Yes I really do love arks and collect pictures, ornaments and some jewellery
all to do with Noah's Ark.
But this time
this Ark was going to be completely different.
I looked forward to this day all the time I lived in Belgium.
Having found out about this from the internet I wanted to get a time when all five of us would be together and could go see the Ark Replica.
This was a scale model of Noah's Ark and not just one that you could put on display inside a museum or exhibition this was one you could actually go inside of yourself because it was so large.
The Best time to go see it was while we were living in Belgium because this Ark was in The Netherlands. The replica was moved from port area to port area all around the coast of The Netherlands so I really wanted to find a time to go see it when it was in the South West because that would mean a shorter distance for us to drive from Tervuren through the north of Belgium and into the southern area of our northern neighbour, in the part actually named Holland.
In 2010 we really had to make this happen because before the end of that year we knew we would be returning to Northern Ireland and in August all three kids came back to visit at the same time as the Ark was going to be in a place called Vlissingen which would be very accessible for a day trip.
You can imagine how excited I was to be going there and even more so because we would all be together.
Fred is so good and has always accepted the fact that I would have different "Ark Decor" around the house and the kids have often laughed and guessed that perhaps a new thing I may have got would have something to do with an Ark and occasionally they were wrong!
But I must admit I do like it when my family humour me.
It was a beautiful day for the drive and for wandering around the Ark.
Naturally because Noah's Ark had been a Safe Haven during the flood for animals as well as Noah's family we were bound to meet a selection of animals in this Ark.
But there were other things to be found inside as well which would not have been in the original Ark such as a representation of the Ark of the Covenant.
And a large mural on one of the walls depicting the creatures that would not have been within the Ark.
This was in the process of being created while we were there and we had the opportunity to watch the artist at work.
After we went home I realised from the pictures we had taken that rather appropriately we had a picture of Fred with the baby giraffe - tall and thin
and me with the baby elephants (no comments here please!)
There was no set tour around the Ark but everyone was left to walk around as they pleased with some guidance from information on the different items and some videos.
We were able to take our time and stay as long as we liked.
There was a small cafe area with a view out of the Ark
and we were also able to go up on the deck of the Ark and look around from there.
On the way out there was a shop with Ark toys, books, bookmarks, etc. and jewellery.
So you may have guessed that I could not resist leaving with out another momento, yes I got a nice Ark necklace.
We were still in no hurry to leave and stood around taking pictures of us and the ark and even Daniel (not a photo lover) had his phone out to take some pics which he then used some filters on and put up on instagram.
It was a fun relaxed day out together at a very unusual exhibition and we all enjoyed it.
The Ark was very large but was not the exact measurements of the original.
Since then the same people who created this one have worked on a full size replica and have plans to take it around the world.
If you would like to have more information about this you can watch the video below
and you will also find details at their website
Arc of Noah