We had a very lazy morning. Phil and I were in our apartment for ages, just pottering around, and then we eventually headed over to Jane’s house and met up with them. The weather was a bit chilly, so we weren’t too sure what to do. There is a very nice park in Monnickendam, so we decided to play some mini-golf. We walked through the village to get there, but when we arrived it was closed.
I really liked this street, which has little bridges to all the front doors.
I was quite cold, as it wasn’t as warm as we’d expected, so we decided to walk around to our apartment so I could get changed, and then see if the mini golf was open yet. It was a nice walk along the old town walls.
After a change of clothes, and a snack (current buns ), we headed back to the mini golf which had now opened. We have visited this park many times, but the golf is new. The park is brilliant, I’ve never seen a similar setup in the UK. It’s a large park with climbing frames etc, split into three areas, one for very little children, one for older children, and the mini golf area. It costs 1 Euro to use the park, and there is a café and loads of seats and tables for the parents, and nice clean toilets to use. It seems to be very popular, and it’s a much more pleasant experience for the parents, than the usual sitting on a bench wishing you had brought a coffee.
The girls are a bit older for the park bit, but the mini golf was great.
It was quite hard, and if you hit the ball too hard, there was the very real possibility of losing your ball in the canal.
we thought we’d lost one ball to the canal, but when we looked over the fence it was balanced on a narrow strip of wood. We couldn’t reach it, and there were nettles everywhere, but in a crystal maze style operation we managed to roll it back up the bank using 2 golf clubs, and then Phil braved the nettles to retrieve the ball.
After the game of mini-golf, it was starting to get late, and Phil had to return the car by 5, so we headed back to run some errands. I wanted to return to Volendam to make another visit to Hema, and also the touristy shops of Volendam for a souvenir.
We made a number of successful purchases in Hema (honestly I could spend a fortune in there, it reminds me of Target but on a smaller scale), and then we walked up to the harbourside which was teeming with tourists. I’ve only been there once when there were no tourists, and that was on a rainy day in the winter.
We met this interesting lady on the harbourside
and I tried to capture the scene
the kids decided they were starving, so while I was shopping, they had some frites.
They picked a very windy step to sit on while they ate them.
We realised we didn’t have very long to finish shopping, and return the car, so we headed back to the shopping centre for some groceries for dinner, and then back to Monnickendam.
We needed to fill the car up before we returned it, which was interesting. The petrol station was all automatic, but we couldn’t find where to pay. There were a number of signs in Dutch which we obviously couldn’t read. We did eventually find the very small credit card machine, and managed to complete the transaction, but I’m not sure if we did it all correctly.
We had to wait outside Monnickendam for a short while as the bridge was opened to allow some lovely boats to pass through. It was quite interesting to see how the bridge opened (the road just lifted up), and to watch the boats pass underneath.
Phil and John returned the car, and we had a very lazy evening watching Britain’s Got Talent highlights with Dutch subtitles!