First things first: I’ve been neglectful and I’m sorry! I have no excuses.
Yesterday marked Pieter’s and my two-year anniversary and, to celebrate, we decided to make the trek down South to Tilburg, to visit the country’s top theme park: the Efteling. The park is set up just like a fairytale kingdom, with musical toadstools, multicoloured birds and every storybook character you’ve ever known nestled within.
We spent the morning exploring the Sprookjes Bos (fairytale forest) before quite accidentally discovering a miniature fairytale land model. I use the term miniature loosely: the display occupied the better part of a ballroom.
Certain parts of it were represented as if it were night, with a rumbling storm occasionally illuminating the scene … I felt like a kid again! And also inspired to write an epic love story or something similarly enchanting.
The fun certainly didn’t stop there. The whole park is full of fairytale attractions and rides. In Villa Volta, we were led into a haunted living room and, as we nervously took our seats, the room slowly spun around until we were on the ceiling! The Droom Vlucht (dream flight) took us through an enchanted forest, complete with woodland creatures and fairies and dwarves; it was a favourite for me, and brought me close to tears of sheer awe. (Don’t tell Pieter!) Finally, the Vliegende Hollander, or Flying Dutchman, took us on a spooky boat ride in the dark, before we were pulled in towards a haunted shipwreck and ultimately sputtered out into the sunlit water outside.
Add to that a few more stomach-turning rides (I’m afraid I’m getting old), and I haven’t screamed and laughed so hard in quite a while! Some of the candid photos they got of us were pretty interesting, to put it mildly.
Even the snacks at the Efteling are enchanting. Pieter and I lined up for Eigenheimers, a swirl of deep fried potato on a stick, dusted with barbecue flavouring. Enough said.
The park was well-worth the hour and forty minutes of travel (one way). In fact, it’s so big that we didn’t nearly get to see everything! I’m already thinking of an occasion to go back …
A special thank you to Pieter for going on this adventure with me. For going on all adventures with me, really!