Exchange in bilthoven, just outside

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Flag of Netherlands  , Utrecht,
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This was the glorious start to our big drive through Europe to Mallorca, and what started us on the idea. The offer came in, the house looked nice, and Utrecht was a city we fancied seeing. We discovered it was near Zeebrugge, and at that time (it has now stopped) you could take a ferry there from Rosyth. Ferries mean cars, and then was born the idea-if we drive there, we could keep going, and along the way see a whole load of places weīd always wanted to. So it was out with the Atlas, the AA route planner, the internet was checked and checked again, and a tentative route emerged. The exchangers wanted Mallorca at easter, so that dictated the timetable.
The ferry start was a hoot-terrible tiny ferry , awful food, nothing to do for a twenty hour journey. Fortunately , we had a cabin, and it was a mild crossing, so we could sleep. We met a guy we knew, and we all still laugh about how bad it was.
But the house didnīt disappoint, quite the contrary. It was thatched, and the couple had exquisite taste, so it was filled with art, and sculpture, and music, and comfy furniture. He was totally into music and had a state-of-the-art system, and I discovered Melody Gardot and Laura Fygi. I play them still.Upstairs they had knocked three rooms into one, and had the biggest (and nicest) bathroom Iīve ever seen. A music system in the bath, walk in shower, slate  heated  floor....oooh, lovely. Guests had their own replica of the house at the bottom of the garden, with itīs own kitchen. The living area was one huge room, with a sort of conservatory at the back overlooking the (very nice) garden. Everything in the kitchen was in a matching set, and included handpainted pottery. These were people who lived well. We could have stayed a long time, and began cursing the long journey ahead.
Bilthoven itself was a lovely little town , with everything we could need within an easy stroll.
We could train or bus into Utrecht, which was a compact, walkable city, very pretty, with canals and cobbled streets. One day we want to go back-ideally to that house.
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