Showing posts from April, 2010
Kjell's little... Easter, 2010 By Matt & Kerry Bergman Book Preview

A trip to the country ... fresh air & sunshine!

We woke up to a sunshiny day today. Another beautiful Spring day. After a morning of relaxing in the front garden on a picnic blanket and playing badminton we headed out for some country air - Destination: Matt's workmate Bob's farm in the country around Midhurst.

We had a wonderful time strolling around the 10 acre farm, photographing all sorts of paraphenalia and animals. The boys fed the pigs, chickens and ducks as they ran around with Bob & Margaret's many beautiful adopted dogs. They laughed as they ran around, just being children... fantastic to watch! Storm ran around with the other dogs, acting like a pup until she remembered that her hips weren't up to it. She then decided to have a swim in the duck's pond, only to discover that she couldn't get out... Daddy to the rescue :-) Boy, does she smell now!

We went for a drive to a nearby stream and waterfall, where the boys and Storm waded in the shallow, clear water.

Next we headed back to the farm f…

Day #11 Monday - Travelling again.... back in Calais!

We have had little luck getting internet successfully working while we have been away. We are currently sitting in McDonalds but connection is very limited. We leave from Calais (Storm had to have her injections here before we can go back again... so we wait) in the morning and will be back in the UK with our regular internet connection tomorrow some time. Can't wait to update you all on our latest adventures.

Once again we find that Calais has very little to offer. Unless you like noisy ferry's waiting to leave to UK and then coming in. They run all night long and are louder than a thunder storm.
We looked up things to see and to while in Calais, only to find that we have already visited the ver limited number of worthwhile things to see. It is difficult to imagine that this cold, blustery town could possibly be busstling with people in the summer months. Why?
We will be glad to see the back of it again. If it were not for Storm needed her injections to go back to the UK we woul…

Day #9 Saturday - ‘Paris… we meet again!’

Last time we were blessed enough to visit the beautiful city of Paris we felt there was still so much we could have done. Well, today we did it!
Without having the roof box attached to our roof (like we did last year) we found we were able to park inside the underground parking lot across from Notre Dame. The most it would cost us would be €22.50 for the day in parking… and there would be no need to return to the car every 2 hours like we did when we parked outdoors last year. Whew!
We went for a nice photographic walk around the outside of Notre Dame and were just deciding what to do next when Matt suggested we hire bikes for the day. Fabulous idea! Back in Australia, a few years ago, we had watched an episode of ‘Getaway’ that showed how you could hire bikes around Paris, leaving them when not needed at designated parking spots, and taking a new one whenever you desire. We had seen them last year when we visited but gave it a miss. Not this time!
The bikes were a fairly simple thing to…

Day #8 Friday - ‘Disneyland, Paris’

Disneyland, Paris! What can we say but WOW!!!
We arrived at the caravan park nice and early after a 6:30 wake up, determined to make the most of the day and possibly make it to Disneyland today instead of tomorrow (as originally planned). We arrived at Caravanning 4 Des Vents, a camping ground just 20 minutes’ drive from Disneyland, at 8:00, only to find that reception didn’t open until 09:00. Never mind! At least we would be ready when they opened for the day. With some spare time and a PSP handy we found that the caravan park had free Wi Fi internet… so we decided to phone Matt’s mum to let her know where we were. We were very impressed with the quality of Skype on the PSP. It was just like using any other phone… so cool!
Once reception opened at 09:00 we checked in and, realising that we still had enough time, bought our Disneyland, Paris tickets as well. Our tickets set us back €190. OUCH!!! We were sure we wouldn’t be disappointed though (and we had saved up for this, so we were pr…

Day #7 Thursday – Germany to France

The trip from Germany to France was a very simple one. We drove around 800km today, with stops in between for stretches, food and toilets. The toilet facilities along the German motor ways are very good. You pay €0.50 to use them, but they are extremely clean ... even automatically cleaning themselves with a special turn-around seat and spray when you flush. Very hygienic! If you then buy refreshments from the service station eatery you get your €0.50 credited off your total. A great system, once you understand it!
Once we hit the French motor ways it was back to the land of tolls, tolls and yes, more tolls! Besides the obvious broken down border crossing stations you pass as you enter into France, you know you have changed countries well and truly when you come to the first toll booth...mmm. Within a few kilometres of France you are up for your first toll of €6.50, followed a little later on in the day by another toll of €20.20, followed by two more, consisting of €5.50 and €…

Day #6 Wednesday - Edersee Lake and Wildlife Park

We all got out of bed nice and early today so that we could go and have a look around Edersee, about one hours’ drive from Wollrode. After a lovely breakfast of bread rolls with various toppings, hot chocolate for the boys and coffee for the adults, we headed off in the cars.
What a day! The sun was shining magnificently all day long... not what we had expected! We found a park around the Lake/Dam and went for a wander around. There was a group of kindergarten children enjoying the warm day as well. It seemed that they went everywhere we went... cute, but at times very annoying (when trying to take piccy’s anyway)... nice to see them enjoying the sun though.
After our walk around the lake we headed towards the nearby wildlife park where we enjoyed the wildlife. We set up a nice family shoot for Kerstin, Stefan and Kjell, overlooking the water and mountains. Can’t wait to see how they come up.
As we wandered around we saw a herd of deer hiding amongst the forest trees... it looked like a …

Day #5 Tuesday - “Happy 10th Birthday Darian!”

Darian turns 10 today so the day started off with a quiet breakfast, followed by present opening with the Barthels. From Mum, Dad and Zane Darian got a box set of Dr Who books along with a voucher for Games Workshop in UK (so he can buy the latest war hammer miniature he has his eyes on). He had a massive smile as he opened his gift from Kerstin, Stefan and Kjell... Lego plane! One very happy boy! After opening his presents he headed outside to play with Marc, Nordi and Nora for the morning, while Matt and Stefan went for a walk with Kjell, and Kerstin and Kerry went shopping for party food for Darian’s party.
Kjell has decided that Kerry’s name is ‘Bon bon’ (which means sweets). He is so funny! She gave him a sweet the other day so he kept calling ‘bon bon’ to her (asking for more). When asked to say her name he then persistently said ‘bon bon’ so Kerry decided to make a little game of it. Now, when asked what Kerry’s name is, he answers ‘bon bon’.... so cute! He says Matt’s …

Day #4 Monday - Wollrode

Today we had a nice relaxing day at home with Kerstin, Stefan and Kjell. When Kjell went for his daytime sleep Kerstin, Matt and Kerry went for a walk around the town, taking in the local sights and taking photographs. Along with other sights we ventured into the quaint little local church for a look at where Kerstin and Stefan were married and Kjell was baptised. Just lovely! Before heading back home we took in the views of the country side, including the energy fans that line the top of the hill... a lovely photographic opportunity.

Once home we relaxed while we waited for some family members to arrive for an afternoon barbeque... bratwurst...yum! A nice relaxing evening was had by all. The boys had a play on the Wii while Matt, Kerry, Stefan and Kerstin relaxed nearby. Another great day!

Day #3 Easter Sunday - Fritzlar

Today is Easter Sunday. We woke to find the van had been visited by the Easter Bunny before we headed inside to share breakfast with Kerstin and Stefan (where the bunny had also left us a gift). After a few coffees we headed out for a quick drive to the nearby town of Fritzlar. Matt, Stefan and Zane went in our car, whilst Kerstin, Kerry, Darian and Kjell went in the Barthel car. We were truly not prepared for the speed of travelling with a local on the famous autobahn. Kerstin easily got up to 180km per hour (legally) and Matt got to 162km per hour... hold on to your seats!!! The trip took only around 15 minutes.... wonder why??? Incidentally, Darian loved the speed, asking “Can we go up to 200?”... Oh dear! Not sure we ever want that boy to get his driving

Once in Fritzlar we found a car park and headed in towards the Papstliche Basilica – Dom St. Peter, a beautiful old German cathedral, with some artefacts dating back to 1020. There was an Easter Service going at the …

Day #2 Easter Saturday

This morning we woke up slowly and eased into the morning. We all slept well in the van... if you can call having a dog on top of your legs all night comfortable. Stormy Girl refused to take no for an answer and placed herself on Matts legs for the duration of the night... lucky she’s old and ill enough to get away with We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of Hot Crossed Buns, hot chocolate and coffee before setting off again. Only four hours driving today and we will be with the Barthels...yeah!!!
We stopped several times along the way to stretch our legs... even finding deer on one stop inside Germany. Matt and Darian went for a walk along the forest walk in search for more, but no luck. Not sure the deer liked the way Matt whistled at them to gain their attention...mmm. Then it was back to the car to finish our journey.
We arrived around 4pm (German time) and set up the caravan. The boys (Dads included) then went for a walk to the forest (with beer on board) to find the lo…

Europe Trip #3 Day #1 Good Friday– trip from UK to Belgium

Today we set off for our third trip to Europe in the last 12 months. The plan this time is to take the caravan to Germany to visit Kerstin, Stefan and Kjell in Wollrode. We will be staying with them for 5 days before heading back to France to see more of this amazing city and to visit Euro Disney... at last!
After our rocky start on our first caravan trip, last summer, we have invested in a stabiliser bar for the caravan. Fingers crossed; there will be no more wobbles this time. So, we loaded up the van, put our destination into the navigator and... Off we went!!!...
...We arrived at Dover with 3 hours to spare and, as fate would have it (again), they put us on an earlier departure so we were hours ahead of time. It definitely pays to be early. Another smooth trip on the Eurostar and we arrived safely in Calais. Matt remembered instantly to drive on the right hand side of the road... he has really gotten the knack of driving this way.
We had not gone far along the French motor wa…

Spring Ahead Camp - Scouts

Every year the Waterlooville District puts on a 2 night camp, full of activities. This year was spent the time at Lyon's Copse, a lovely area only 20 minutes from home.

The weather forecast for he weekend was looking bleak, heavy rain all weekend, and we were supposed to tent it for the entire weekend!?!? Luckily the weather man got it wrong (rare occurence - yeah right). It was the most perfect weather you could imagine, and better yet, the most perfect camp.

Zane had an awesome time on Saturday, keeping busy with the 12 bases available. He had a go at rifle shooting (a favourite of his!), archery, trek carting, bomb diffusion (real bomb!), earth ball football, cardboard over cooking and rock climbing. In fact, he spent the last hour climbing and abseiling the rock wall (30 meters high). 7 times he climbed up and would have gone more but they had to close it!!

By Saturday evening all the scouts were absolutely trashed, but they stil had to endure the campfire sing-a-long. T…