Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Brighton

brighton is called the London by the Sea.  It is very fitting because it very similar to London, but more in a Jersey pier kind of way, but way less people, even though it is crowded. The down side of this city is that it very hilly, so if you walk down, you have to walk up!  We did a lot of walking and exploring yesterday.  It was our last day so we wanted to enjoy it.  We went to the Royal Palace.  I love looking at the architecture of the buildings.  


  

 We hadn't planned anything in Brighton so we were just winging it.  We did a hop on hop off bus tour.  These aere great because you get to see different parts of cities and decide if it is an area to explore or not.  We went and walked around the marina area and ate lunch.  Later we went to the pier area again and rode up on the British Airways i360.  Such a cool way to get a Birdseye view of the city.  

 
   

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

(Backup) Brussels

We are only in Brussels over night but wish we had planned more time here.  We got in to town about noon on the train.  Got to the apartment and dropped our bags off and thewent walking around exploring.  This is the first city we're there aren't a lot bike riders,  in all the other city bike riding is much more common than car for transportation. Here we only seen a couple people riding bike.  It might be because of the cobblestone streets, they are hard to walk on, I can't imagine riding a bike over them.  

The smell of chocolate is everywhere in this town.  Chocolate shops on every block.  Enjoyed getting to sample the different Belgium chocolates and of course buying some.  I ended up buying a large suitcase today to put my backpack inside of then it leaves me room to put all my extra goodies in it also.  

  

The statue of Everard t' Services, it is customary to rub the hand of the statue which is said to bring you good luck!

 

Man keen-Apis a legendaryBrussels figure.  The man peeing! 


Madison du Roi (house of the king)
 
 

Brussels was an unexpected place that we really enjoyed.  The architecture of the buildings here is amazing.  
I am realizing as our trip is ending, I really want to come back on an extended vacation and ride the train, but spend more time in different cities and not in just the major cities.  In talking to others as we have traveled, I realize that I need to broaden my horizons.  I have never thought about traveling to Budapest or to Austria, but I continually have heard of how those areas are everyone's favorites.  I think I will need to be planning my next adventure sooner than later.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Amsterdam

I was really enjoying Amsterdam today, yesterday I was feeling like it was dirty and just not really feeling it, but today I awoke with a different perspective.  We got up early and hoped on a bus tour around the city to figure out where we wanted to go and what to see.  We went through the holicoust museaum and Jewish memorial.  It was really interesting but very depressing reading the stories of the children and families.  After that we went to see nd old windmill that was used to purify water.  



We went to Van Gogh Museum and stopped to take our pictures by the I am Amsterdam letters.  


   

On the way be back to hop on the bus we had to stop and play in the sprinkler.  This is a cool sprinkler outside the Rijksmuseum.  It shuts off when you walk towards it then once you standing inside of it, then it goes back up.  Kind of fun to stand inside a sprinkler.  

 

Last night we went to the Red Light District. I came to the conclusion that some things re just better not shared with others.  I understand that there is a different, more open attitude here about sex and everything, but walking around seeing those women standing in those windows, but watching men and even women talking about them like objects just made me feel icky.  Even watching families walk through there left me feeling really uneasy.  

To understand how open they are here about things, in The US we fight about transgenders going in the same bathroom.  Here the cleaning guy comes in the bathroom and is cleaning stalls and everything while women are going to the bathroom.  It is like it is nothing and no one seems to even notice they are going to the bathroom while there is guy in the next stall.  

Tomorrow morning we get up and head to Brussels for 1 night before heading back to U.K.  Hard to believe we are on the. Tail pend of our trip and that we fly home this weekend.  

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Berlin

Today we got out and explored Berlin.  We hoped on the bus early and rode around to different things we really wanted to see.  We went to check point Charlie, the Berlin Wall, the sea aquarium (nothing like ours.  This was so not impressive. 
 

 We went all over the city looking at the different museums and buildings. The Stories at the Berlin Wall where amazing and heart breaking at the same time.  The Jewish holicoust memorial didn't do anything for me.  It was just a bunch of different size cement squares in rows.  I guess I was expecting something more touching with stories and pictures.  I didn't see plaques or anything, just didn't make sense to me.   This afternoon, we hoped on a boat ride in the canals and just chilled.  

 

The day was crazy as the city was swamped with people in town for the German Cup soccer "futball" match.  They sure know how to do the pregame tailgating parties.  The city set up public viewing areas around the city for people to watch the game on large screens.  There were so many people, parting all day.  It was beyond crazy, I can't imagine what it would be like if their teams were playing in the World Cup.  
 
    


 
I posted these pictures because I thought it was interesting that their water lines are run above ground in parts of the city.  These blue and pink pipes are their water they run up and over the streets are painted to fit in with the decor throughout the city.  

This trip has also made me realize how lucky we are in so many ways and take it for granted.  The cost of a postage stamp here is .90 Euros.  That would be close to a buck in dollars.