We began our summer 2014 tour with a Stena Line ferry crossing from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. We were able to park overnight at the ferry port, which was handy, and the crossing was great. I was very impressed with the vessel, the Stena Brittanica; it was like being in a 5 star hotel!

 

 

Our first month was spent house-sitting in the Friesland district, looking after a variety of cats, dogs and horses - take a look at www.careforyourhome.com for some lovely photos!

We then toured the rest of the Netherlands, spending time in every province. We found it difficult to drag ourselves away from Hoorn, and ended up spending over a week there, which is an unusual occurrence for us; we usually get itchy feet much quicker than that. Zutphen was another lovely place and we also met some great people there, with whom we still keep in touch. The 'little white village' of Thorn kept us occupied for another week, and also resulted in new friends, both fellow motorhomers and locals.

                     

                       Monty on the aire in Thorn 

 

Heading further south, we dropped into Belgium, where we toured for another couple of weeks. We were particularly moved by the Flanders Field area, especially given the timing of our visit, during the anniversary year.

We were using the newest edition of All the Aires; Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, from Vicarious Books, and we were pleasantly surprised with the increase in the number of aires, in comparison with the earlier edition. In the two month period, we only stayed on a campsite on two nights, although some of the 'aires' were more like mini campsites or camperstops. I've filmed every aire and Camperstop we visited; you'll find them on our YouTube channel.

We found many aires were within a short walking distance of a railway station, so we visited larger cities, such as Amsterdam, Ghent and Antwerp by rail. It was a most civilised way of doing it and avoided the hassle of driving in city traffic! 

 

                      

Just one of many beautiful buildings in Ghent 

 

All too soon, it was time to return to the UK, again with Stena Line from the Hook of Holland. Our on-board meal was delicious, and we spent another comfortable night parked at Harwich ferry port, before returning to Cheshire, to see family and friends. My eldest son was due to get married, and Monty was due for an MoT - we had lots to do before we set off again!

                    

 We were very impressed with our cabin on the ferry!