I really have a serious case of wanderlust! I was talking about our trip to Europe last night and decided I’d share some pictures and stories from our European travels.
My brother is in the military. During 2010 he was assigned to work at Ramstein in Kaiserslautern, Germany. We flew over on a Saturday in October at 2 pm from Dallas. We arrived at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday around 8 am. We flew business class. It was better than coach but it wasn’t great.
Our first stop was to stay at my brother & sis-in-law’s house in Fischbach, Germany. Along the way we found ourselves at a castle ruin.
This is a close up photograph of the bricks that make up an exterior wall.
We didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Germany because our plans were packed with other places we HAD to go during the two weeks we spent there.
I’m a planner. I planned this trip down to the hour. I researched and pre-paid for as much of the activities we had planned as I possibly could. I don’t know that if I went again I wouldn’t do the same but I think I’d allot myself more time in each place.
Next stop: Paris, France. Instead of flying to the areas we wanted to visit near Germany we rented a car. My brother drives like a maniac, though I’ll say everyone over there did the same. We left Germany and headed southwest through Belgium to Paris.
We spent roughly three days in Paris. We visited Versailles, did a boat tour on the Seine at night from Pont Neuf all the way down to Notre-Dame. We visited the Louvre, Tulieries Garden, Place de la Concorde, headed back to see the interior of Notre-Dame. We saw a show at the Moulin Rouge. I walked barefoot in Paris (my heels were killing me)! We traveled on the Metro and ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe. We visited the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. We did everything you could possibly do except sleep.
Northern Rose Window at Notre-Dame
Moving on to Amsterdam. From Paris we drove north to the Netherlands. We spent the same three days in Amsterdam. Again……no sleep! Our hotel allowed us to use some bicycles they kept on-site. This was of course after my brother sliced his hand open trying to adjust the seat height on one of them. Anyways off we go. We toured a lot of the city by bike. We saw the Heineken factory from our seats. We toured Anne Frank’s house. Sorry! No photos were allowed but if you ever go this is a MUST SEE! We visited the Red Light district for a very short time. (Very uncomfortable!) We ate dinner at a restaurant owned by Jamie Oliver. We rented a pedal boat and spent a few hours touring the canals. We visited a “flea market” and the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market).
From Amsterdam we headed back to Germany. After an overnight recuperation we hopped on a flight to Venice, Italy. From Venice we took a train to Verona and spent a week in an apartment. We slowed down and visited the town, lived like a local hitting up the local markets every day for fresh fruit & veggies. We found a supermarket where we guessed what exactly each item was because we don’t speak or read Italian. Luckily for us they put pictures on the meat or we’d have probably eaten rabbit and horse. We ate authentic Italian pizza but don’t bother asking for pepperoni. They don’t know what you mean. We visited the third largest arena in Italy, saw Casa de Giulietta.
After two extremely full weeks in 4 different countries we were exhausted and ready to head home. We used our frequent flier miles to upgrade to First class and believe me when I tell you it’s the way to go! It took us a few days to get used to being in our “normal” time zone and from the trip in general but I’d go back in a heartbeat. Especially Paris.
Please take the time to click on each picture to see them in full-screen view! I didn’t have my good camera but I’ll admit the photos from the camera I did have at the time did a good enough job!