Lizzie’s Limitless Adventure in the NetherlandsBy Lizzie Baily -
I found out last year that Limitless Travel was doing a wheelchair accessible coach trip to Holland; there was no question about booking as I had always longed to see the bulb fields. The team enabled me to have the holiday of a lifetime where disability disappeared and allowed my parents to have a total break from our normal life.
Accessible Accommodation in the Netherlands
After a night at the Ramada Hotel South Mimms, we met Hannah our tour guide, five other Limitless Travel team members and Stewart our lovely driver, who all immediately made us feel safe and at ease. We finally arrived at our hotel in the village of Der Rijp, 40 minutes north of Amsterdam after midnight. Even though we were all feeling quite exhausted, we were kept buoyant by Hannah. It was the biggest hotel room we’d ever had with so much space and I even had a profiling bed! The bathroom was also huge, which is always a bonus. Once we’d unpacked we went to bed but my body felt as if we were still moving!
Seeing the Sights in Amsterdam
Hannah took us all into the village the next morning, a 10 minute walk along smooth cycle tracks. It was so interesting looking at the old buildings, canals and visiting the museum. After lunch we went to Amsterdam for a fantastic 90 minute canal boat trip. I wondered how I would get on the boat but I didn’t have long to think about it. A ramp was put down on the jetty and the floor of the boat magically lifted up, an easy solution! In the evening we got to know the group better over supper in a lovely restaurant near the zoo. When we finally got back to the hotel we couldn’t believe how much we had fitted in on our first day in Holland!
The Keukenhof Gardens and Van Gogh Museum
At Keukenhof Gardens the next day, we were just a small group in the thousands of tourists. The Limitless team were so calm, keeping us together until we were safely through the entrance. Immediately there were enormous flowerbeds of brightly coloured tulips, daffodils and hyacinths with lots of “wows” and breath-taking views!! I felt very independent driving off by myself along the smooth paths. We couldn’t stop taking photos; more bright colours were around every corner and a huge windmill with the sails turning. It was another jolly evening at the hotel, chatting at a huge round table sharing our travel stories with Hannah.
On Easter Day we went back into Amsterdam. By now the Limitless team were getting very expert at fastening me and the other two wheelchair users down. It felt just like a Formula One pit stop with the buzz of clamps and seatbelts all being put on so efficiently, then being removed when we arrived. Each time I had to come down forwards on the lift, I felt a bit braver!
We went to the Van Gogh Museum and viewed 3 floors of work by Van Gogh and his peers. Eventually we finally found his Sunflowers and The Bedroom at the end!! We all sat outside on our last evening and watched a beautiful sunset, chatting more about our memories and hopes for future trips.
Farewell Holland, at Least for Now
There were more stunning views with tulips and windmills as we zoomed along on our drive home. On the ferry, we were able to get out on deck and enjoy the sea air as we waved France away. Back at South Mimms, we had our final goodbyes with the remaining two travellers and Hannah and the team. We couldn’t stop talking about everything until our heads hit the hotel pillows.
Now we are home we feel as if we had a wonderful dream! There are so many memories and we really miss all our new friends. Luckily we are keeping in touch on Facebook and have been sharing photos. We all hope we’ll meet again on another Limitless Adventure; I couldn’t recommend the company more highly!