S: My Vacation to Europe - June 2011
FC: My European Trip 2011
1: Amy Mortensen Farmington, UT USA | We made it!
2: I got maybe 3-4 hours of sleep on the plane. We got off the plane, dropped our luggage, and have been running ever since.
3: The Tower of London was cool. There are pieces of the tower that were built in the 1000s and the crown jewels were amazing. Then we had fish and chips dinner, and I decided that if I am hungry enough, tired enough and the fish is deep fried, I could almost enjoy it. It feels like I have spent hours on the Tube (subway) already (maybe that's because it makes me sleepier). | We are done for the day (about 8:30) but I have a bit of sleep to catch upon before the 6:45 wake up call.
4: Today we saw all the London stuff --St Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (in the photo), etc. Then we went to the British Museum where you get the benefit of centuries of plundering. Lots of amazing stuff. The Egyptian stuff was way cool and I saw the Rosetta Stone Sausage and mash was for dinner. Perfectly edible, but not Sunday dinner material. Then we split up to go to the theater. Wicked was great (again). On the way home I was responsible for getting my group home on the Tube and it was good to see I have it all figured out just in time to move on.
6: Saturday Jun 11, 2011
7: EVERYONE | Today we went to Stratford, which is Shakespeare's home. It was interesting and the Holy Trinity Church, where he was buried was beautiful. Then we went to Warwick Castle. It is medieval castle that has been restored. We climbed to the top of the tallest tower behind me in the picture. It was 530 steps to the top of the tower up tiny spiral staircases, but the view was completely worth it.
9: There wasn't much excitement in today's adventures. We were up early to get to the train station. Then we got on the Eurostar to travel to Belgium. This train travels for 26 miles under the sea. It was about 3 hours on the train. When we got to Belgium, we had a little driving tour in horrible traffic, then quickly got on our was to Germany, about a six hour drive. Finally got to the hotel about 8 and had dinner and got checked in. The hotel is quaint on the outskirts of town. It is a perfect evening and went for a little walk about the village. Very pretty wooded area.
10: Today was a very full day. We started at Heidleburg castle. It is an 13th century castle that is being restored. It is on top of the mountain over looking the town. Beautiful views of the buildings and old churches. Then we drove to Rothenburg. It is a village that looks just like what you would expect a traditional German town to look like. There was a festival going on so there were people all over in costume. Next we moved on to Dinkelsburgh. One of only a couple of towns that survived the 30 years war. It was very pretty, but maybe I had reached my limit of pretty German buildings for the day. Ended the day in Munich. The hotel is nice but everything is tiny....the elevator, the rooms, the bathroom.
12: We started our day picking up a city guide in Munich. The guide took us all around town showing us many historical buildings. Then we made a quick stop at BMW World, where you can try out sit in each model of their cars and bikes.
13: Next we went to Dachau, the first concentration camp. It was a very somber experience. Amazing how horrible humans can be to each other. The scale of the camp was the most starting part. There was only one row of barracks remaining, but the foundations remain for row after row.
14: Driving to Italy today. Before leaving German we were able to go to the Neuschwanstein castle. It wasn't on our itinerary, but was a place I was wanting to see. It is the castle that Disney based the Cinderella castle on. Very glad we could fit it in.
15: We made a quick stop in Innsbrook Austria for lunch. Innsbrook was the site of the winter olympics awhile back. The drive was very pleasant as we through all of these little alpine villages. We made it to Venice and can see the sea from our balcony. Walked down to the beach and walked through the waves and gathered shells.
16: We spent yesterday in Venice. We took a ferry over to one of the over 100 islands that make up Venice. On this island we watched a glass blowing demonstration. Then another ferry to St. Marks Square. We had a guided tour of the Dodge's Palace, a palace and a seat of the Venetian government prior to becoming part of Italy. We spent the rest of the day wondering and shopping in Venice. It is stunningly beautiful. Canals everywhere, little bridges, and cobblestone streets. I really enjoyed it, my favorite so far.
17: This was pretty much a travel day. We drove through Tuscany which is a beautiful area. We made a stop in Siena. It was a pretty cool old town on top of a mountain, there was a bit of a hike to get up to it, but small shops, the pizza, and the gelata (italian ice cream) made it all worth it.
19: We went to the Coliseum, such an amazing structure. It looks like it is falling apart, but what is left is so solid. Hard to believe that it has been around for over 2000 years. We then went to the Forum, it is not nearly as well preserved as the Coliseum, but there a an incredible number of parts of styles and structures in one place. Layer upon layer of the history of the area.
21: Food, some good food, some great food, lots of different food, and also some terrible food but always with good company. | Everybody USA
22: Different countries, different cities...
23: ... but always some water somewhere.
25: All kinds of ways to get around!