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Around the world in a daze

Europe part 1

FRANCE | Thursday, 17 September 2009 | Views [384]

The speedy part of our trip has begun. In the past 8 days we have been to 4 countries and are off to a fifth in a few more.

We arrived in Copenhagen on September 2 and met up with Jo again. We had just one night in the new home of Our Mary, but we manage to see pretty much all of the sights. First up we decided the best way to tackle the city in such a short time was by canal tour, unfortunately the boat was open topped and the rain poured down – similar to Ireland really - and we spent most of the day looking like drowned rats. But we did manage to see Mary's palace, the sculpture of Hans Christian Anderson's Little Mermaid, and some beautiful old buildings.

Princess Mary's house

One of the highlights was not on the usual tour guide. We had an hour spare before getting the night train to Amsterdam, so decided to go to the Ice Bar. The entire bar is made of ice, including seats, walls and the glasses themselves. You have to dress in a thick, blue cloak and gloves and your lips go numb when drinkign from the glass. It was an amazing experience and made the weather outside seem so much warmer! And the alcohol made the forthcoming 16 hour train ride seem less daunting.

In the ice bar

We arrived in Amsterdam feeling exhausted ajfter little sleep on the train. I had decided early in the morning I was going to get more sleep lying on the floor than sitting in my chair, and as a result I hurt all over the next day. But that didnt stop us. We set out walking around the city – we did the Sex Museum and the Anne Frank Huis – both very confronting in very different ways. And had chips with mayonaise from the original chip stall for lunch.

Chips and mayonaise

The next day we took a free walking tour around the city and saw a lot more and learnt about the Dutch way of naming things – as they are. There was the Old Church, the New Church, the New Market and the royal Palace. Then came one of the highlights – a trip to the Heinekin brewery! yum yum!

Tasting Heinekin

Day 3 we decided was time to get out of the city and we headed to the Hague and Delft. We saw the Escher art gallery and lots of Delftware pottery! We also snackked on pancakes. In the evening we went on the Red Light District pub crawl – which was fun, we think.

in the Escher Museum

Holland was great but like Copenhagen, it rained a lot, I was worried this would be the case with all of Europe. Also I couldn't find a single Ollibollen in all of Holland and we didn't see any close up windmills – very dissapointed.

In Bruge, Belgium, the sun finally came out. We had just half a day in this beautiful town to explore and reminisce about scenes in the movie. The hardest bit of the trip was trying to have all the traditional Belgium foods in just one afternoon, but we managed it – chocolate, waffles and chips.

Belgian chocolate

The sunshine continued into Paris and we enjoyed 2 toasty warm days exploring the city of love and eating cheese and baguettes.

Jo left us today and we are now on our way to Bordeaux to sample some wines and work our way towards spain.

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