A Travellerspoint blog

France

Paris

Since arriving in Paris, I have seen a lot - the Arc de Triomphe (The grave of the unknown soldier is under the arch), the Assemblée Nationale, which seats the French Parliament, and was designed by Giardini and Gabriel in 1728, the Notre Dame Cathedral - an Impressive Gothic cathedral that was the inspiration for Victor Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and the Sacré Coeur - a church perched on top of the highest point in Paris. Behind the church is the artists' area. We also went to the Louve, where we saw the Mona Lisa and the Venus De Milo. Tomorrow we will go to the Eiffel Tower.

My Parisan friend Anne-Laure has been kind enough to offer me shelter, and also show me around Paris. She also introduced me to her very lovely Parisan friends (the introductory kissing took some getting used to at first!) as well as wine, sausage, and cheese.

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Posted by e1quarnst 04:00 Comments (4)

The Netherlands

Amsterdam and Utrecht

-17 °C

Andre, his friend Kristoff and I hit the road for Amsterdam on Monday. At the "border," I took a picture next to the "Niederlande" sign. There was no customs or a fence or anything. The trip took around three hours (plus another hour driving around Amsterdam, looking for parking). Amsterdam is a very interesting city with lots to do and see. The many rivers and the houses on the rivers are beautiful, as is the architecture. Our friend Qingyi lives in the Netherlands and speaks fluent Dutch, and was very sweet and helpful.

We visited the Anne Frank house, which was very sad. We also visited the red light district, which is world famous.

We left Amsterdam the next day, and headed to Qingyi's hometown, Utrecht. It is a very nice city, much more calm than the busy streets of the capital city. Tomorrow we will go to a park where we can feed monkeys, and I am very excited. I hope they are not like the mean monkey's

Here are some pictures:

Utrecht:
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Amsterdam:
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Anne Frank's Haus:
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Posted by e1quarnst 12:13 Comments (4)

Pictures from Germany

Here are a few more pictures.............

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Executioners Mask, from the Medival Justice Museum:
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Delicious Sausages:
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Posted by e1quarnst 05:17 Comments (1)

Last Day in Germany

Heidelberg and Buende

Today we woke up early and did a tour of the Heidelberg castle. It was really cool.

We also drove by the US army hospital where I was born. I did not take any pictures, however, because Andre was worried we would get arrested. I asked the guard if I could take a picture of the sign, but he said no. When he heard my story, he volunteered to help us get permission, but I didn't want to be a bother. It was cool enough just being able to go to place where I was born.

Next, we hit the road to Andre's hometown, Buende. His parents are a really sweet German couple who had a delicious schnitzel and cold beer ready when we arrived. Their town reminds me a lot of Ada, particularly Conservation. There are lot of woods and farms (Andre's neighbors even have rams). We took Andre's dog for a walk through the woods, which reminded me a lot of Seidman Park (they even had a Winding-Brook style creek and bridge!). It was a nice break from the noisy city.

The culture shock has been hard to get used to. For example, people are so trusting here. All the hotels that we've stayed in have not asked us for a deposit or any identification for that matter (One nice hotel owner said it was because we looked ´like good people, and "he knew good people when he saw them." Quite different from China. And not having to worry about being ripped off has taken getting used too - I find myself wanting to bargin for everything!

Heidelberg:
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Rothenberg:
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Cologne:
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The Rhine:
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Posted by e1quarnst 12:48 Comments (1)

Germany

Dusseldorf, Cologne, Rothenburg, and Heidelberg

After arriving in Germany, my friend Andre and I took a quick drive through Dusseldorf, before hitting the Autoban to Cologne. We visited the second largest church in the world, and went to a chocolate museum (where they had very interesting flavors, such as Jalapeno chocolate). They had chocolate everything´- cars, rabbits, even keyboards!!!We also walked along the Rhine, which was quite beautiful.

We then headed to Rothenburg o. d. Tauber, a medival city surrounded by walls. We did some sight-seeing, and ate a nice German dinner outside, right next to the Marketplaz. A bee kept harrassing us, which I believe to be the same bee that flew in my mouth when I was a baby, here to finish the job now that I have returned to Germany. After dinner, we took a tour of the city with the night watchman, who filled us in on the history of the centuries-old town, from the towns construction in 1299, through the black plague, the 30 years war, and WW2. The next day we visited a really cool medival torture museum (which had a water-boarding exhibit, like the US government uses). We also went to a christmas museum, which made me feel like a child again.

Here we are in Heidelberg, the city where I was born. We are in an internet cafe inside the old city, which has great classical architecture. The most popular part of town is near the university, where there are lots of cool stores and restaurants. Tomorrow we will visit the hospital where I was born.

Tomorrow we will head to Bielefeld, where Andre lives. We will stay with his parents for the night, and then head to Amsterdam to visit our friend Qingyi, where we are sure to have a good time.

The autobahn is quite exciting, it's like a rollercoaster. Andre drives like me.

Sorry for not including pictures, maybe on the next entry.

Posted by e1quarnst 10:20 Comments (5)

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