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10 Year Wedding Anniversary Trip

10 Year Anniversary Trip to Holland and Paris

Canal Bridge in AmsterdamThe trip started in Amsterdam, a city famous for its canals. We flew non-stop from Seattle to Schipol. We took a commuter train from the airport to Centraal Station. Our hotel, the Golden Tulip Baribizon Palace is only a 1 minute walk from the station. Our mode of transport around Amsterdam was the trams. The trams cover nearly all the major tourist center of the city.

Despite that we both got pretty serious colds and soreLast windmill in the Amsterdam city limits throats here, we still had a great time. We went through the Anne Frank Huis, the Amsterdam History Museum and the Maritime museum. We took a daytime 1 hour canal boat cruise as well as a 3 hour dinner boat tour. We ate at one of the Brown Cafe's as well as the Hard Rock Cafe and a Argentinean Steak house. 

Our favorite meals (we ate there twice) was at the Pancake Factory. The pancake are large and very thin. We had the strawberries ice cream and whipped cream, or peaches ice cream and whipped cream. You could also get meats on your pancake, but the sweet tooth prevailed! 

Rotterdam MetroWe also took a train trip to Utrecht to go to the Railway Museum there. Later in the day we went to Rotterdam to ride the Metro to the EuroMast (space needle like thing). It took 3 elevator rides to get to the top. The top one was a rotating platform. It was kind of goofy, they made it seem like you were on a rocket blasting off into space, complete with the rumbling of the platform.

We lucked out that it only rained the last day in Amsterdam, but it really rained! Mark spent the day riding the metro and trams.

Leaving Amsterdam we took the Thalys High Speed train to Paris. We arrived at 12 noon. Gare De Nord Station is under major re-construction so we could not find the tourist center. We decided to just walk into a local hotel for a room and dropped off our bags. The room was very small, but the price was about $80 and the service was great.

Champs-Elysees towards the LourveWe used the metro system to get around. Our first stop was a cafe for lunch. We tried to go to the Transport museum, but it was closed :(. We rode over to the Arc de Triomphe. It was free today to walk to the top. There were a lot of steps to climb,Effil tower from the Arc. making us pretty winded. But it was worth it.! We had a great view of the Champs-Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower. 

After walking down the Champs-Elysees, we went over to the Eiffel tower went 2 elevator rides to the top. It was relatively crowded so it took a while. When Effil tower looking up from its baseat the top we heard a concert down below, and what did we hear but the Village People hit YMCA, Effil tower at nighthow strange!

We ate at a small cafe at the tower. Cyn had a chocolate filled crepe (Pancake). She really like the pancakes on this trip! That was the end of the first night!

The next morning we went over to the Ile de la Cite. This island in the middle of the Seine River was the original Paris town site when the Celts settled it about 2000 years ago. Our first stop was Sainte Chapelle, and old chapel now part of the Paris court house and old prison complex. It was built in 1248 to house King Louis IX collection of artifacts. Its 16 huge stained glass windows represent different books of the bible from Genesis to the Apocalypse. We then saw the oldest Bridge in Paris called the New Bridge, dating to 1607.

Notre DameOur walk ended up at Notre Dame. It's facade was undergoing a restoration at the time. It is a beautiful cathedral dating 1163 finished in 1330. The plaza in front of the church was considered mile zero and all distancesNotre Dame rear from Paris started here. Originally shops and homes filled this area until they were cleared out in the 1800's when Paris was re-laid out. 

We completed our souvenir shopping here and went over to the Hard Rock Cafe to get our collectible items there. Hunger prevailed and TGI Friday's fit the bill. We had about 90 minutes before we had to get back to the train station, so Mark wanted to try out the new Metro Line 14. It is an automated line with huge picture windows in the front so you watch the train's progress down the tunnel. It has beautiful open stations and gives a smooth (rubber tires) ride.

It was time to get to our train. We boarded our first class car on time and waited for its departure. The time passed. Apparently somebody had taken "ill" on the train so it was being held. About 1 hour later they made everybody get off the train and move to another train across the platform. Later we found out that the ill person had a heart attack and had died. Not very pleasant. The train trip itself went well, but there was no catering because of the hasty train change.

We got off the train 3.5 hrs later at Schipol airport and stayed at a airport hotel. Our flight was at 10:30 am and we wanted to do gift shopping (chocolate) at duty free. We flew business class back (10 hours), without any issues.

All in all it was a great trip, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives!

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Page last edited on: 03/25/17

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