Saturday, 21 August 2010


Last week we packed up and headed off to damp and drizzly Amsterdam to visit my youngest sister. Having looked at as many weather forecasts as we could find, in the hope of reading something positive, we were dreading the weather. It was a bit hit and miss and my camera only came out when the sun shone!

It's five years since we last visited and so was the smallest Jammer's first taste of Holland. First day was spent exploring the sights and shops within walking distance of little sister's very nice apartment. We loved this shop and the lady was happy for me to take some photos to share...

I loved the retro designs on these tins

and the sugary 'Green Gate' display

not to mention all the spotty china. Still it was day one - time to be a bit restrained!

On Saturday we were blessed with some sunshine and got up frighteningly early to make a picnic and get two trains and a bus to Apenheul in Appledorn.
We've been a couple of times before and knew it would be worth the early start. Apenheul is a vary large monkey park with lots of free ranging monkeys and hardly a fence in sight! First stop was the old Citroen h-van (Oh how we'd love one!) where we packed our bags and belongings into monkey proof bags! Yes they are very cheeky indeed.

These squirrel monkeys are free ranging and scurry about in the trees overhead. The Jammers and I were slightly disappointed they'd just been fed and were too busy to come and sit on our shoulders as they have in the past.

I can't remember what type of monkey this one was but it reminded us so much of our cat, Hectic.
Sorry Hec!

Too many monkeys to name them all but the highlight had to be the gorillas. They live in a group of about 20 on an island (no, they can't swim). Their moat is surprisingly narrow so you can get some really good views of them. There were a couple of playful youngsters and a huge Silverback called Jambo. The keeper talk was great in that she threw them some fruit so we got to see them very close up but sadly our Dutch is non-existant although my sister translated some bits for us!

An exhausting but very enjoyable day that I would thoroughly recommend if you're in the country. Just enough energy left to drag ourselves into the city centre for grown up dinner whilst the top aunty babysat and the Jammers proved to be a bit cheeky, hmmm!
Time for the weather to deteriorate and snatches of sun were spent in the Vondelpark. What more is needed than a bit of sand

and water play?

Even the big kids joined in.

Time for a final 'spot' of shopping. I 'spotted' this shop late on Saturday night but had to wait until Tuesday for them to open. Have you ever seen so many polka dots in one shop?

Bought some lovely fabric and haberdashery bits to take home. Even better, when I found their card when I unpacked I discovered they have a blog Check them out for far better photos than mine.

And all too soon it was time to fly home. We had a fantastic, if somewhat, expensive time and have vowed not to leave it another five years.

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