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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Euro Trip Part 2

If you missed Part 1 see HERE!

Monday March 16, 2015 I woke up pretty early and got ready for the day, packed our bags, and went downstairs to help Beppe with breakfast.  She was hard at work making us bread, cheese, and butter sandwiches for the trip along with fruit and boiled eggs.  After breakfast we remembered we hadn't gotten any wooden shoes for me so we drove down the street a bit to a hometown fishing store that also sold tons of different klompen or wooden shoes.  I found an awesome pair that has ton of meaning and left happy.  We went back to Beppe's for one last tea, coffee, and visit with his Aunt Hiltjse before heading out for Belgium.  

Europe road tripping...LOVE IT

We left Beppe's at 10:40 and drove from North Holland southward through the entire country to Belgium.  We did make a stop along the way in Utrecht at Castle de Haar.   One day when I opened Bing I saw a beautiful castle and it just so happened to be in Holland.  We had already planned our trip so I found where it was and it wasn't out of the way at all so the more we saw the better in my book.
Castle de Haar in Holland

I would love to see these gardens in the Spring and Summer

After touring the castle we ate a picnic lunch of this and that in the car before getting back on the road.  I ate a salad that I had bought at Jumbo.  If there is anything one thing I'd say I  loved the most about Holland it was the grocery store.  So awesome!!! We went like 4 times the entire time we were there.

Once back in the car we headed further South to Belguim until we were finally in Brussels mid afternoon.  We found a parking garage not far from the hotel we saw downtown which was awesome so after parking we booked a room at the historic Metropole Hotel.  After checking in we walked the streets of downtown Brussels while we still had light.  We saw the only really famous thing in Brussels and that was the tiny peeing statue, Mannekepis.  

Downtown Brussels

view from our hotel room

down the other direction from our room

We stopped and had a true Belgian waffle that was loaded with whip cream, bananas, strawberries, and chocolate syrup.  YUM!  Belgian waffles are no joke.  Think of what your waffles taste like at breakfast and throw that idea out the window.  These are cooked but have a buttery batter taste that just melts in your mouth good.

We walked and window shopped a bit more before settling on dinner at Meat Me.  I had a really good pasta dish and Hendrik had a dry plain chicken dish that didn't impress him.  Another thing that didn't impress was the service!  It seems that in Europe you pay for the food and the service in the meal and that's probably why it is a bit more expensive.  Your waiter or waitress comes to you table a total of 3 times: 1 to take your drink and food order, 2 to deliver your food, and 3 to bring you check...after you ask.  They also are not very friendly which I don't mind much but when you wait for service with an impatient boyfriend by the time they get there a smiling face would be nice.  Not so much!  

Hendrik's plain chicken
my yummy pasta
After dinner we ran to catch an early movie at a nearby theater.  We watched Kingsman in English and we really liked it.  Traveling will really take the wind out of your sails so we were back at the hotel around 10:30.  We aren't big drinkers so we aren't much for nightlife unless it is wondering the streets or catching a show.  When we got back to the hotel I took a long soak in the large bathtub and loved grabbing a towel off the heated towel rack that was also the bathroom's radiator.  A movie and bath was the perfect ending to our traveling day into and around Brussels.

Tuesday March 17, 2015  we slept in a bit but not too long on Tuesday because I really wanted to get up and make sure we saw as much as possible.  We figured out pretty quick that Brussels was a big city with a small town feel and there wasn't all that much to see but a lot to take in and really just enjoy being in a new place.  We walked around trying to find a breakfast spot and finally decided to get crepes from a crepe shop by the Mannekinpis and we enjoyed eating them on a stoop in the grand palace plaza.  I people watched and Hendrik got me the worst ever coffee from Starbucks!  I tried choking it down as we walked back to the hotel to check out but just couldn't do it and ended up trashing it.

After we checked out of the hotel, loaded up the car to head off to Paris.  On the way out of Brussels we drove to find some medieval architecture that we had seen on our way in and also saw the Atom.  The Atom is a left over piece of the World Fair in 1958.  

Once my sightseeing crave was satisfied we hit the interstate to Paris.  On the drive to France we saw a lot of farm land and steeples of churches in small villages.  We also noticed that the roadways were a lot more trashy as we got further away from Holland.

Once we arrived in Paris we checked into our hotel, Crown Plaza Paris Republique.  I found this via Hotels.com and got a great deal for the nights we were in Paris.  I immediately wanted to use up what daylight we had left so we set out on a walk.  We walked to the Sein and saw Notre Dame and just walked around that area.  It is really hard to find somewhere to eat when you aren't familiar with the area and aren't familiar with the eating rituals of the country so we settled on burgers and fries at a bar spot.  We sat in the patio area with heaters...true European style and we were back to the hotel around 10. I was down with a bad head cold that had been brewing since Holland and was fighting a major headache.  I tried everything but the next morning planned on stopping by the pharmacy to get some sinus meds to help me out for the remainder of the trip.  I think the colder weather and the hot then cold conditions of all the visiting and sleeping we did did me in.

like a postcard

the view from our hotel room

1 comment:

  1. Holland looks beautiful. Glad y'all had a fun and safe trip.


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