Where: The Netherlands; Sprang Capelle, Leiden, Amsterdam, Renswoude, Hillegom
When: September 2017
What: workaway, riding bikes, seeing family, preparing for the next part of our adventure, and saying goodbye to our car
We chose our next workaway based on location, who needed help at short notice, but also the hosts; we wanted to stay with people who were a bit different to those we had stayed with before, we’d already stayed with families with kids, young couples, and a group of young people, so we were interested to see what it would be like to stay with Corrie and Albert, a couple in their 60’s, Corrie is a retired teacher, and Albert is a glass sculptor. They have a lovely house in Sprang Capelle, with a meadow 1km from their house, where they needed help cutting down trees and cutting grass, and luckily Jess has used a chainsaw and a tractor before.
One of their sons was a horseback archer, so pretty much a knight, which was pretty exciting for the boys, most of all Jess! One evening we went out to watch him practice, and Jess and Dylan both got a lesson. Another evening our hosts were kind enough to babysit while Jess and I went out on their ebikes to enjoy a local event.
We spent eight days with Corrie and Albert, they were great hosts and looked after us and the kids so well, and were genuinely so happy and grateful for all the work Jess did. Even though we were a bit worried at first that the boys were too loud in their otherwise very quiet house, they said they loved having the boys in the house. It was a great experience for all of us.
We left Corrie and Albert as we had plans to meet family near Amsterdam, Auntie Caroline, Uncle Thibaut and Cousin Félix were visiting us from London, and we were so excited to see them!
We wanted to explore Amsterdam, but Leiden was as close as our budget could get us in terms of accommodation; Amsterdam is so expensive! Leiden is a lovely city, and the Air BnB cottage we booked was great, it was definitely good to have the extra space, rather than booking somewhere tiny just to be closer to the centre. We were only an hour away from Amsterdam Central by train, and on one of the days we did a park and ride, which was so easy, and an absolute bargain at €1 for all day parking, and €5 for two return tickets.
We spent two days walking around Amsterdam, eating lovely food and catching up after a long time apart.
After a lovely weekend in Amsterdam, our guests returned to London and we were four again. We needed somewhere quiet to plan the next part of our adventure, somewhere cheap, to get the budget back down, preferably with a playground. We found a mobile home in Renswoude, in a camping park, which was almost closing for the summer. It was lovely, really quiet, had a nice garden, a big playground, huge trampoline, and bikes to rent. It was a great space to do some planning whilst keeping the boys entertained relatively easily and spending very little.
After a chilled out and productive week it was time for our last weekend in Europe. We packed up the car for the very last time, and headed to our Air BnB in Hillegom, for another fun weekend with family near Amsterdam, this time with Auntie Maryam and Grandad. Although it was the end of September, we were so lucky with the weather, we rode bikes and also spent a lovely day at Langevelderslag beach.
Grandad and Maryam left, and took our car with them, leaving just the four of us, with two backpacks, and a one way ticket to India…
We managed our first trip on public transport with the backpacks and the boys in tow pretty easily, but this is Amsterdam, where public transport is amazing and luxurious, perhaps it will be a little harder in India.
We stayed in an airport hotel, the Ibis budget, which was great value. The next morning we packed up again, said goodbye to Europe for a while and very excitedly headed to the airport for our flight to Delhi.
- Leiden; as a cheaper alternative to Amsterdam. Amsterdam accommodation is so expensive, you can get much more for your money in Leiden, which is a beautiful place, and very easy to get into Amsterdam from
- Riding bikes! You can’t come to The Netherlands and not ride a bike. The roads are made for bicycles, and bike riders are the king of the road, which is a nice change from London!
- Langevelderslaag beach, near Hillegom