Devon on October 17th, 2008

Before I begin, a few words about the next few blog posts. Briana, Brent (her boyfriend that came to visit for the 10 day trip), and I went on a northern tour of West Europe. We visited Holland, Belgium, and France. I have split the trip into 3 post, by country. Each post will talk about what happen in the country leading up to when we arrived in the next country; you then need to switch to the next post. Here we go…

After the class got back from Berlin & Prague Trip (October 3rd), I had a day and a half of rest and preparation. I did all my laundry (it was all dirty from the previous trip), updated my blog, and packed. I also prepared a general itinerary, maps to hostels/hotel, and train schedules. On October 4th, Briana collected Brent from the Cologne Airport. That in itself is allot easer said then done. The story takes quite a bit of explaining. Basically, the reservation Briana made through Orbitz was screwy. If you want the whole story, check out Briana’s blog.

October 5th is the official start of our trip. I met Briana and Brent at Bonn HBF really early in the morning, around 8 am. We all previously purchase Eurail Passes (mine was 295€) so we could travel on any train, without buying tickets each time. All we needed to do is fill out the current date on the ticket. You then can travel unlimited on any train for that day. I got an 8 day Eurail Pass. I new that we only needed 5 day passes, but I figured I could use some other travel days in November (when I plan on going to Bern, Switzerland). We got on the train to Cologne and then had a few hours before our train to Amsterdam, Holland. Because Brent had never really been in Cologne, we showed him the Dom. He also went and got some beer steins for a friend. We got on our ICE (InterCity Express) train at 10sih and arrived in Amsterdam only 2.5 hours later–fast– at about 1 pm. Also, the ICE train would have cost 109€, but we had our Eurail Passes– this one train was over a 1/3 of my pass cost.

Once in Amsterdam we figured out the tram system and made our way to the hostel. Okay, so last time I was in Amsterdam I arrived at night. This time I arrived in the day, but when it was raining, hard. It is absolutely miserable to walk around, lost, trying to find a hidden hostel in the rain. By the time we found the hostel, we and our luggage were soaked to the bone. We got checked in (34€/person for two nights). Once we made it to our room on the 5 floor, we changed into dry close and went waking around town. Sense, I had been here before I took them around to the spots I knew they wanted to see. For lunch we eat at Burger King. It was fast, cheap, and there. For dinner, to save money, we went to a grocery store and got bread, meat, and cheese for sandwiches. When we got back to the hostel at night we where soaked again. We bought time for the dryer and dried all our wet cloths. We then went to up to our room for bed. We were in a 6 person room. Our roommates were a single traveler from Italy that spoke no English and a Spanish couple that didn’t really want anything to do with us. We basically just all ignored each other.

The next morning, October 6th, we went sight seeing again. Because I saw everything I wanted to see before I sent Briana and Brent on a tour. They went to the park area near us, Madam Tussaus wax museum, red light district, and by the Ann Frank House. I went around window shopping and to local book stores. We met up for lunch and had sandwiches again. After more sight seeing and shopping, we went out on the town. We first found a small non-tourist italian restaurant. We made a deal that we would have one good (around 15€) meal in each city we visited. Because this was our last night in Amsterdam, Briana and I split a pizza and Brent got a pasta dish. The piza was good, but Brent’s pasta was a gorgonzola tortelli dish. I do not normally like stuffed pasta that much, and this tortelli dish was good.

After dinner we went out to local bars, then around 3 am, we went back to the hostel, packed, and got ready for our train ride to Bruges, Belgium. We check out of the hostel at 10am (October 7th), hoped on the tram to the central station and got on our train (which would have been 80€).

Next Post; 10 Day Trip: Belgium (2/3) >>

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