Archive for the ‘Europe!’ Category

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Dublin, Ireland…

April 19, 2009

Dublin CountrysideIn April I visited Dublin, Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful city with a lot to do. We spend the weekend there and stayed at the Days Inn. The hotel was in a good location but not the nicest if you’re looking for luxury. On both days we spend in Dublin, we took the bus tours. The first day we went around the city. Dublin is a very interesting city. We visited Trinity College. It’s a beautiful campus and we saw the Book of Kells which was written by the Monks. We also saw the Guinness Museum, the Dublin Castle, and the Dublin Writer’s Museum. At night there are many bars to jump around to and the people are really friendly and fun. The next day we were there we went to the countryside. We visited a Palace in the country that was situated in a beautiful area. We spent the day there and had lunch overlooking the courtyard. To get to the countryside took a couple of hours but it was definitely worth it. We ate at fun pubs where they played good music although Dublin is definitely not known for its food; it’s still a very good time!

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Paris, France

March 24, 2009

paris2This past weekend I travelled to Paris, France with my friends. We arrived in Paris late Thursday night famished looking for somewhere to eat. We ate at a local place by our hotel called Hippopotamus. This restaurant was casual and good. We were expectant that we would be viewed as Americans and immediately discriminated against, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought. We went back to the hotel and rested up for a full day of site seeing. On Friday we visited the Eiffel Tower and climbed it. You can take the elevator up and walk up it; the view from the top is incredibly beautiful. After this excursion we headed towards the Musee du Louvre. There we saw le Louvre from the inside and outside and visited the Mona Lisa which is such an exceptional work of art. We also saw the Venus de Milo which is a unique piece sculpture with an interesting story behind it. We walked through the gardens and shopped along the Champ d’elyse. After hours of shopping we ended our day at the Arc d’triumpf which is situated in the middle of a huge traffic circle and very pleasant to look at. That night we went to a small French restaurant which we enjoyed very much. On Saturday we went to the Jewish Quarter in the morning which was very cultural. It was very nice to see how this little section of town could be so detached from the center of the city. You must try the falafel in the Jewish Quarter and the callah! We walked around here, there were cute vintage stores and trendy boutiques that we shopped in and adored! We ate lunch at Breakfast in America which was created by a man from Connecticut and the food really hit the spot. After this we visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame and Montmartre. Both were striking and Montmartre was fun to just sit and listen to people play music and relax in the sun. Sunday we had an early flight out and didn’t make it to the Palace of Versailles although I have heard for several people that if you have the time to definitely make the trip there because it’s worth seeing!

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Amsterdam

March 1, 2009

AmsterdamThis past weekend I traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands with my friends. Amsterdam is a very liberal city with of course, the legalization of marijuana. Amsterdam was one of my most interesting trips thus far because of these reasons. We stayed at the Marriot Hotel, a very good choice because it was in a central location letting us access most things we wanted to see very easily. It was incredible to walk down the street and know that if you walked into a coffee shop, you had the option to smoke marijuana or not. The coffee shops were very popular in the heart of the city of Amsterdam by all the main attractions. Besides smoking pot, there is a lot to do and see in Amsterdam…

Friday morning my friends and I went to the Anne Frank House. This was the house where she hid out during the Holocaust, when Jews were inferior and being sent to concentration camps. Throughout the house you could walk through, read information, and see short videos. This was a very informative experience and really reaches out to you.

On Friday we also visited the Heineken Museum. This museum was fun and interesting. You got to walk around, and take a mini ride. We got to learn and see how beer is made. Not only did we get to taste it before it was brewed, but we got to have a glass after, complimentary with buying a ticket to the museum! This was definitely one of the more fun museums I have experienced.

Throughout the day we picked up quick bites to eat, but what’s Amsterdam without eating at its famous Pancake Shop! We went here and ate pancakes which were more like crepes but equally delicious and omelets. The food in Amsterdam was very tasty and they offered an enormous selection.

On Saturday we went to the Van Gogh museum. The Van Gogh museum was amazing. It had tons of extraordinary artwork. My favorite in the museum was Starry Night, the ways the colors make the sky seem moving was very appealing, although all of his paintings were entertaining to look at and examine.

At night we did a few things. Each night we went to dinner. On Friday night we went to the Red Light District. This was an interesting experience because none of us have ever seen anything like this. Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam and everything that goes along with it. As we walked up and down the blocks we pretty much saw anything and everything! Saturday night we saw the comedy show Boom Chicago! We didn’t enjoy it too much but depending on your humor, you will enjoy it or not.

Amsterdam was a very fun and unlike any other trip I have ever taken. Beware of the bikers, they never stop for you and try taking the tram, we did. The tram runs in the middle of the street, something I’ve never seen before and is very efficient. I definitely recommend making a point to travel there once in your life, it’s undeniably an experience!

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Rome AND Florence

February 15, 2009

This past weekend, I visited Rome, and took the train to Florence. Rome is a beautiful city with endless things to see. Rome is a huge city and overwhelming with all that is has to offer. We took an early flight into Rome and headed straight for the Vatican. Once arriving there, we took the tour around. We devoted our entire morning to this site because it was so big. The Vatican was beautiful and enlightening. At the end, was the best part of it, when we walked through the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel, created by the infamous Michelangelo was unlike anything I have ever seen. It was the most beautiful work of art I have ever gotten to see. After spending the morning at the Vatican, we ate lunch at an authentic Italian restaurant, and walked around to site see. We first went to the Coliseum where we were able to walk and also see The Forum which was right next to it and the ruins, then the statue of Marcus Aurelius, and Plaza Venezia. We finished with the Spanish steps which were awesome, and hard to finish walking up! Around the Spanish Steps there was good shopping, and good places to pick up Gelato and Pizza while walking around the town. The next day we went to the Trevi Fountain, where you of course have to make your wish and then saw The Pantheon. Before we took the train to Florence we ate at L’Ensalada Ricca which I would highly recommend if you enjoy a large, fresh salad!

Florence is a beautiful small city. While visiting, we only went to The Duomo, saw The David, another one of Michelangelo’s most recognizable pieces, the first Jewish ghetto, and the Ponte Vecchio. The Duomo is in the central part of Florence and one of the biggest Cathedrals I have ever seen. While there, we walked around to all the markets and nice shops. Florence has incredible shopping for trinkets and high end fashion. At night we ate at two of the best restaurants in Florence. We went to Acqua Al 2 and La Giostra. Both were two of the most exquisite restaurants I have ever been to in my life, not only were the food remarkable but the atmosphere was ideal. Florence is a quaint city that I think everyone must take a trip to!

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Portugal

February 2, 2009

This past weekend (1/30) I traveled to Portugal with friends. We flew into Lisboa and stayed at Hotel Veneza. Lisboa is a beautiful city, despite the rain that persisted all weekend. When we got there on Friday morning we immediately went to the Castle. There we took pictures and walked around until we were drenched. Saturday the sky was clear for the beginning of the day which gave us the opportunity to walk around and sight see. We started out by taking the lift to see the city at a higher glance. After that we walked around, went into shops, and ate a fantastic lunch. Saturday night we went to the docks for dinner and dining. It looked like it would be a fun place to walk around and navigate, but the rain was teaming and we were only able to go to one restaurant. Sunday we chose the aquarium and cable car ride. The aquarium is the second largest in the world and was a great experience. Before the aquarium we took a cable car ride that overlooked the water. The ride was very relaxing and showed us a beautiful view of Portugal. So although we got stuck in rain all weekend, we found a way to make the best of it.