We left Adelaide close to midday on the 12th of May for Singapore.
The boys were great during the flight, and we landed in Singapore early in the evening. The trip to our hotel didn’t take too long and on the way Thomas could enjoy the view of many many cranes that were at the building sites in the city.
The room at the Grand Pacific Hotel room was very nice, and it was very convenient to have a 24hr food court just across the street.
Singapore is a great city, we loved it. Very clean, very friendly people who seem to love kids and want to help families out. Food, transport and attractions are cheap and there is a lot to see and do. After our first night sleep, we went to Sentosa Island. This island is packed with entertainment and theme parks. One of them is the aquarium known as Underwater World. Thomas liked the conveyor belt in the shark aquarium the best. Alex just liked all fish, as long he could stand in front of the aquariums, he was a happy kid.
The second day we visited the Singapore Zoo. Lots of people had told us it was fantastic, and we were not disappointed. It’s one of the best Zoo’s we’ve been to and we had a great day. It's situated a little bit out of the city in tropical forest and gardens. All the animals have lots of space. And they have some great shows, like the elephant show, which was the highlight of the day for Tom. Also a separate “wet” corner for the children to cool off, but we only used the restaurant in that area.
The next day it was time to fly off to Europe. Some photo's of our Singapore stay you'll find below.
After a 13 hour flight from Singapore we landed in Frankfurt late in the evening of the 15th of May. This flight was not as easy as Adelaide - Singapore. Lots of turbulence, so Alex had to be on our laps, and he was pretty angry about not having enough sleep.
We stayed the night at the Holiday Inn, and the boys lets us get a few hours sleep before deciding to start the day at 415am. Luckily breakfast is served early, and then we collected our hire car, and drove to the Netherlands. The boys spent most of the 4 hour drive sleeping. But Mamma and Papa were pretty grumpy.
At lunch time we arrived at Esther's (Francois' sister) place which was home for the next 3 weeks. Of course we did several day trips to explore and enjoy the time with family and friends in the Netherlands, Belgium & Germany.
We had some great weather during our stay, I think we had only 3 days of rain (when we arrived, when we left, and one in the middle).
We had sunshine for every outing.
One place we visited was the Keukenhof. This is the beautiful tulip garden that only opens for 8 weeks of the year. Unfortunately for us, the early and very warm spring in Europe meant that the gardens flowered early in the season. We visited the Keukenhof on the last day of the season and a lot of flowers were gone already. But it was still a very nice place to visit, and they had some great Lily and Orchid displays in the pavilions.
Of course we visited the Efteling, the best amusement park in the Netherlands. We had to go back to the mushroom where Francois proposed to Sandra. We took a family photo there, to show how things have changed in the last 6 years. Thomas is not yet really into the fairy tales, but he loved the talking tree and firebreathing dragon. He loved "going to Ameriga" (riding the merry-go-round) and the chairlift rides the best (Puppet theatre and Dream flight). Alex didn't think much of waiting in line, but he loved the Puppet theatre ride.
We also visited Burgers Zoo near Arnhem, the North sea beach where Alex had his first ever dip in a sea, and a parrot park. The rest of the time we caught up with our friends. There were 3 family birthdays to celebrate. Jari's 12th B'day, Oma Liesje (Francois' mum) delayed 65th B'day party and Thomas 3rd B'day. So a lot of cake and junk food was eaten!
There's never enough time when we're over there, but we really enjoyed our stay over. It was a very relaxed holiday. The kids loved it, and had lots of fun with the family and their new friends.
Below you'll find a selection of our photo's. It's divided into 2 slideshows due to the number.
On Sunday the 5th of June it was time to fly off to Singapore again. We flew out of Amsterdam and arrived early the following day. This flight was better than the way over.
After checking in to the Grand Copthorne Hotel and getting a few hours sleep, we found a shopping mall to eat a late lunch. Then we had some lazy time by the hotel pool which Tom though was fantastic fun. We all had an early night, but by 1 am Francois and Alex were taking a nice walk near the river, and making friends in the hotel lobby, when Alex couldn't sleep. Eventually we all got back to sleep and didn't make it out of bed until midday. We finally made it to the botanic gardens, where we had a picnic lunch. There is a whole section of the garden devoted to children, and there was a great wet area where the kids could run between water fountains to cool off. Thomas & Alex had a ball. We had dinner at the hotel (great seafood laksa!) and Alex scored a free dessert for us just by being cute. It made some great pictures !! We left for the airport at 8pm in plenty of time to catch our midnight flight back to Adelaide.
We're a bit sad our holiday is over, but we are already thinking about the next one. Maybe Queensland?