Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Efteling & a fun weekend

Rewind to two weeks ago, Jaap took a Friday off from work and we went to visit the Efteling. It was one week after my big concert at school, which marked the end of very stressful month for me at work. It was time to unwind and relax. We decided to take a trip to the Dutch version of Disneyland...the Efteling. The Efteling is in Noord Brabant and pretty close to where Jaap grew up. He has lots of childhood memories of this place and it was nice to hear him retell all the stories and show me all the things he remembered about the place when has younger.
Train ride around the park
This guy below is actually a trash can that says, Papier hier! And then when you throw the trash into his mouth he says, Dank je wel. 
Papier hier...Dank je wel!
We hit all the big rides in the morning. First the Bob, Piraña, De Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman), and my favorite for the day Joris en de Drak, a beautiful wooden roller coaster.  

Here's a video of us on the Piraña. Obviously we don't know the teenagers that were with us, but you get a glimpse of me getting soaking wet. It doesn't look that bad on the video, but my right leg and half my body was completely drenched for the next hour and a half after riding it. Jaap said we wouldn't get wet. Hmmm? (Pardon my French in this clip). 
Jaap enjoying the Piraña
The Vliegende Hollander & Jores de Drak
Live music
Views from the top of the Pagoda ride
Carnaval Festival...almost like It's a Small World
As much fun as the roller coasters were, I have to say that I really enjoyed the rides that are more tame. I think I have outgrown the thrill factor of roller coasters. It's a sign that I'm aging.

Next came the Sprookjesbos or Fairytale Forest. It's a wooded area with small cottages, mushrooms that play music, and characters that depict  stories and childhood fairytales. That's Little Red Riding Hood below. Jaap was taking a stroll down memory lane. His childhood favorite was the Langnek. His neck grows really tall when something happens, but  I can't remember the specifics. :)
I loved the Efteling. We had such a nice together and it was something very Dutch that I wanted to make sure we did before the end of the summer. Our fun weekend continued with our joint birthday party the next day. Somehow the party evolved into a salsa dance jam session. Let's just say the neighbors weren't too happy. Oooopps.
The next morning we walked into town with Jaap's parents, Jan and Trees. Here we are outside the Bisschopsmolen. It happened to be a special/religious day in Maastricht called Heiligdomsvaart. It only happens every seven years where some holy relics from the Saint Servaas Basilica are paraded throughout the city. We sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee and some vlaai while waiting for the procession. However, Jaap and I were running on limited sleep having stayed up really late at the party. After I asleep on Jaap's arm at the café, we knew it was time to go home. What a great weekend!

Here is part of the procession. These pictures were taken by Jan and Trees who stayed to watch the procession.



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