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Princess Maxima takes advantage of Argentine winter to ski with the girls

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The Netherlands' crown princess and middle daughter Alexia negotiate the ski slopes of Patagonia, just days after hitting the beach in Holland
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 Photo: © Rex

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Buenos Aires-born Maxima and her family are enjoying a break in her home country, where they have a $3.5-million farm set in majestic countryside near the Chilean border
 Photo: © Rex

28 JULY 2009

Just a few days ago they were playing on a sandy beach in Holland, and now the Dutch royals are having a thrilling time on a powder white ski slope.

The quick change of scenery isn't so surprising given that Crown Princess Maxima originally hails from Argentina.

And she often decamps to the southern hemisphere with her family so they can enjoy the best of both seasons in the matter of a few weeks.

This time the popular princess and husband Willem-Alexander are spending 10 days in the wilds of Patagonia with their three young children Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.

The trip means the girls get to see their maternal grandparents Jorge Zorreguieta and Maria del Carmen Cerruti, who flew in from the capital Buenos Aires to see them.

Enamoured of the breathtaking scenery in the area just near the Chilean border, the royals bought a $3.5-million ranch there a few years ago.

Set in tranquil countryside on the banks of River Pichi Leufu, the estate is an ideal spot for fishing and kayaking.

It's the perfect retreat for a couple craving some peace and quiet away from the hurly burly of public life.

The location also allows them to catch up with her brother Martin, the owner of a gourmet restaurant in a nearby town, who found the property for them.

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