We had the chance to go to to Europe with my family and as usual I took tons of pictures. My dad took all 7 kids and our spouses and several assorted small children to Paris, Munich, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. My brother John and his wife Nicky played tour guides as they currently live in Rotterdam, Netherlands. I love, love Paris and I would love to spend more time there. After studying French for 6 years I was able to understand quite a bit and I could also help translate and could pretty much read most everything there. The Tour Eiffel was awesome-it was huge and very high. We took the elevator all the way to the top-I really hate heights so that was saying a lot but the view was amazing. I was overcome with emotion in the Louve-after studying art history in HS and College it was just too much to see all the works of art in person. We also went to the Palais de Versailles-it was amazing but extremely opulent. The gardens were amazing also. I actually climbed all 400 stairs in Notre Dame and also all the stairs to Sacre Coeur.
After we left Paris, we flew to Munich. Germany was very different than France and I could no longer understand anything. We got to the hotel and left right away and went on a bike tour of Munich-learned a lot that I didn’t know about Munich-saw lots of naked people in the park and also watched the surfers in the river. Surf Munich! The next day we went to see some of the castles of Bavaria-Linderhof and Neuschwanstein(which was the castle that Cinderella’s castle at Disneyland is based after). They were amazing-funny thing was that Linderhof was based after Versailles. Scenery was also very beautiful-Grimms brothers fairy tales were written here in the Black Forest-I could so imagine the Big Bad Wolf sneaking around.
We also went to Dauchau Concentration Camp-you walk down this beautiful tree lined path and come to a big gate that is the entrance-it was very sad just to imagine and read the signs. It was very hard to believe that people would knowing let that kinds of atrocities happen in their backyards. We went back to Munich and saw the Glockenspiel and climbed the onion dome at Peterskirche and Frauenkirche.
After Munich, we flew to Amsterdam and went on a canal tour. After that we met up with my brother Steve and his wife Jenny-who live in Boston. We went in the Anne Frank house-I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be. It was very sad but not as much as I thought. After that we went to the Van Gogh museum-Van Gogh was always one of my favorite artists so I was again overwhelmed with emotion. I never really had anyone in my family that understood my love of the arts until my dad spent time in the Van Gogh museum and talked about how much he was touched and would like to try some painting. Oh and everyone in Amsterdam rides a bike and I think they almost all had a dog or two also. We then drove to Rotterdam and went to Kinderdijk where they have 19 windmills. We also went to Delft and saw the factory and then we drove to Volendam-which is an old fishing village.
We had a wonderful time-thank so much Dad and Nancy for the trip of a lifetime!