June 20, 2012

Time to jump the pond again

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It's been exactly 3 years since Tee and I found ourselves in Europe. Since our final dinner in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (July 2009) we've vacationed in Boston (saw the Red Sox win a pair of games), Cape Cod (where we were engaged and I introduced Tee to the original 15 Short Beach Road), planned and pulled off a really fun wedding weekend in Raleigh then honeymooned on the west coast (San Francisco & Yosemite). We traveled virtually, vicariously, and financially to Ireland via Tee's daughter after she graduated from nursing school last year (she brought me back a nice authentic Irish wool cable sweater - always wanted one of those) .

This time we are destined for the northwestern flatlands of Europe - Belgium and The Netherlands. Why BE and NL?
  • it is on the bucket list
  • can get there via frequent flier miles (I've been saving them for 20 years!)
  • waffles, beer & chocolate along side picturesque canals and windmills - what more do we need?

View Belgium/Netherlands 2012 in a larger map

We always plan our own trips, no travel agencies, no tour buses; but planning this trip seemed harder. Not knowing the area at all, even w/ travel books & the www, it took a lot of time to find non-touristy areas to stay in. With suggestions from locals, friends that have been and Rick Steves, we settled on Brussels (2 nights), Bruges (3 nights), the middle of no-where in eastern Netherlands (3 nights), historic little Delft in Holland (2 nights) and finally Amsterdam (4 nights). And I think I've figured out how to get from one point to the next. (I don't think anything will ever top our last trip which in one day entailed - breakfast in Ruette, Autria, followed by a drive through the Alps to Friedrichshafen, Germany, hitching a ride down to the lake, a ferry across Lake Constance, mexican for lunch in Konstanz, Germany, train to Schaffhausen, Switzerland, hike up a hill with luggage and finally, after avoiding a naked guy walking around the Rhein falls, a bus to dinner - we ate Italian - couldn't find a German restaurant!! quite a memorable day). Nothing that crazy this time - we'll take trains most of the time; a rental car in the middle to get out to the countryside. But I'm really looking forward to some day trips on bikes and drinking beers along the canals. We'll post a few blogs from the road via my new iPad, but the good photos will have to wait until I'm home to upload 'em.

Time to pack!

A few photos from our final day in Austria and epic one day trek in 2009 through Austria, Germany & Switzerland...
July 3, 2009: In the alps (Ruette, AU) - surreal, there were even cows with bells.
Must return someday!
July 4, 2009: View of Friedrichshafen, Germany (from Lake Constance ferry)
July 4, 2009: On the ferry - the clarity of the water was amazing!

July 4, 2009: Almost to our destination
July 4, 2009: Tee's version of blogging -
on the train from Konstanz,Germany to Schaffhausen, Switzerland  

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