catch our ferry. The ferry journey was pleasant enough, although not many of us slept (it was an overnight ferry).
Arrived in Rotterdam at some ridiculous hour in the morning, and drove up to Amsterdam (after a large breakfast on the ferry), where we spent most of the day.
We wandered around Amsterdam for a while, grabbing a coffee in a lovely little coffee shop and hopping on a canal tour of the city. We had some lunch in a nice restaurant and then went to the history of Amsterdam museum, where I learnt quite a lot about the city. Prior to going there I only really know roughly where it was and that soft drugs were legal there!
Then in the late afternoon we drove East for a couple of hours, reaching our hotel in a small town called Emsdetten just past the border in Germany. There we checked ourselves in and had a delicious meal in the hotel restaurant. We are all very much looking forward to eating there again later this week!
In the morning, after another large breakfast in the hotel, Jenny (my sister) came down from Rheine, where she has been living since last year, and after showing her around the hotel we drove up to Rheine, which is only about 10 minutes drive north of our hotel, and met her host family.
The family are extremely nice and treated us to a trip out to a local monastery which has been turned into a museum. The monastery belonged to an order of monks none of us had heard of, and the building had been discovered and restored by the local people not too long ago (maybe 20-40 years, I don’t remember).
After that the family fed us all, which was very good of them as it seemed to be an impromptu decision made before we left for the museum, and there were 7 of us so it was no small thing! It was really nice to spend the evening with them and I think all of us came away knowing a lot more about Germany, and in some cases a little more of the German language than we did before.
As per Jenny’s host families suggestion, in the morning we picked her up and headed to the local zoo in Rheine. It was a brilliant experience! The zoo was a lot more hands on than most zoo’s I’ve been too, with a monkey enclosure that you could walk through (and some others too, but the monkeys were the most interesting).
We saw all sorts of animals, some of the most remarkable being Wallobies, Alpacas, Llamas, and a few which I’ve never even heard of before! Of course everything was in German, so I have no idea what their English names are, sorry.
As I said, there was a monkey enclosure which you could walk through, this was brilliant because the monkeys are so used to people that they actually rifled through peoples pockets and stole stuff from them! Very entertaining to watch!
After that we had a chance to relax in the afternoon, and we watched the recent Starsky and Hutch movie. Then we went out for some food in a restaurant near where Jenny lives, which was really quite excellent.
And that brings me to now, writing this blog. I think it’s probably time for me to go to bed, since we have some much more planned for the rest of the week, I definately need to sleep!