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Zoo and Countryside with Roni & Wendy - August 2011

We all arrived at our luxury lodges and dropped off our bags in time to go to a local pub for lunch. After unpacking and exploring our holiday village it was straight off for a couple of games of ten pin bowling. Well done Fiona for winning both games! We then had a very enjoyable and fun evening having a meal in another pub and getting to know a local disability group who were spending the evening there.
The next morning after a full English fry up we set off for the zoo. We had a brilliant day looking at so many different animals, watching the displays and animal training and were even able to stroke a python and speak to the keepers. Tired and happy we headed back to our lodges where we sat on the veranda watching a beautiful sunset before enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.
We started Thursday with a swim in the pool and a wallow in the jacuzzi which we had all to ourselves. After lunch in another Country Pub we explored some villages along the Crouch Estuary travelling through some lovely countryside. We then headed for town and a bit of retail therapy! That evening we went back to our favourite pub for our last evening meal together.
On our way home we visited the Tropical Wings Zoo and were able to see many different birds, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. It was amazing to be able to walk around surrounded by beautiful butterflies.
After lunch in a Country Craft Centre we did some last minute souvenir shopping before setting off for the magnificent grounds of the Audley End Estate where we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways home.
Thank you to Sandra, Wendy, Isabelle, Fiona, Julie, Stephen and Michael for making this such a fun holiday.

Roni & Wendy

Isabelle leading the bowling

The elephants went in two by two.

And the Rhino's.......

Just need to stretch a little further!


Sandra holding court!

Shopping therapy day!

Bling bling....

One of our superb bungalows!!

Who's a pretty boy then?......or in this case, girl???

Could someone, please tell me what the sign says???

Giant among butterflies.

Do you think if we all pooled our pocket money , we could afford this one??

Norfolk Broads with Pat and Richard

Our week on the Norfolk Broads was challenged by the good old English Summer but that didn't stop us from venturing out every day and experiencing life on the water.

On our way to Norfolk we enjoyed lunch in a country park which was in a beautiful woodland setting. We then journeyed on to our holiday home, a spacious bungalow on the water’s edge and after unpacking we strolled by the water’s edge admiring the boats. We then travelled into Wroxham where we enjoyed a delicious dinner overlooking the river where we watched the swans gliding past.

The next day was spent sailing down the River Ant and River Bure before stopping at Ranworth. We then returned to Horning for a lovely pub lunch.

As always on the Broads we are treated to seeing lots of bird life which is pointed out to us by our qualified instructors.

During the week we took the opportunity to visit Great Yarmouth and apart from a brief visit to the amusements we all enjoyed a very competitive game of 10 Pin Bowling which was won by Horace !!

Our next trip out onto the Broads was the highlight of the week for a number of our group who had not experienced sailing before. Several took the chance to take the tiller and later in the day they even had the chance to take the wheel on the cruiser, all done under the watchful eye of our instructor Steve.

Unfortunately the end of the week came much too quickly and after a trip through the beautiful countryside we stopped for lunch at yet another country pub where we all said our goodbyes, exchanging phone numbers with promises to keep in touch.

There were many highlights of the trip, which included Bruce taking the tiller and driving the cruiser; Jeremy sitting on the front at Yarmouth and whilst on the boats being in charge of the tiller; Horace ten-pin bowling; Rachel singing, especially on the boat; Jeanette being looked after; Paul enjoying Yarmouth and the countryside; and Beryl enjoying everything.

This was yet another very nice week spent on the Norfolk Broads

Austria with Derek and Wendy

Everyone arrived at Heathrow in good time. We had first time flyers in Dennis, Patsy & Nigel. They were fantastic. Well done to them.

We arrived at our beautiful hotel after a lovely journey through the marvellous scenery. After unpacking our cases, we settled in to our hotel with some refreshments before going out for the evening and having enormous pizzas. It had been a long day and we were happy to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

The next day, after a relaxing breakfast, we took a stroll around our lovely Austrian village. David & Nigel played chess on a giant chess board in the village square. We looked into the church and were surprised at how beautiful it was inside. It was nearing lunch time, so we bought some provisions and headed back to our hotel and sat out on one of our balconies and had lunch in the glorious sunshine. Off to Zell am See for a trip on a boat around the lake and time for a drink and an ice cream. There were mountains all around the lake. It was beautiful. We went back to the hotel to freshen up for the evening. It was off to another nice restaurant for dinner. This was where we met a couple of very nice ladies (mother & daughter) from Germany and we all enjoyed each other’s company during the evening!

Wednesday was our chance to go to Salzburg. We got there early and had a walk through the superb Mirabell Gardens and into the old town. We had lunch and then took our places for the “Sound of Music” tour. It was wonderful. The trip was well worth it and we had a great tour guide, who kept us all amused. Naturally, there was singing on the coach, which added to the atmosphere. We saw all the important places and had several stops along the way to take photographs and to have some refreshments. It was a good day! Afterwards it was back for a quick change and off for another evening for some more authentic Austrian food.

The next day was a little slower. We went for a walk around our village and went to the bakers for some nice savouries for lunch. We took it back to our hotel and sat in the shade and ordered up a shandy each! Off for a nice drive through the fantastic countryside, taking in waterfalls and lovely villages along the way before stopping for a drink at a nice hotel close to a river setting. There was mountain water on tap....the guys made much of this to quench their thirst. It was another hot day! In the evening it was out in the village, to yet another lovely restaurant (I think this was our favourite)!

Friday, we set off for a drive to Krimml waterfalls. Along the way we stopped off for a light goulash soup before continuing to Krimml. This is the biggest waterfall in Europe. We had a nice walk to the lower part of the waterfall and soothed ourselves in the spray and marvelled at the beauty all around us. We had ice creams and bought some souvenirs before heading for a scenic drive home. In the evening, before dinner, we went to the village community hall and watched some traditional singing and dancing. It was wonderful to see old traditions like yodelling and to see them in traditional costume. That night we sat watching a storm whilst having dinner. It was fun.

The next day it was decided to go to Hallein to the famous salt mines. We had some fun dressing up in our white overalls before getting onto a small open train ride down the line into the mine. We had to walk and then slide down further into the mine whilst getting a guided tour. It was fascinating and fun. Wed also had a boat ride on a salt lake. Everyone did so well to get out alive. hahaha. More souvenirs were bought before we went to a nice cafe for a late lunch. We went the even more scenic route home (if that is possible)? Everywhere you look is magnificent. It was our last evening, so we went to our favourite restaurant for another great meal and to enjoy the company before settling down for the night.

The last day was here. No one wished to go home. It was sad after such a lovely holiday in such gorgeous surroundings. We had had great weather and the hotel and staff were lovely. We couldn’t have wished for more! The journey home went without a hitch and our first time flyers are now seasoned flyers.

Thanks to Patsy, David, Richard, Dennis & Nigel for having helped make it a holiday to remember!!