Monthly Archives

April 2017

Travel

ZAANSE SCHANS

April 24, 2017

 

Zaanse Schans, a picturesque neighborhood in Zaandam best known for its windmills and quaint houses. Located 25 minutes from the center of Amsterdam, it made an ideal day trip.

xoxo

A

Travel

STREETS OF AMSTERDAM

April 23, 2017

Amsterdam is a unique city filled with bikes and peaceful canals. We spent a full day as tourists visiting the Jordan neighborhood, the floating flower market, Rijksmuseum and finally, the I Amsterdam sign.

xoxo

A

 

Travel

KEUKENHOF FESTIVAL

April 23, 2017

 Although one of the largest gardens in the world, Keukenhof in Holland is best known as the garden of Europe.  An average of 7 million bulbs are planted each year for this 8 week flower festival. By visiting while the tulips were blooming, a dream of mine has been fulfilled!  The following photos are just a minute portion of what can be viewed on these 79 acres of land. What I can’t share is the heavenly scent that engulfs this garden. 

After exploring the festival grounds, we drove through the town and discovered numerous farmers with their own gorgeous tulip fields.  Could you imagine this as your backyard garden???

xoxo

A

Travel

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE GERMANY

April 22, 2017

Last on the Germany itinerary is Neuschwanstein Castle. This is perhaps the most well known in Germany and the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella castle. The foundation is from 1869 and the towers  completed in 1892. The construction was delayed considerably because of the difficulty of working on a precipice. Personally I believe this was my steepest hike ever, but the view was extremely rewarding!

xoxo

A

Travel

ELTZ CASTLE GERMANY

April 22, 2017

Venturing four hours from Bruges into Germany,  we encountered my most favorite site of the trip Eltz Castle.  Years ago, this was one of my first travel destinations pinned on Pinterest.  During the Spring in Europe, the sun sets around 8:30 pm and remains light till almost 9:00 pm. How awesome is that!  We arrived  around 7:00 pm to an empty car park (closed at 5:00 pm) and started our hike.  Castles can typically be viewed  from a distance but up to 30 minutes into the hike, it still was completely obstructed.  However, the moment we turned around the last bend, we spied the most glorious picture. Peacefully perched  on the hill was this 850 year old medieval castle still owned by members of the same family that resided here in the 12th century. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed this magical creation.

xoxo

A

Travel

BRUGES BELGIUM

April 18, 2017

Just completed a 5 country whirlwind trip. Thats right, 5 countries in 8 days. I’ll post individually for each country,  then include a separate post with full itinerary for those desiring to duplicate my adventures.

First up, Bruges, Belgium!

This was the second  international road trip with my brother. We arrived in Amsterdam late Saturday evening and drove to Bruges early the next day.  We added this destination to our itinerary after hearing it was a favorite of our father.  Knowing he has traveled extensively, his choice intrigued us.  We were not disappointed.  Bruges is a small, quant city with cobblestone roads, curving canals, medieval architecture and delicious sweets. Hard to focus on anything but Belgium chocolate and waffles though.  Eating an authentic fresh Belgium waffle is an incredible experience. Such a tasty creation unlike those in the states. Within 8 days, I consumed 4 Belgium waffles and a Dutch waffle (half covered in chocolate and whip cream) with no regrets!!

I recommend the following sites:

  1. The Belfry and Markt –  A large open center outlined with restaurants in medieval architecture. There are carriage and fair like rides in the center. We enjoyed dinner with a sunset view.
  2. Ten Wijngaerde (Begijnhof Brugge) – This is the only preserved beguinage in Belgium. The women who live here have “semi- monastic communities without taking formal religious vows”.  In other words, a non commitment nunnery. This area is often visited for its peaceful flower garden and picturesque white houses.
  3. Canal ride – For the best view around the city, enjoy the canal rides.  A tour guide will instruct you on the history of this unique area.
  4. Sweets – Although chocolate shops are everywhere, I relied on Yelp for ratings. My favorites were Neuhaus and Dumon Chocolatier. For waffles, I recommend Chez Albert and a waffle truck located in the open square just a few feet away from Chez Albert.

Tip: Be sure to bring Euro currency for the small sweet shops and boat rentals.

Next up GERMANY!!!!!!

xoxo

A