Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Amsterdam Wrap Up

I have done a lot lately with little time to write this blog. In Amsterdam I had a chance to do the following:

  1. take a ride in a boat along the canal
  2. observe the life of people living in Amsterdam-bicycling mania=>more on that at a later date
  3. see the I Amsterdam sign
  4. see the area with lots of museums 

I have done a few tours outside of Amsterdam. I took a tour that saw a village with windmills (wooden old school ones). We saw a bit of how it worked-too cool! On this tour we, also, saw how cheese is made in a cheese factory. We, also, went to a village where wooden clogs are made. It was neat to see how the clogs were made. Another tour, took me to Delft where besides wandering around for a bit, we went to the Royal Delft factory and saw how the pieces were made. We, also, went to The Hague and did a bit of  walking around the governmental buildings. Today, I went to Bruges in Belgium for the a few hours in the afternoon. The highlight of this was the yummy Belgian waffle and the Belgian chocolate I bought. Yum Yum! 

I don't know who asked me if I bought them something from the Van Gogh Musuem but, I can't answer the question since you didn't say who you were.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Amsterdam Adventure Part 1

In case you are wondering, I survived my first full day in Amsterdam without getting DNA sprayed. Last night, I discovered this sign that said DNA spray on it. My roommate and I have been joking about this DNA spraying business all day  long as it is interesting. So, of course, we had to do some investigation into this DNA spraying business. It turns out businesses can get this DNA spray that sprays a mist when there is a robber or criminal near their building. The criminal can then be tracked down and IDed from the spray. Here's a website to check out:
We jokingly didn't eat here because of the sign. But, really we didn't eat there as it didn't have the fries with mayo and Dutch currywurst we were searching for.
My roommate and I had a slow start to the day as the stay in Amsterdam was
an unescorted part of our tour. We felt like it was time for a day that didn't have us rushing around. The main highlight of the day besides taking the tram around was the Vincent Van Gogh museum. I am a big Vincent Van Gogh fan so it was nice to see so many of his paintings up close and personal. Some of the paintings took my breath away because of their beauty. 

Our afternoon involved eating lunch outside of a restaurant and people watching. We saw an interesting older couple putting down some trash on the ground and running off after putting it down. Perhaps they didn't want to get DNA sprayed. We, also, spent some time wandering around looking at shops before heading back to the hotel for a break before dinner.

Our search at dinner time for hot dogs with curry  and french fries with mayo ( a Dutch thing) was an adventure involving missing a tram who didn't let us on and the closure of food truck we had seen early. We finally found a place and then headed back to eat at the canal area behind our hotel. A Dutch man on his house boat seemed interested and asked us if it was good. It was good! 

Off to bed now. More adventures later.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Paris je t'aime Part 2

Yesterday was day two in Paris. It was a day full of walking and exploring. 

Another Canadian and myself started the day off with a very tiresome yet rewarding walk up the Arc de Triomphe. The walk involved climbing up many flights of stairs but the view was worth it.

We then walked along the Champ de Elysses. I did this just to say I walked it. We continued to walk through Paris until we got to our tour pickup point.
Our group then went to Versaille. It was beautiful inside and outside of it but very excessive. The gardens were beautiful.
It was then time to head to Montmartre  for a hike up to our Parisean dinner. I tried duck and escargot for the first time. Surprisingly, I was quite impressed with the escargot. 

I will be exploring Amsterdam tomorrow so stay tuned.

Paris, je t'aime

Our first full day in Paris was full of French food, culture and entertainment. It was a great day in this beautiful city.

On the food front I tried a macaroon, crepe, and caviar. The macaroonvand crepe were heavenly. The ever so tasty combination of Nutella and banana for the crepes was so delicious. The macaroon I tried was to die for. The caviar the other hand was not my cup of tea.

The caviar was part of my meal at the entertainment part of the day. Our tour group had the option to see the Moulin Rouge. The food was fine and the show was interesting but wasn't really my thing. I will have to watch the movie again when I get home though.

The cultural side of the day involved exploring around the Louvre area, Tuillerie Garden, and the amazing Musee d'Orsay. The Monet and  Van Gogh paintings blew me away. I can't wait for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. 

Stay tuned in for day 2 in Paris.

Monday, 7 July 2014

London Day 2 and 3

Iffy wifi access has slowed down my blogging but, I have been busy. Day 2 started with a quick bus tour of  London before I jumped off to do my own thing. The tour group was going to Bath and Stonehenge but I went there a few years ago. My first stop was the Tower of London. I took an interesting tour led by a Yeoman Guard AKA a beefeater. The tour was quite informative with a funny guide. There were some annoying tourists complaining about how the guide could have been louder along with suggestions on how to do it. I was so tempted to tell them that talking about their inability to hear wouldn't help. The Crown Jewels  were interesting. You had to line up and walk through various rooms with informartion before getting to the Crown Jewels which you go along a conveyor belt to see them. Here are some photos from the Tower of London:

After the Tower of London I went to Oxford Circus for some shopping. Unfortunately, the cardigan that I bought was was left behind the next day at the musical we went to.

Then  it was on to Brick Lane which is famous for its  East Indian cuisine and Sunday Market. I took a stroll through many streets around this area exploring the stalls. Instead of going for East Indian food, got some Ethiopian food from a market stall. Here is the entrance way to Bricklane:

The next day I headed to Tate Moden for a Matisse cut-out art exhibition. I also snapped a picture of Monet's Waterlilies.

Then I went to the Borough Markets before heading back to get ready for our musical-Mamma Mia.  I thought the play was well done though I did prefer Billy Elliot last year.

Stay tuned for Paris updates.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Safe and Sound

I have just arrived safe and sound in London. My mom is obsessed with using the microphone recording for texting so I thought I'd ditch the computer and try blogging with the blogger blogging app and the microphone. I think I'm going to like not lugging a computer around. Plus this app allows you to easily insert photos into the blog which will please my mother.  I haven't done anything yet other than get my Starbucks fix as I am tired from the flight and lack of sleep. 

Before I go to meet my tour group I have to rant about the people lining up for my flight from Toronto. I just don't get the need to lineup long before you are called to line up. People were lined up even before there was an agent at the gate. I am not sure what they thought this would achieve as they couldn't go anywhere until their section of the plane was called. Once the gate attendant came he told them to go sit several times because they just weren't listening and not getting it. Of course, once they started preboarding everybody seem to flock up to the gate. This sure made it difficult when I was trying to get through to the gate when they called my row section as the first one.  But that's enough ranting for now as it is time to go meet my tour group. Bye for now.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Summer 2014 Adventures are Beginning Soon

Soon I will be saying au revoir to the cool and rainy city of Brandon (via Thompson) and jumping on a plane to start my next Europe based adventure. As all of my adventures seem to start in London, this year will be no different.  I am London bound on Friday evening before hitting up Paris, Amsterdam and many cities in Spain. Feel free to follow my adventure here as well as Facebook/Instagram/Twitter.