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The Family does Europe

Text: Siw Haugnes
All photos: A member of The Family Haugnes & Burud
Note: Photo with persons as motive, can't be used without permission. Other photos may be used if identified.

The children in our family suffer from their parents fascination for northern Norway, we go north almost every summer. There the nature and landscape are, of course, fantastic, but there's no chance to get sunburned.

The summer 2010 was different, we planned to visit our oldest child in Benehavis, Spain.

Day by day or place by place, we will publish more stories and photos.

Photo: A Burud - from Benehavis
  Not everybody became sunburned.
Google Map
We wanted to do this trip properly and see a few special places or things in each country we drove through. The trip to Benehavis/Marbella was meant to last 14 days.

We had talked a bit to friends and relatives, giving us advice about what we should see or do, but mostly we had no plans.

Well, we had a few ideas about places to visit:
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lübeck, Germany
  • Urk, Netherlands
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • The dykes, Netherlands
  • Gent and the limestones, Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Paris, France
  • Orleans, France
  • Mirambeau, France
  • Andorra
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Albacete, Spain
That would make this trip 4570 kilometers long, one way by car.
Photo: S Haugnes - Bath houses
 Bath houses in Groede.

Photo: S Haugnes - Family in Versailles
  Proves we've been in Versailles.

Photo: A Burud - spelling?
  Fantastic spelling in Urk.

Photo: S Haugnes - Midnight, the kitten
As usual we managed to stick to the plans - for about 12 hours. Copenhagen was the first place to be crossed out, you know, it's so close to home, we can do that another time. That day became one extra day in Netherlands.

Then the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup stirred our joy: If we can't be were the tournament is, we can at least be in the country of one of the teams, when they are playing (Netherlands when they were in semifinal, and then Spain when they were playing in the final). That decision got both Gent, Luxembourg, Orleans and Mirambeau crossed out.

Another time, surely, we'll visit all the interesting places mentioned above. On a shorter holiday. Maybe take a plane and rent a car. When it's not so extremely hot.

Well past the border and into Spain, Siw had to give in, it's too hot. Touristing was not that important anymore. What counts, is the possibility to cool down. Oh, and now that it was less than 1000 kilometers to Kristine, we could hardly wait to get there. Landmarks, sights and Albacete were omitted, we were driving morning and afternoon, was bathing at daytime and sleeping at night. Two days and 500 kilometers prior to planned, we reached our target.
Photo: S Haugnes - a chapel in Andorra
  A 1000 year old chapel in Andorra.

Photo: S Haugnes - Remich, Lux
  The morning mist, Remich, Luxembourg
Jeez, it was good seeing our daughter and her boyfriend, and of course Midnight.

The poor kitten and her two siblings was placed in a box on the street in Malaga. Kristine, who has a marvellous habbit of finding treasures, found the beauties and took one home. An other lady took care of the others.

Midnight has to go to the vet and get some vaccines before being allowed to enter the Kingdom of Norway.
During our stay in Malaga, we were at the beach, or more correctly, in the water, ate delicious food, walked a bit, visited Casares and had a good time. We also had to get all the belongings of Kristine and her boyfriend into the car. Thankfully it's quite big (VW Caravelle) and has room for surprisingly much.

The children went home by plane and the adults by car. On our way north, we drove slightly differently than when we left Norway, and we visited other places. We had a marvellous day visiting the ruins of Empúries. From there we drove the costal route to France. Magnificent! Then we went to Luxembourg and can state that Mosel is a grand river, Luxembourg a lovely country and butterflies are absolutely fascinating.
We drove far from Luxembourg and in to Germany that evening. Mostly because we couldn't find a place to sleep :(

For some very strange reason, I thought that from Bremen to Kolbotn it was merely 700 kilometers. In Rodbyhavn, I found out, we still, after driving 250 kilometers that day, had 700 kilometers left to get home. Disappointed and weary, I cried a bit and slept for one hour, while Arild, luckily, was driving.

At last we were home, almost four weeks after we left. Children, my own bed, the cat, our garden, jihaa! Now I work with my diary and the pictures, translating them to something worth publishing here.
Photo: A Burud - Siw writes travel log

Added August 11. 2010