6 July: Arrival at Schiphol Airport

After a phonecall from the Dutch Customs if we could provide for Mai Phuong's stay of 3 months in the Netherlands, she was allowed to pass Customs. We welcomed Mai and drove her back to Breda where she was again welcomed by our dogs Loeki and Kino.

 

29 July: Deltapark Neeltje Jans, the Netherlands

On a nice sunny and warm day we visited water theme park Neeltje Jans, a former island used for the construction of the famous Deltaworks and after completion turned into a information and family leisure parc.

We watched the sea lions and seals shows, looked at the tropical fish in the aquarium, made a boat trip on the river Oosterschelde and saw a nice show of birds of prey.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

2 August: Zoo Antwerpen, Belgium

After enlisting Yeri in the Academy Verbist (a well known hairdressing school) we visited the Antwerp Zoo. We saw a lot of animals we had not seen before in zoo's, such as the Komodo dragon and takins.

After another nice show of birds of prey we had dinner in a Chinese restaurant.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

15 - 18 August: Paris, France

We got up early Friday morning and drove to Paris, where we arrived in the early afternoon. After checking in La Ferme Des Barmonts in Villejuif, a nice and old farmhouse turned into an apartment hotel in a suburb in the southern part of Paris, we took the subway to explore Paris. Our first stop was the Eiffel Tower. From there we walked to the Trocadéro where we had a quick lunch. The next stop was the Arc de Triomphe, where we visited the grave of the Unknown Soldier. Sisi and Mai visited some shops on the Champ Elysees. It was getting late so we took the subway to go back to our apartment. We had dinner in a nearby good Chinese restaurant.

The next day we started where we had ended the day before. The first stop was Place de la Concorde and from there it was a long walk to the Notre Dame. In the afternoon we saw Paris from one of the many cruise boats.

The last stop of the day was Montmarte to see the beautiful Sacre Coeur.

The next day Sisi and Mai had no more energy to do much walking, so we visited only Chinatown to do some shopping. That evening Sisi and Mai cooked a nice dinner for the three of us. And the next day we drove back to Breda.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

22 - 24 August: Germany

We drove early Friday morning to Buxterhude, a town near Hamburg, to visit Sisi's niece Huong. Her husband was sent back to Vietnam a few years ago, because he was not willing to intregrate into German life.

In the afternoon we walked around the vilage to do some shopping while Huong went to her work, a German restaurant nearby where she works as a waitress.

On Saturday we visited Lübeck, a nice Hanseatic city. A summer festival was held on the Market Square, with lots of food and art stands and a podium where an American Indian group was playing traditional Indian songs, while another Indian was dancing to the music.

On Sunday we drove back to Breda with a stopover in the Apenheul in Apeldoorn. It was raining heavily when we arrived, but later it cleared up and we could enjoy the monkeys and other animals.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures of Lübeck.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures of the Apenheul.

 

25 August: The Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands

A visit to amusement park the Efteling is always a nice daytrip.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

29 August: Han-sur-Lesse, Belgium

On the way to our holiday house, Gîte La Clef des Champs in Libin, a small hamlet in the Ardennes (Belgium) we visited the beautiful Caves of Han, carved out by the river Lesse, and the nearby Wildlife Reserve.

 

From the center a small historic streetcar brought us to the entrance of the caves. A guide showed us the way and told stories about the discovery of the caves, the formations and other facts.

In a large chamber the guide turned off all the lights and presented us a nice sound and light show. After 1 hour we reached the end of the cave where the guide shot off a cannon to demonstrate the cave's acoustics.

A small walk took us back to the center of the village, where we visited the small museum Han Yesteryear where about 50 displays of the daily life around 1900 was shown.

By safaricar we visited the Wildlife reserve where we saw animals, such as wolves and red deer, that used to roam the European countryside.

 

In the early evening we arrived in Libin where we were welcomed by the friendly owner. After the introduction to the holiday house, Sisi and Mai prepared a nice dinner.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

30 August: Luxemburg

It was a nice ride through the Ardennes with a stop in the Müllerthal for a short walk to the waterfall and a visit to Echternach.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

31 August: Bouillon, Belgium

We visited the mighty medieval castle, situated on a hill overlooking Bouillon, a nice little town on the banks of the river Semois. It was a bit rainy, but the castle was really worth the visit, although we skipped the birds of prey show.

Mai Phuong had her first Turkish falafel and she really liked it.

In the afternoon we visited the Bouillon Wildlife Park, a charming little park with lots of animals.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

1 September: Hotton, Belgium

On the way back to Breda we visited the wonderful caves at Hotton. With a small group we descended the stairs into the caves and walked through galleries with names like Salle de Minuit, le balcon and les Champignons, while our guide was explaining the beautiful world of caves.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

14 September: Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

Le Ha showed Mai and Ai the windmills of Kinderdijk.

Click here for the photo album if you want to see the pictures.

 

On the map you can see all the places Mai Phuong has visited.

 


Visiting Europe in a larger map

 

 

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