Friday, 4 September 2009

Europe 2009

hi everyone
Yes i know you haven't heard from us for a while, but it's hardly worth writing a blog entry when we haven't done anything exciting, I don't think you want to read about "yeah went to work todday it was pretty quiet etc."

We are currrently on a train to Amsterdam from Paris doing about 300km the scenery is a bit of a blur as it goes past. We spent the last 2 days in Paris. Our first day we went to a neighborhood called St Germain it's full of styley shops and restaurants and cafe's. Yesterday we went to Versaille, it was gorgeous we went through the palace then wandered around the gardens and had a picnic. The gardens were so big the actually had a mini electric bus and you could hire golf carts! Unfortunately none of the fountains (and there were alot of them) were going which was a bit of a shame About 2ish our little leggies had had enough and we headed back into town. The food has been amazing, we have been making the most of the cheese which is sooo cheap and sooo good. In Vancouver you can't get nice camenbert for under $12 and I got a fantastic one here for E1.83 and there were cheaper ones than that. It's crazy.
Our flight over stopped in Montreal so we got to stretch our legs for about an hour then get back on the plane. The lady sitting in front of me on the 2nd leg of the journey had 1 dog in the cargo hold and another little one in a bag at her feet. Her and the guy sitting next to her were flirting like crazy and got pretty drunk and were talking really loud so I didn't get any sleep on the way over. They both disappeared of to the loo's one part of it and we thought hello ello, but they were back pretty soon they must have been too big a queue for them to join the mile high club.

We arrive in Amsterdam and caught a tram to our hotel. Our hotel is lovely really recomend it to anyone going to amsterdam, it's the Best Western Apollo Museum Hotel. It's an old building on the outside but the inside is all new and flash, and it's in a great location virtually next to the Rijks Museum. Anyway we went to Amsterdam to catch up with Claire and Mark who are living there and Louise and Adam who are living in Bristol. On saturday we rented bikes and biked everywhere (I don't care if I don't see a bike for a very long time!) had a picnic lunch, Checked out the sex museum and then went and checked out the Gay pride parade that came down one of the canals. The boys then went to watch the rugby and us girls went and did a bit of shopping. Then we went to an awesome turkish restaurant for dinner then biked some more. Went into town and checked out the red light district. Hot tip #1 check out the red light district on a weekend night then again on a monday morning the quality of hookers is somewhat different. I didn't realise the the majority of the red light district is on little back alleys it's so famous I always assumed they were main streets. Sunday morning we went and had pancakes for breakfast oh my god they were amazing! They were giant and had lots of toppings on them Scott and Igot a cheese, bacon and onion and a apple and bacon and shared ooh sooo yum! We took the bikes back and then Louise and Adam had to get back to the airport, and we just chilled at Claire and Marks and had some "cake". Monday the others were back at work so Scott and I had a bit of a wander around before heading out to the airport.

We arrived at the Euro Airport which services Basel Swizerland, Mulhouse France and Freiburg Germany. We were staying in Weil Am Rhein (Germany) which is on the other side of the river from Basel basically. We went for a walk to find something for dinner and managed to find a pub the guy didn't speak much english he just said "do you like pork?" and we said yes and he brought us 2 huge plates of pork schnitzel and chips. The next day we went to The Vitra design museum (which is why we came here + we got a cheap flight from amsterdam) I didn't realise they just have temporary exhibitions but it was really cool anyway, I bought a little mini Panton chair. The museum didn't take as long as I thought so we caught a bus to Basel. We literally walked out of the museum and jumped on a public transit bus in germany and got off in switzerland without our passports it was so bizarre. We wandered around Basel and did a bit of shopping. We decided we may as well have dinner over here as there is nothing around the hotel, we thought oh there were lots of restaurants along the river bank that would be nice, not so nice was the fact that the mains started at 45 swiss francs (which is conveniently on par with the canadian dollar). So we decided to grab something and have a picnic on the river bank instead. The river bank had stairs down to the waters edge then a concrete ledge/seat that stuck out over the water. So we sat there having our picnic and a beer with our feet splashing in the water listening to a band that was playing on this floating stage in the middle of the river it was awesome.

Then we headed to Freiburg where our friend that were getting married Scott and Katinka live. Their apartment is so awesome it's like a little 3 storey house on top of an apartment building. They live in a real eco friendly neighbourhood so they have solar panels on the roof. They have a little lawn they have to mow a big deck on the ground floor as well as balconies off both building. It had floor to ceiling windows and exposed beams it felt like a good ol kiwi bach I loved it. We spent a few days in Freiburg then we headed to Lipperstreute for the wedding. We got to experience the incredible speed of the Autobahn in a old VW van that had bee converted into a campervan yeah the fastest we got was 80km. The wedding was lovely and the rain held out till after the ceremony and photos which was brilliant. They had made a little translation print out for us kiwis so we could understand what was going on which was cool. The table we were sitting at was really great most people spoke english we had some rather interesting conversations with a couple he was dutch she was german and they now live in amsterdam but have lived everywhere. He was such a hardcase we asked him what he did for a living and he replied very straight faced "we do porn, yeah my wife and I make videos" what do you say in response to that? Turns out he was just having us on he is a pilot for KLM (royal dutch airlines).

On the Sunday we headed back to Freiburg it was a bit of a slow trip Katinka was feeling a little worse for wear. On the Monday we trained back to Paris arrived about 5ish so had a bit of a wander along the Champ Elysee. We found a French steakhouse called Hippopotammus, the desserts was amazing it was a selection of like 5 mini versions of desserts off the menu. We should have just got one and shared but we weren't sure how big they were scott's were all chocolate things mousse, brownie etc and mine was a mix creme brulee, crepe rice pudding and one called a flotante which was runny custard with a meringue floating in it. oh it was sooo yum!!!
The next day we flew back to Vancouver. Hot tip#2 Fly into paris don't fly out. The Charles du Gaul airport is so badly organised we got there 3 hours before like good people and we needed that time. There were 2 air canada flights going out within an hour of each other and then the conveyer belt that takes the bags out the back to be sorted broke down so they couldn't check any more people in till it was fixed mean time some people did the self check in. So by the time we got to the front there were no seats together and they told us just to talk to passengers to see if we could swap but of course we had couple next to us so we were sitting behind each other for the whole flight. The flight Montreal to Paris was 5.5 hours but going the other way it was 8! Then we got delayed for 2 hours in Montreal because there was a thunderstorm so the groundcrew were inside. Needless to say we were very glad to get home by the end of it.

This is the first of 16 entries the rest will just describe the photo. The first photo is us at Versaille.

Catch you guys later.

love Monique and Scott

Latin Quater Paris

This was the latin quater its full of little bars and restaurants and of course tourists. Cheap food though.

the girls

Claire, Monique and Louise enjoying a cold drink. I mistakenly wore a skirt then we decided to rent bikes!

the boys

Scott, Adam and Mark having an ice tea. We biked to a brewery in a windmill and it was closed.

Picnic in a park

We stopped biking around to have a picnic in a park before heading to the sex museum. Enlightneing is all i will say

Vondel park amsterdam

Us in Vondel park in Amsterdam

Vitra design museum

Vitra design museum in Weil am Rhein, the buildings are just as famous as the exhibitions it has.

Basel switzerland

Us in Basel on the bridge over the rhein

picnic on the rhein

Scott enjoying his beer with his feet in the rhein

kiwi bach

this is scott and katinkas penthouse apartment it was so cool!

Bridal car

This was the bridal car and how we got to lippersteute, me and the scotts were crammed in the back with all the rental plates and food etc and katinka was in the front with her dad. it was an interesting trip.


This is us pretending to be Mr Ed. Katinka's uncle's place has been in the family for quite some time i believe

breakfast in lipperstreute

This was breakfast on the day of the wedding at Katinkas Uncle's place

Scott and katinkas wedding

The bride and groom + attendants (can't remember all the names woops)

Scott and katinkas wedding 2

This is us at Scott and katinkas wedding

Champ elysee

This is the last photo of this trip. This was the window display of Hugo Boss on the Champ Elysee, pretty random!

Catch you guys later

Love Monique and Scott