Not so very many years ago, I decided it was time for a change of holiday destination.
Every December, for the past fifteen years, we had flown to Munich for the Christmas markets. How I love those visits.
For the summer holidays, however, we always stayed on home territory. The problem was that I had never driven on the 'wrong' side of the road and it worried me!
This particular year, we had discovered a theme park in the Netherlands called, 'De Efteling'. It wasn't near an airport, nor a railway station, so it had to be the car.
Well, September of that year turned out to be an absolute scorcher. The heat was almost unbearable, reaching thirty-five degrees. Thank goodness for air-conditioning!
We had a ferry journey of some seven hours, another first for me, and then another two hours drive to the site. The ferry was so relaxing and with nothing to do but enjoy the sun and the sea, what more could one desire?
When we disembarked at Hoek van Holland, the nerves began. Talking was not allowed as I wanted to concentrate. I dreaded forgetting and moving to the other side as I drove. At first, he kept grilling me about, 'why I did this', and 'what if' that, but he soon fell quiet when I ignored him.
Before long, I began to enjoy myself. It was like learning to drive all over again. You see? An old dog can learn new tricks! What a lemon I had been to be so afraid and miss out on so much.
By the time we reached the 'Vakantiepark', I was as calm as a turtle and loving every minute of driving on the continent.
The site itself had a decent pool but, at this time of the year, it was only open on a Wednesday or Saturday. That didn't matter, though because, Tomorrow, we were off to the Efteling!
I have to say that those two weeks made one of the best holidays I have ever had, purely for the novelty. Even though we got through several bottles of sunscreen, we still managed to turn a little red before we went home!
We have been back four more times since then, I actually prefer De Efteling to Disneyland Paris. Not last year though because, sadly, the Vakantiepark closed for refurbishment and now COVID 19 has ruined my plans for this year. Instead, we headed for Koblenz in Germany and, guess what, another fortnight of beautiful weather and yes, I drove!
Maybe next year will be different, who knows? By then, though, the United Kingdom will not be a part of Europe, and these trips will become more difficult.
So, our summer break will be Devon this year, but December is fast approaching. Already I can smell the Gluhwein and the Bratwurst...