With some crazy luck I managed to visit two theme parks in two weeks! Considering it had been about three years since my last theme park visit, I was stoked at the chances of this happening.
I wrote about Disneyland a week or two ago and now I bring you the Dutch version (sort of) and I have to say, the Dutch can theme park pretty darn well. The thing I realised about theme parks as an adult is that you have to approach them with a young heart. It makes the experience so much more fun and gives your inner child a chance to run free again.
Drievliet is located just outside of the Hague and easily accessible by tram or bus. Of course though, as I was with my youngest kidlet, we were spoiled and my host dad dropped us off. What first started as a tea garden, Drievliet has morphed into one of the most popular theme parks in the Netherlands.
Spending the day at Drievliet with my host girl M was a stack of fun. She is 11 and I admit, I probably acted 11. But we raced around the park, going on the roller coasters at least five times each, stuffing ourselves with suikerspin (fairy floss) and taking silly photos. It was my last week with M and I was grateful to spend this time with her, this little girl has warmed my heart and I’m going to miss her and her goofy ways.
Before we knew it, we’d been on the fastest roller coaster, the Formula X eight times and my host dad was calling to let us know he was coming to get us.
If you have a spare day in the Netherlands and are looking for something fun, head to Drievliet. It is aimed at a younger crowd, but it’s still an awesome day of fun and fast rides.
From the girl whos insides are totally flipped around and upside down.
The Cinque Terre in itself is a pretty amazing place. Colourful houses precariously stacked on each other cliffside, overlooking the Ligurian Sea. Steep and narrow streets make up the town which is filled with gelataria’s and cute little cafes. There is no sense of rush in the part of the world and the locals live by the motto – la dolce vita. Because of the easy way of life and beautiful scenery, the Cinque Terre is a very popular place for tourists. They fill the streets, block the walking trails and pack of the locally run restaurants. To escape this, there is one place you can stay, where you will truly experience la dolce vita.
The Heart of Cinque Terre is a wonderful find on AirBnb. A small cottage, situated in the tiny village of Prevo on the Blue Path, halfway between Vernazza and Corniglia is a little piece of paradise. The property is owned by an Italian man named Pierpaulo, who is the most friendly and helpful of hosts. Also on the property is a vineyard, gardens and terraces. The Heart of Cinque Terre is very special because its right in the centre of the Cinque Terre National Park, at the beautiful point of Sentiero Azzurro, 208 metres above sea level. The cottage has been renovated simply to stay as close as possible to its historical roots. Its the perfect escape from the tourist ridden streets of the villages and to unwind after spending the day exploring the area. There is an outdoor kitchen which is fully equipped, a wood fire oven to make your own pizzas and sun beds to soak up the Italian sun. Pierpaulo also lives on the premises, but remains anonymous unless needed, giving you absolute privacy. The best part – this little slice of paradise is cheap! We paid 65 euros per night but the price can be cheaper or more expensive, depending on what time of year you go. There is also another room available, which doesn’t include a shower but there is a separate shower on the premises.
We stayed here for two nights and it was amazing. Our room, while simple, was enough for us to make our temporary home. We could open the door and be greeted by the vast blue ocean down below. We made use of the kitchen for all our meals and ate our dinner watching the sun set of the Ligurian Sea. The walk to Corniglia (the smallest and prettiest of the villages) was a two kilometre downhill walk, where we could pick up supplies and gelato. It was a great base for us to walk the Cinque Terre Trail. We had two days so we covered the entire area, walking from Corniglia to Monterosso, then catching the boat to Riomaggiore. Because of the 2011 flood, the walking path between Corniglia and Riomaggiore, however the trains running daily (and slowly), making seeing every village possible.
The only downside I could say about the Cinque Terre is the location. While it is the most beautiful part of the Cinque Terre, it is also quite remote. It does take two kilometres whatever village you come from, so you can’t quickly duck into the shops. If you are looking for a resort style hotel, in the centre of activity where you don’t have to lift a finger, I wouldn’t recommend the place for you. However, for a true Italian and unique experience, one that you will remember for the rest of your life, then this is the place for you. And just think, the extra walking you have to do, means you can indulge more on gelato and pizza!