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Efteling 5.13.13

So, we’ve taken a plane and a train and a bus to reach a theme park in the middle of the Netherlands…do you think we like theme parks?  Just in case it wasn’t clear, here’s a photo from April…

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That’s Disneyland, and we destroyed the two-day park hopper pass.  But, were in Holland…because during our research we discovered Efteling.  It’s a theme park loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson.  Here’s the entrance. 

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A little creepy, no?  As evident by the photo, it was raining.  We took a bus from Waalwijk and weren’t going to let the weather deter us from having a good time.   See…

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This photo was taken as we were attempting to get into the first attraction/ride.  We don’t speak the language so we had to figure out what ingang and utgang meant (in and out).

Once we did that we were golden, nobody knew we were Americans until we told them we couldn’t understand them.  Thankfully they all spoke wonderful English.

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From a architectural/gardening standpoint this photo does it for me.  They used 5’-6’ logs to build this tunnel.  Throughout Europe the usage of wood as pavers and bridges over water or under unnecessary tunnels was really cool to see.  Me likey.

 

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This photo was taken on a ride, and shows the “e” of Efteling’s logo and a small boat about to go under the stone bridge.  We rode the (boring) boat ride after this ride landed.

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This giant bird was the entrance to a pitch black rollercoaster.  We rode it twice in a row.

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We got lost in the children’s fairy tale area of the park, seriously turned around.  So we followed the map as best as we could and learned a little bit about some fairy tales that weren’t well known to us, like this guy, who helped his prince because his long neck came in handy for the prince.  Ron read this story, but that’s the gist. 

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This is the lovely mascot we call Efteling.  It’s the doll we shipped home.

 

We had a lovely time at the park, in fact we were there when it opened and left after it had closed.  We watched a horse show, a water show, and a lot of fun roller coasters (including one that goes off tracks and bobsleds down!).  After the water show (which is the last thing the park does each day) we waited for a bus to take us back to Waalwijk.

When we were finally at the hotel, I got a little worked up about how early we would have to catch the bus the next morning so that we could catch our train from Den Bosch to Luxembourg, and how we wouldn’t have any food the whole trip if we didn’t find some, so we set off again in search of a convenience store to get anything.  Fiasco ensued, we walked a lot, caught a bus, ended up near Efteling but at a Chinese place in these people’s house.  The food was good (likely because we were starving at that point) and as we were getting our check a bus went by (not much traffic at that time of night (about 8pm)).  Turn’s out we didn’t get free refills (as we had attempted to ask) on the tap water Ron was drinking or the Coke Light I was drinking, and we ended up paying about 18 euro for beverages.  Oh well. 

The night got better as we returned to the bus stop, because that bus I had seen 5 minutes prior was the last bus for the next hour.  It was getting dark and colder, so we crossed the street and got on the bus going the wrong way (but it was the right number so it would eventually get us back to our hotel).  We got a nice night tour of the Netherlands countryside, and got back to the hotel MUCH later than we’d hoped to.  We packed our things, discovered that we didn’t have to leave quite as early as anticipated (so we were able to eat breakfast at the hotel), and went to bed exhausted but very satisfied. 

Adventures come in all forms, and often times it’s the things that go “wrong” that turn out to be the most easily remembered for the rest of your life, so it’s much better to make the best of the situation than to wish it were different.

Tomorrow we head to Luxembourg, and I get to show Ron where I lived when I was 22, and where I played semi-professional basketball after college.

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Leaving Waalwijk

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