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Europe May 13-31, 2010

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Europe May 13-31, 2010 - Page Text Content

S: Europe May 13-31, 2010

BC: Tour Europe: Amsterdam London Paris Brian & Vikki Dahlvang May 13-31, 2010

1: Welcome to Amsterdam

3: Canals of Amsterdam

4: Streets of Amsterdam

6: Churches & Museums

12: Our Temporary Home

20: Keukenhof Gardens

22: Amsterdam University | Landmark to Home

23: Open Market

28: Flight to London

30: Lime Tree Hotel

31: London | Pubs

32: Madam Tussaud's

34: An afternoon with friends

37: 530 Steps to the top | London's Oldest Pub

38: London Tower | London Bridge

42: St. Paul Cathedral

43: View from | the top...

45: The Tube

46: Trip to Windsor Castle

52: Welcome to Paris | May 23, 2010

64: Beaches of Normandy

65: Beaches of Normandy

66: Beaches of Normandy

67: Beaches of Normandy

68: Beaches of Normandy

69: Beaches of Normandy

70: Beaches of Normandy

71: Beaches of Normandy

73: Orsay Museum

76: Grand Hotel Levque

78: Euro: 1.27 =U.S.: $1.00

80: Boulevard Walk

82: Eiffel Tower:View from the top

85: Off to Monet's Garden

86: Monet's Garden

87: Monet's Garden

89: Monet's Garden

91: Monet's Garden

92: Monet's Garden

93: Monet's Garden

95: Monet's Garden

96: Claude Monet | Claude Monet | Claude Monet | Claude Monet | Claude Monet

98: Thursday-May 13th 2010-Flight to Amsterdam Early to the airport. No traffic. Had a beer in the bar with a woman who lived in Iowa that was planning on traveling through Minnesota to see sights. We were wondering if we should stay home to see sights or continue on to Amsterdam.Ha!Ha! Nice conversation, passed time. Flight. Long. Children crying two rows back. Difficult to sleep. We watched the movie The Hangover. Slept very little. Also watched the movie “Precious” while Brian slept. Friday-May 14th-Airport in Amsterdam.starts our trip. Very different from MSP. We picked up our luggage and started off on our first venture.the train to Central Station, Amsterdam. With some help and a few questions, we were on the train headed for Central Station in Amsterdam. From Central Station, we were lost. Our next challenge was trying to find our B & B. A nice gal from Amsterdam set us off on our “20 min. trip on foot” to the Wildervank B & B. 20 minutes??? That is if you can read a map that is missing valuable directions and in a different language. FINALLY, a nice store worker looked the B & B up on line and gave us exact directions to the B & B only to find out that they were not quite exact. One more wrong turn and about 45 minutes later (Carrying all of our luggage) we were at our home for the next 5 days. The room was nice. We had serious jet lag having been up all night, but like troopers we went out exploring. We ran into several museums and even hijacked a tour to the Historic Museum of Amsterdam. On our walk, the first thing we noticed that there was garbage everywhere. We later found out that the garbage men were on strike and would be on strike until Wednesday. Luckily this problem was resolved by Sunday. The most interesting things in Amsterdam were the canal systems and the amazing architecture of the buildings. Our first day ended about 6:30pm. Exhausted we turned in and slept until 9:30am the next morning. Saturday-May 15th Schuwart and Elaine gave us some history of Amsterdam. We found out that the language we were hearing all over town was Dutch and that the canal system was originally used for trading. They gave us some insight on the museums we should visit and we were off for another day of travel. We literally traveled on foot from about 10:30am until 7pm or 8pm each night. Sat. we went to the Anne Frank Museum. There was a line all around the building so we went on our way touring around town. Many beautiful sights, churches, pubs, etc. On our way back, we stopped back at the Anne Frank House. I remembered reading that there was a separate line for online ticket holders which saved us the hassle of a longlong line. The ticket taker informed us that we had tickets for the morning entry. Whooops! She let us in, thank goodness. The museum was a little disappointing. Very little of the original Anne Frank House, mostly stories of her life. Sunday- May 16th off to Keirkoff Tulip Garden (Last day it was open for the season). Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! This tour took most of the afternoon. Scoped out the Red Light District. Yikes, what a way of living. Several alleys were very narrow and the prostitutes were right on top of you. It was amazing how they were trying to lure men into their trap. Yuk! Who would want to be second. Visited a little pub for dinner and early to bed. I might remind you that early to bed meant early to bed for Brian, post pictures and do homework for Vikki. Didn’t sleep well Sun. night. Checked Deb and Mikes flight and knew that their flight was on time but worried about volcano action and if their flight be on time. Monday- May 17th – We were up late. In the morning we toured Schuwart’s home and off to central Station to meet Deb and Mike. No response to text.worried. Have another beer and wait. Finally we gave up and shopped our way back home to check email to see what was up. As soon as we got back to the B & B, Deb and Mike called. They met us at Central Station. Walk back.my feet! Quick tour of the Red Light District just to say they saw it then we went on a boat cruise so they could see as much of Amsterdam as they could. Nice Dinner in an authentic Dutch restaurant. Tuesday-Mon May 18th - Met Mike and Deb at the Schipol Airport for our Easy Jet trip to London 8:55 take off. London Day one: Bus tour, dinner at pub in Covent Garden and off to see the play Chicago at the Cambridge Theater. Wednesday-May 19th Day two: Never turned phone off and on between Amsterdam and London so time change did not register on phone. Meeting Deb and Mike at 8:45am. No Mike and Deb. Mike and Deb met us at 8:45am no Vikki and Brian. Strangeoops! We finally met up and off to the Madam Tussueau , the London Tower and Westminster Abbey. There was mass going on during our visit. Lucky us! It felt disrespectful to be touring during mass. It was beautiful inside! Dinner at pub. Meet tomorrow 9:30am. Thursday-May 20th- Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace. Deb and I stood right at the central gate. We were next to a darling elderly couple who sand every song that the band played. She kept asking the same questions over and over “Are we in the right spot?” “Do you think they will walk past us?” Her husband got a little irritated with her, but it was so apparent they were in love. Changing of the guards was like nothing we’d ever seen before, but nothing spectacular. A must see event for London. St. Paul Catherdral: Brian and I walked 500+ steps to the top and looked out over the city of London. The Cathedral

99: itself was beautiful. Many people buried within the curch. Covent Park, Busy shopping center. We liked the shopping district in Amsterdam better. Friday-May 21st We took a train to Winsor Palace. Amazing! Pictures don’t do it justice. Ate at the River House, a nice little restaurant right on the Thames River. The weather is beautiful. Came home and rested and then out for an Italian Dinner. Saturday-May 22nd , Winston Churchill Museum, Play- Wicked at the Appolo Victoria Theatre. The play was very good, impressive. Good props, beautiful set, beautiful singing. Pack and off to Paris. Sunday-May 23rd , Train to Paris was miserable. (Eurostar) Lucky us, we got the only car that didn’t have air conditioning. (Didn’t work anyway). Worked our way through the subway (The Metro, in Paris)and to our Hotel. Grand Hotel LeVeque. Not too Grand. Very small room, small bathroom. NO COFFEE! It is in a good location. Close to shopping, eating, metro, and cites. Everything we NEED is out our front door. Many people have dogs..not grass. They poop and pee in the streets. Some owner’s pick up after them and others do not. We saw a few bums in the streets, one we have named the mayor of Paris. In the morning he combs his hair in the store windows, with his beer already opened at his feet. We walked to the Eiffel Tower, this was a dirty walk, but a pretty park. There were many police in the area. We are not sure why, but we think it was due to Pentecost holiday. Our first impression of the Eiffel Tower was that we thought it would be bigger. As we walked closer, and then took the boat cruise, we changed our mind. The boat cruise was beautiful! At the end of the cruise the Eiffel Tower lit up and gave us a beautiful light show. Pretty spectacular. Food here is expensiveand not that good. We did find a good Asian place that was reasonable. Monday-May 24th , War Museum? Napoleon’s Tomb. Tuesday- May 25th , Normandy, wash clothes, shop, lounge. Lunch, Deb and I, at Terra Brassier. Debbie had a delicious chicken sandwich and I had the traditional French Sandwich, ham and cheese..bland. Oh and a $10 glass of champagne Wednesday-May 26th , Orsay Museum (Monet, Renior, etc.), Orangerie Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Lourve (Mona Lisa, Leonardo DeVinci). Venus DeMilo. Thursday-May 27th , Verssailles. We took the train all the way to the Verssailles palace. Home of the Henry the somethingth’s palace. It poured. We took shelter under the entrance waiting for the gaits to open only to find out that the gates would not be opening at all. The federal workers were on strike. No Palace! We figured this out early on and left many behind waiting while we got seats back on the train. Didn’t want to start a mad rush for the train station. We went back to the hotel and slept. We had a long evening the night before talking to Jill and Kyle about Tessa’s condition. Then we had a couple of calls for Dahlvang Construction. We stayed up to hear from Kyle/Jill about Tessa’s condition and after receiving Kyle’s text that Tess was going to be o.k., we finally drifted off to sleep.until we got a call from Tara by mistake, I think she was trying to call Jill, to find out how to make a smoothie. After our naps we went out to the Chinese restaurant for a couple of drinks and dinner with Mike and Debbie Friday-May 28th Went to the train station to go to Monet’s garden. We were too late to be happy with the way the day would play out so we bought train tickets for Saturday and plan and early day. On the way home we walked down the main drag of Paris shopping “Avenue Des Champs Elysees.”It was beautiful, all of the trees are sculpted to the way the road goes. Walked all the way home and to the Eiffel Tower. We went all the way to the top 900 feet to the top. Yikes! We walked home to our hotel. We were worn out so we bought sandwiches on the road and ate in our room. Early morning tomorrow. 6am wake up to try the Monet’s Garden Trip again. Saturday-May 29th: Monet’s Garden. Long train ride to Vernon and on to Giverny to the garden. The train cost $50 Euro, the Bus $8 Euro, the museum $12/adults, 10.50 students. (Remember your student I.D. I got to use it a few times.) The gardens were beautiful! We took numerous pictures. The gardens were the inspiration for Claude Monet’s paintings. We also toured his house and museum. The museum was a quick walk through so that we could make our bus ride back to the train on time. Got back to the hotel, took an hour rest and off to the Trebecca for dinner. (A Rick Steves suggestion). I had a pizza, Brian had lasagna, Mike had veal and Debbie also had pizza. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. The best meal we’ve had since we arrived in Paris. Treats at the Pastry shop and then some last minute shopping. Sunday, May 30th: Train Back to Amsterdam. Beautiful hotel! Monday, May 31st: Home

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  • Title: Europe May 13-31, 2010
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