A Travellerspoint blog

Amsterdam & Zaanse Schans

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The last stop of our trip was the Netherlands and it did not disappoint. Our camp site was even had a petting zoo. Cuutttee.

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We checked out the historical city via the new walking tour which was insightful! We saw:

• The Old Church
• The Red Light District
• The Jewish Quarter
• Royal Palace
• The Jordaan District
• The Anne Frank House
• The Dutch East India Company
• The Begijnhof Convent
• Masterpieces of Dutch Art
• The Widest Bridge and Narrowest House

Plus Madame Tussauds.

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Amsterdams’ history (past and present) is very colourful to say the least…So, of course we behaved ;)

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Zaanse Schans…the final destination… was a picturesque windmill village just outside of Amsterdam known for obvious reasons (windmills) plus its cheese and clog making. So of course we sampled all of it! Yumm. Unfortunately, it was the final stop before boarding the ferry back to Newcastle (England) but it was the perfect way to end the trip.

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That is it for “Jess and Kieran’s European Adventure”…. :( Well, actually until the next trip comes around. Hope you have enjoyed the blog.

Ciao for now xx

Posted by JessBeard 08:02 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Cesky Krumlov, Prague, Dresden Meissen, Berlin & Cologne

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Highlights of Cesky Crumlov:

(1) Bears chilling in a moat (guarding Cesky Castle)

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(2) Closely followed by the delicious treat; Trdelnik

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(3) Visiting the torture museum – All I can say is people were CRAZY! My favourite torture instrument was a pointed chair that you had to sit on… hmmm I think you get the idea!

This town was definitely one of the cutest so far, mainly UNESCO listed and you can definitely see why.

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We visited the beautiful château of Hluboká on our way to Prague too.

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Prague

Well let’s say our introduction to Prague was ‘unforgettable’. An ambulance trip later and an evening in Prague hospital we were set free to go back to our delightful (joking) camp site. Kieran had been violated by the doctor (who I must say looked like some 70’s porn star) and had been diagnosed with acute food poisoning thanks to some pork, safe to say I was fine.

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Day two was a little better :) We checked out all the main attractions including: The old & lesser town square, Charles bridge, Prague Castle (St Vitus Cathedral), the old town hall and astronomical clock, a few other churches, lesser town bridge, powder gate and St Georges basilica. Amongst all this we strolled around the sweetest coble-stone streets and ate more Trdelnik.

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Day three – consisted of seeing the Jewish ghetto (including the fabulous Spanish synagogue).

Dresden & Meissen

Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony thus making it very touristy… but what makes it more spectacular is the fact it was annihilated in World War II. It’s amazing that the town is as beautiful as it is today, compliments to the people who did the restoration work.

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Running through part of the town is the Elbe River which leads us to Meissen (yes the town famous for its porcelain). The sight of Albrechtsburg (the first castle to be used as a royal residence in Germany) and Cathedral was breathtaking. It seriously felt like you had stepped back in time as you walked through the numerous small lanes and around the castle quarters. The porcelain bells at the Frauenkirche which went off every hour were super cute too.

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Berlin

To get things started we embarked on the free walking tour around Berlin’s most infamous spots including Brandenburg Gate, the Wall, the former Nazi Government District, Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish memorial, the 1920s Cabaret Mile, Gendarmenmarkt, Museum Island and Lustgarten – the old royal gardens.

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Our hostel was mint! It had massive comfy couches, a giant flat screen TV and movies in English. Yay! Kieran was super excited by the fact they had a bunch of world cup memorabilia including the massive cup stand from when Germany played host.

Berlin Zoo Day: Kieran was sick yet again so I made friends with one of the guys from our hostel and we checked the zoo out. It was unreal. I even got to feed the already overfed baby goats and sheep….soooo cute!

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I have to make a special mention to the funny bird, well two funny birds (below). It still cracks me up looking at the pictures of them!

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Cologne

The home of Germany’s largest Cologne Cathedral. And I have to say it was impressive. The sheer size of the building was remarkable.
The weather was again perfect so walking through the endless shops, along the river front and around the camping site was brilliant.

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Next stop: Amsterdam.

Posted by JessBeard 07:48 Comments (0)

Munich, Dachau, Salzburg, Vienna & Budapest

all seasons in one day 23 °C

Okay… so I haven’t done my blog in a while so it will have to be a massive combo of a few destinations… all magic of course. :)

Munich

We arrived in our first German destination and were pretty stoked with the outcome.

Beer gardens galore. What is better than a litre of beer (well in my case radler/cider) chilling in a garden with a bunch of other people.

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Especially with the perfect snack food too; a giant pretzel. Yummo.

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Marienplatz square (the main square in Munich) was lovely. The large gardens were the place to be too, everyone from the tight-rope river crossers, everyday people, naturists ;) young and old hang out there to bask in the sun. Kudos to the chick who could ride her bike, talk on the phone and carry a beer at the same time.

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Dachau Concentration Camp

Words don’t really express what Dachau was like. It was like stepping right into a nightmare. It was an unpleasant but necessary experience.

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Today I struggle to even look at the pictures and thinking about the inhumane suffering the people went through for nothing just makes me feel dejected…

Salzburg
On a happier note, we were pleased to be in the home of “the sound of music”. Austria is like looking at a picture book. This was our first attempt at camping and surprisingly we came out unscathed with the tent still standing. Yay!

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We visited Fort Hohensalzburg.

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And checked out a few of the sound of music must see sights: Mirabell Castle/Gardens, Leopoldskron castle, Hellbrunn castle, Residenzplatz Square/Fountain and lastly the infamous pavilion.

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As well as strolling around the small streets, churches and markets.

Vienna
The home of the giant schnitzel; so of course we tried it and Kieran even managed to devour his main size feast while I struggled with my “small” portion. I have to say it was delish.

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We visited the Spanish Riding School and took some sneaky shots.

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Along with the Kunsthistorisches Museum or simply the armour museum

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Vienna is beautiful town; there are too many sites and spots to mention so you will just have to check the pictures out on facebook.

Budapest

Little did we know at the time but it is actually two cities; Buda and Pest. Buda (the old part) is majority UNESCO listed and very pretty (although I have to say poorly maintained). It includes Buda Castle, Castle Hill, Matthias Church and Fishermans Bastion (below).

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The gardens of City Park were stunning; complete with a castle of course (Vajdahunyad Castle). Nearby Heroes square was pretty cool too.

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The spectacular parliament was unfortunately “sold out” – yes can you believe it, so we didn’t get to visit :(

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Next: Cesky Krumlov

Posted by JessBeard 11:14 Comments (0)

Verona & Innsbruck

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Verona

We arrived back in Italy tired from our overnight “cruise” from Split and headed straight for Verona. I have to say I was definitely not disappointed by this town, in typical Italian form it was just magnificent. We were staying just out of the centre and ventured straight in to check out the sights.

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We went to the main Romeo and Juliet sights (the balcony of course) and even signed our name onto the mass graffiti of love wall.

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Kieran even got lucky with Juliet…

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Unfortunately it was just a quick stop over, I wish we had more time to visit absolutely everything as it was a magic place.

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Austria

Ellbogen & Innsbruck

We crossed the border from Italy into Austria and instantly everything was super cute. The houses and the scenery looked completely fake and unbelievably pretty. We ended up staying in a mini town (Ellbogen) up in the hills, it was gorgeous.

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After paying an obscene bus fare we were smack bang in the middle of picturesque Innsbruck.

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It was just perfect (as the pictures show). The weather was actually a balmy 25 degrees but there was still some snow on the mountains.

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We spent most of our time wondering around the streets, drinking radlers, eating ice-cream and watching the Easter celebrations (albeit early) and looking at the markets.

The parks were stunning too, with the spring flowers all abloom.

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Posted by JessBeard 12:41 Comments (0)

Croatia – Hvar, Trogir & Split

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Our adventure into our first non EU country did not quite go to plan. We arrived at the dive of a place called Bari and managed to have every paper under the sun but still couldn’t board the ferry to Dubrovnik. A day later after driving late into the night plus sleeping in a random servo we were on the ferry from Ancona and 12 hours later we arrived in Split. Thank god for that!

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We caught another ferry straight to Hvar. I don’t think this island could get any better. Beautiful beaches, the water was brilliant blue and perfect weather to boot. It was amazing to say the least.

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We even hired a scooter for one of the days, which was an interesting experience. I think the Croatians learnt how to drive from the Italians…!
It enabled us to go to a few of the not so known beaches, explore random areas and for Kieran to get his naked shot without scaring all the tourists :)

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We were sad to leave the paradise that was Hvar but at least we were heading onto Split. We had a day trip to Trogir, the smallest island possible. It was gorgeous too.

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Our hotel in Split was so cute; especially as it was smack bang in the middle of the historical district…literally it was a part of the old roman walls. We spent most of the time wondering through the ongoing markets and around the parklands and bays.

On our last evening we decided to go out for a local feast. The food was beautiful and the servings were HUGE but the wine was interesting (culprit below); it smelt like dirty old socks and I’m pretty sure was home brew so note to anyone going to Croatia – don’t order the house wine.

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Now… back to Italy and then Austria :)

Posted by JessBeard 12:34 Archived in Croatia Comments (0)

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