Sleeping Arrangements

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The first night of our holidays is always the worst.

Apparently expecting kids to actually sleep in unfamiliar rooms, in strange beds and with siblings, who usually sleep in different rooms, is completely unreasonable and unrealistic.

The first night of one of our holidays usually involves tantrums, arguments,  tears and protests against unfair bedtimes and lack of screen time.

Friday night was no exception. On Friday morning, we headed off on our summer holidays and spent the evening in a very nice hotel in Bruges. We weren’t exactly slumming it,  but we had two rooms; and herein lies one of the problems of holidaying with a ‘larger’  family.

When you are a family of 6, it is very rare to be able to find a hotel room that can sleep everyone together. Even interconnecting rooms are quite hard to guarantee. So mostly we end up with 1 room with 2 beds and one with 4, or two bedrooms of 3.

Of course the big question becomes ‘Who is going to sleep with who?’

Someone much cleverer than me must be able to come up with an equation that can answer this question,  taking into account who last fell out with who,  and how long ago, who shared a room/bed ‘last time’ and what is ‘fair’ .

Btw ‘last time’ appears to be one of those things that kids remember
effortlessly even though your last family holiday was 12 months ago and you can barely remember where you went.

On Friday we decided on a girls’ room and a boys’ room. Simples. The 4 beds came in the form of two doubles,  which  proved to be only mildly traumatic for everyone and ended up with 3 of us in one bed for part of the night.

Then on Saturday night we had two rooms of 3; a state of affairs requiring negotiation skills and patience far beyond what I could muster after an 8 hour tour of German motorway roadworks.

So it was with great relief that on Sunday, we arrived in Copenhagen for a 4 night stay on a house boat. Here we have 4 bedrooms,  so two of the kids have to share, but the other two can have some space. Surely this is a good thing?

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But no, apparently not. The two little ones were happy to sleep in a double room as the beds are built into little houses.

This meant the older two could have their own rooms if they wanted. Of course, they didn’t. They have spent the entire time here sharing a double bed and fighting bitterly about who is on whose side.

And tomorrow, we move somewhere else and the whole thing starts again.

Wish me patience. I’m going to need it.

German Motorways

After the French and Belgium equivalent, we’ve been a little shocked by the German motorways.

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Actually, it was me who was shocked; DH has experienced them before while on a road trip to watch the Hungarian Grand Prix with some friends. He remembered these roads as full of traffic and works with services few and far between.

That was some years ago, so I ignored his verbal offerings as I was sure things must be better now.

But they really weren’t.

We’ve spent the last 36 hours driving through Germany and we’ve spent hours in traffic jams where the cause appeared to be lane closures or even just the threat of road work.

We have been forced off route by the said road works at least three times and have spent ages looking hopefully out for somewhere to eat or go to the toilet.

The rest stops in Germany are nowhere near as nice and clean or convenient as the Aires in France and Belgium.

One we stopped at to find the restaurant was closed,  as were the toilets. DS got to do a wild wee but the girls had to cross their legs for another half an hour.

The couple of places we did find open were strewn with rubbish and were none too clean. I’m getting too old to be too fussy about the facilities but the girls had to be coerced into using them.

German drivers are not as polite as UK drivers and think nothing of tailgating you if they think you are going too slow.

On the upside, lorries in Germany are not meant to overtake cars on many motorways so the slow lane is often filled with a convoy of trucks.

It does feel much safer when you know you dont have to worry about a lorry sideswiping you.

And the other good thing about German motorways is that eventually they lead to roads that give way to towns that have attractions like this.

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This is castle Neuschwanstein.  We stayed in the nearby villsge and took the bus up to visit  the castle this morning.

Then we took a horse and cart down as we didnt have much time.

The castle was absolutely stunning and we all decided the view was worth the motorway imbuggerations after all.

We are still in Germany tonight so have one more half day on the motorways tomorrow.

Fingers crossed for minimal delays tomorrow. And perhaps a clean WC or two…