Monday, April 29, 2013

Eurotour Part Two!

So after Copenhagen, the tour headed south to Germany where we stayed the night in Bremin, without seeing anything and then made our way to the Netherlands.

The Netherlands was probably my favorite country we visited on the tour. I loved the country side, the people, the sights, and I loved Amsterdam. We stayed one night outside of Amsterdam, exploring a clog factory and a cheese factory, (which was like heaven for me, because I had eaten so much gouda cheese on exchange it was better than the chocolate factory) we tried many free samples of cheese and looking back, I regret that I didn't buy anything because it was so delicious, but it gives me a great reason to return to the Netherlands.

This is a wall of cheese, I am pretty sure that Heaven looks a lot like this. 

So the day after that we visited Amsterdam, which I think is probably the most beautiful city I have ever been to. I loved all the canals, the water, the houses and pretty much everything about the city. It was my favorite city that we visited in the tour. We took a boat tour from the canals, which was beautiful and a great way to see the city. We also went to the Anne Frank Hus, which was incredible to visit. After visiting all these famous places where history happened, it is so strange to stand there and imagine that so and so many years ago, something big happened there. I have experienced this every famous place I have gone to.

Right before we visited every big city or place, we were able to watch movies about or taking place at the spots, which was really nice. We watched Anne Frank before Amsterdam, Moulin Rouge and Midnight in Paris before Paris. Marie Antoinette before Versailles, and Romeo and Juliet before Verona. It is always really cool to watch a good movie and then visit where it was filmed the next day. Although the Leonardo DiCaprio version of Romeo and Juliet was not filmed in Verona....

The night after Amsterdam we stayed in a city in between Amsterdam and Belgium. This hotel was the nicest that we stayed at, probably because it wasn't right next to a big city. I remember this being the best hotel from the trip, but not much else.

The next day we woke up, clambered aboard our dearest busses and then made our way south into Belgium. We stayed in Brussels for several hours, seeing the famous places in down town, and eating inexpensive but rich waffles that eventually made me feel like I wanted to hurl. It was really awesome that as we made our way south, the prices of things steadily decreased.

Nothing like being a total and complete tourist....

The best part of Brussels though, was seeing Manequin Piss, which is the statue of the little boy peeing, which I expected to be a lot bigger, but it was still pretty awesome. 

After a guided tour and some free time to gorge on chocolate and fruit covered waffles, we boarded the bus again and left Belgium, traveling South to Paris. As sad as we were to have spend less than a half a day in Brussels, everybody was anxiously anticipating Paris. I was especially....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eurotour Part One

The Eurotour started with a night over in the ferry to Stockholm. This was a late night and early morning, mostly because all the exchange students wanted to spend time together. Fortunately I had been on the ferry once before back in November so it wasn't a new experience for me, so I didn't need to explore the entire ship. Getting up at five in the morning the next day wasn't a great experience but we managed to get up and get to breakfast and enjoy the beautiful view of the fjord into Stockholm in the morning.

I had been to stockholm in November, but it was very dark, so it was my first time seeing the city from a distance in the light, and it was beautiful! Unfortunately our tour didn't include much of Sweden so as soon as we got off the ferry our bus drove us south and we were at the southern most point by Dinnertime.

Sweden from the Road 

After Dinner we took another ferry to Denmark, which was only about an hour, and enjoyable until the end of the ride when Monica and I got lost and well....I don't like to think about that...

We took the bus to Copenhagen where we found our hotel, then in the evening we went to Tivoli, the world famous amusement park. Our entrance to the park was paid for, but the rides were expensive, and I was a cheapskate. So I didn't go on any of the rides, but I had fun exploring the park and taking pictures with a fellow cheapskate. The park became absolutely gorgeous after the sun started going down (the sun going down actually shocked us because we were so used to the finnish sun setting very late, and we weren't even that farther south, but it sure seemed like it). We spoke a lot of finnish when we were going through the different shops, which was a lot of fun, because we knew nobody would understand us, except maybe the other exchange students in the park. 

The next day we got a guided tour of the city in our buses. This was a great way to see the city, stopping and getting out at the famous places, and we got to see a lot. I finally saw the little mermaid statue, whose fake statue I have seen in the Copenhagen Airport every time I have had a layover there during summers I went to Norway. I was really happy to see the real one finally! 

For some reason we decided to make a pyramid....

We found the statue that was a part of the latest season of the amazing race and we had a lot of fun posing next to it and realizing that the amazing race was here! We actually found a lot of places the amazing race was during our whole tour, and since we are travelers ourselves, everyone's a big fan of the amazing race.

We were in Copenhagen on June fifth, which happens to be their constitution day (kinda like our July 4) so all the danish flags were flying and everyone was inside at home enjoying their day off, so the city wasn't as crowded as normal. 

Later we had some free time in Copenhagen before we drove in the bus some more and got on another short ferry ride headed for Germany!