We went early morning with humungous colds so I can’t remember much of the flight. But we were there in no time (it’s only a half-hour 45 minute flight!) and there were only steps to get off of the easyjet flight then a bus to pick up luggage. So I got down the stairs in a new way I’d never tried before! Now they’d taken a mechanism that carries pianos up and down stairs and put a chair on it. So I sat on it, was strapped in and it carried me down the stairs! Nobody had to lift me or anything. It costs 5000 euros, we were later informed. We didn’t have any luggage to pick up because we’d packed our clothes and necessities into hand luggage. We were only there for three days! So we went inside the airport and had to wait around for a while to get the train to Zandvoort. We had to get off at Sloterdijk and wait about 10 minutes for a train to Zandvoort. The trains in The Netherlands are double-decker, so that was a different experience! We had to stay on lower decks with the wheelchair though. So we got to Zandvoort and had people waiting for us with ramps (so much better than in England. Even when you ring up for assistance off the train in England, they are hardly ever there.) because the trains are a lot higher than the ones in England. So we had arrived! We went to our hotel room and put our stuff down. We were there! We walked across the promenade and to our grandparent’s block of flats. They live in a flat overlooking the sea. My brother hauled me in my wheelchair up the stairs to see our grandparents. They live on the first floor. So we saw them for a while, then went to the high street in Zandvoort. We had a drink in a Tapas Bar:
Then we went back to the hotel and were in bed by 8.30. I was still bunged up so I needed an early night. And after all that travelling! Then the next day we went to my grandparents again and we had tea and coffee there. We stayed for most of the day, and it was so lovely getting to know and spending time with Nanni and Granddad. There was a funny incident with one of the TV programmes that came on. Thinking it’d be a show like ‘Top Of The Pops’ we imagined that once this awful song was over, it’d go to someone else but Boy were we mistaken! The act kept coming back, and we saw how her image had changed over the years. Apparently she’s still going today! And by the end of the half hour show my brother and I were joining in with her! Then after saying goodbye to the grandparents we went back to the high street and walked up the other side, where we found an Irish bar and so we spent about two hours there!:
It was now well past the time we had gone to bed the previous night and I was up for more! So when we got back to hotel we went to the hotel’s complex to go bowling. We couldn’t go bowling cos they didn’t have the metal frameworks that meant I could bowl from my wheelchair so we settled down to have a drink and I had a cocktail. It was called Blue Ocean. I’d never had it before and it had foreign alcohol in it. It was nice though I had a blue tongue for the rest of the night:
We finally decided to go to bed. The air is heavier in Holland so it’s always easy to drop off when you’re tired! Then the next day, we were going to be leaving, and what was nice was my grandparents made their way downstairs to meet us in the lobby. Nanni gave me a book ‘Silence and Solitude’ which is fascinating! We chatted for a long time and then we had to go. We made our way to train station and it was much the same procedure as before, though I nearly gave a woman a heart attack because my wheelchair has stabilisers so that when I tip back I can’t go too far, well the train stopped and the momentum tipped me back and I was sitting just a few centimetres from the stairs leading down. So I was very close to going A over T down the stairs! So if that lady ever reads this, I am sorry! We got to the Airport after meeting Luigi the train assistance guy. Well, I thought he looked like Luigi anyway! We had time to kill at the airport so after shopping, we had a pizza and went to board our plane. But they didn’t tell us that we had to have someone who worked there to assist us down the lift! So we waited for a while getting more sure that we’d miss our plane, until two men came to take us down the lift and to the plane. Now, why they had to send cute brown eyes to help me I’ll never know but believe me, I didn’t mind being man-handled by him! I sat in the chair that took me up the stairs again and it was a bit weird going backwards but I had cute eyes to keep me company so I wasn’t freaking out too much! I honestly felt I was going to fall out quite a few times, but his eyes calmed me down. We were the last two on the plane and two minutes after we arrived they shut the doors. We were flying back at about 9.30pm from Holland and arriving back in the UK at about 9.15pm. They are an hour ahead in the Netherlands. Thngs ran smoothly from there, and we got home in one piece!
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