Europe Trip 2010: Week One

If you want to see approx. 500ish photos from Europe, you can friend request me on Facebook (just let me know you’re a blog reader in a message). I will be doing a recap of each week we were there over the next three days!

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Week One, April 25 to May 2 2010

Our journey started in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After a 8-hour flight we arrived there at 11:00 AM local time and were quite exhausted. We didn’t want to waste our first day though so despite the exhaustion we went exploring.

We visited a sex museum.

sex-museum-amsterdam

Where we posed by a giant penis:

giant-penis-amsterdam

The funny story that goes with the photo of Eric like this on Facebook is that the chair in the middle was not a normal chair. You see, when we got here I told Eric to sit in that center chair so I could take a photo of him. Well, when you lean back in that chair it sets off a contraption that begins poking you in the bum!! I cannot explain to you how hilarious it was watching Eric jump three feet in the air with his eyes as wide as toonies when that happened!

Our first night in Amsterdam we wandered through the Red Light District.

red-light-district-amsterdam

What I couldn’t take pictures of and share with you were windows after windows that had young women posing in bikini’s and underwear selling sex in them. It was both fascinating and sad to see.

Our second day in Amsterdam we took a bike tour. The tour was a really fun time, I would absolutely recommend doing a bike tour to anyone who visits Amsterdam – there are more bikes than cars there! Originally I just wanted to rent bikes and ride around on our own but I’m SO glad we paid the extra money for a tour. The drivers there are a bit crazy and I felt much safer crossing big intersections and such with a tour guide.

We also were able to visit Vondelpark, which we probably wouldn’t have made it to if we hadn’t done the tour.

bike-tour-amsterdam

After 1.5 days in Amsterdam we flew to Paris for three very busy days of sightseeing.

In 2.5 days in Paris we managed to fit in…

The Eiffel Tower:

eiffel-tower-paris

The Louvre:

louvre-paris

The Arc de Triomphe:

arc-de-triomphe-paris

Notre Dame Cathedral:

gargoyles-paris

The Saint Chapelle:

saint-chappelle-paris

Luxembourg Gardens:

luxembourg-paris

And everything in between! In Paris we walked almost EVERYWHERE (I have no idea why as they have such an excellent Metro system which we didn’t discover until our second time there). In 2.5 days we walked at least 20 km! Needless to say, by the time we headed to Venice on Friday night we were exhausted!

We were really excited to get to Italy and Venice did not disappoint. We arrived late on Friday night and were staying on the mainland, so we didn’t actually explore the island until the Saturday. We spent a full day there and absolutely loved it!

We spent our day wandering through the millions of side streets and getting lost:

street-venice

We popped into the shops and bought souvenirs:

shop-venice

We breathed in the intense and musky smell of real Italian leather. And I treated myself to a gorgeous new leather bag.

leather-shop-venice

After spending all morning wandering in and out of side streets and shops we took a traditional Gondola ride down the beautiful Venice canals. It was a gorgeous day in Venice and the perfect way to end our time there. The Gondola ride was pricey – but worth it!

gondola-ride-venice-2

We both agree that we wish we could have spent more time in Venice. We only got to explore one side of the town in the time we were there and we both kind of fell in love with it. It was a great introduction to Italy!

But we had to go catch our train to Florence, where we’d be spending the rest of the weekend!

Unfortunately, there’s not much to share about Florence. After a week of sightseeing we were exhausted and it poured rain the entire time we were in Florence so we didn’t do much. We did wait in line for an hour at the Accademia to see the David statue and we also went to the leather market and did a bit more shopping. Other then that we didn’t do much and the rain kind of put a damper on our time there!

florence-street

I managed to bargain this gorgeous turquoise necklace done from 10 euros to 8 though!

florence-market

And that concludes Week One of our trip!

My overall opinion on the places we visited:

Amsterdam was great! A little dirty, but overall a very fun and laidback city. The people were also incredibly friendly!

Our first impression of Paris wasn’t that great. The people were a little rude and it was overwhelming. However, we did warm up to Paris a lot our second time back (read more about that in Week Three recap) I think that Paris is one of those cities you have to know to love. Everyone I’ve talked to who LOVES it is someone who’s spent a significant amount of time there.

We LOVED Venice. Seriously, our day spent in Venice was one of our favourite days of the whole trip! It was just so relaxed and fun and the people were really laidback and nice. We would go back in a heartbeat! It was a bit expensive though!

We didn’t really get to experience Florence enough to have an overall opinion on it. However, after visiting Rome, Florence kind of felt like a mini-Rome to me. That’s just my thoughts though!

Hope you enjoyed the recap of week one of our trip, if you have any questions ask them in the comments and I will answer there or in the next post 🙂

31 Responses

  1. Hezabelle says:

    I adored Venice too. It was so nice- even though it’s super touristy, it’s still so beautiful!

  2. Heather says:

    Fantastic! I cant wait for more!

  3. Emily Jane says:

    Oh Venice looks incredible!! 🙂 I LOVE the story about Eric jumping off the chair. Priceless!!

  4. erin says:

    how funny – first time i went to paris was literally only a day and a half, and i didn’t much care for it. Second time was like 4 or 5 days, I definitely liked it better, but not my favorite city though.

    Venice is amazing isn’t it? Florence was so so, but going down the coast of Italy was amazing!!!!

  5. Great pictures girl!!! They make me want to go to Europe SO badly!!!!!!!!!

  6. AshleyD says:

    I think your theory about Paris might be true. I’ve spent several weeks there on different trips and it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

    Hearing you talk about Venice has made me reconsider the city… I spent a weekend there once, but I was by myself and didn’t really love it that much. Maybe I need to give it another chance?

  7. Thanks for sharing week 1! It must have been so hard to choose which photos to share! I need to look through your photos on FB!

    I have never been to Italy but hope to go someday – maybe on a honeymoon? Although I would also love to do a honeymoon in Paris! As you know, I adore that city but it’s probably because I spent a good chunk of time there, like you said. I think it’s hit or miss on whether you will love it; I’ve met more people who haven’t been all that crazy about it!

  8. Kelly says:

    I love your week 1 recap! Looks so fun! I loved Venice too so I completely agree with you about Venice. I liked Paris, but I think I liked Venice more. Haven’t been to Amsterdam or Florence so it was fun reading about your thoughts!

  9. Samantha says:

    Incredible photos! It looks like your first week was amazing! I’d love to visit all of those places some day, especially Venice.

  10. I suspect I’m going to have the traveling bug really bad by the time I finish reading about your trip.

  11. Becky says:

    Ohhhh your pictures are amazing!!! I love the one of you in the alleyway – and new leather bag from Italy? Totally jealous! Can’t wait for the next recaps!

  12. Hey Amber – just got through checking out all your amazing pics on Facebook. Looks like the trip of a lifetime!!!

  13. Amanda says:

    I want to go to Venice 🙂 I’ve never been to Italy!

    I think you’re probably right about Paris. I know a lot of people who felt that way, after short trips. I adore it, but I lived there for 6 months and it was my whole world. I *became* one of those cranky people, haha 🙂

  14. Ahh! I have pictures with the penis chair but I had no idea about the secret talents of the middle chair. Wait til I tell my travel buddy we missed it – she’ll be so disappointed! Welcome back Amber, and thanks for all the sweet comments on my page!

  15. You look so very proud of that penis. 🙂

  16. Stephany says:

    Oh, your post makes me want to go to Europe! I love all of your photos and I can’t wait to hear more about your trip.

  17. nicole says:

    ahhhhhh i am SO jealous! your trip sounds FABULOUS!!!! i want to go to Italy SOO bad!!! Keep the recaps and pics coming!!! 🙂 YAY!

    btw, the penis statue is HILARIOUS! <3

  18. shoshanah says:

    Clearly I’m awfully jealous of your trip! I love looking at your pictures, and it’s totally bringing me back to my visit to these places. Except for Amsterdam since I was there as a baby, so I don’t really remember much

  19. Amsterdam would have traumatized me, haha! Can’t wait to hear more!

  20. Ali says:

    Welcome back!

    Fabulous pics, and you captured the essence of Amsterdam!

  21. Caz says:

    Pretty much I love how you said toonies. 🙂

    And I’m jealous, so there’s that.

  22. BostonRunner says:

    Venice is definitely my favorite place in the world (so far) : ) Looks like you had so much fun! Awesome pictures!

  23. mandy says:

    I can only imagine how beautiful and stunning those windows at Saint Chapelle were. I can’t wait to take in your pictures on facebook.

  24. Great pics, but you already know I love them! I went to sex museum in NYC once and it was nothing compared to what it looks like you guys saw. The one I went to was lame.

  25. Kathleen says:

    I HAVE to go to Italy one day! Wow. In Pompeii was there any kind of museum?

  26. I’m so sorry to hear my beloved Paris failed to sweep you off your feet. You are now friend number two that hasn’t cared for the city. Did it have to do with where you were staying? I lived across from the Luxembourg Gardens in Boulevard Saint Michel – I think that has a lot to do with how much I loved Paris!!!!!

    • MissAmber says:

      We were in that same area – about a 5 minute walk from the Notre Dame Cathedral! I really think that people who have spent a lot of time in Paris like it more then people who are only there for a few days. BUT you’ll be happy to know we did warm up to it a lot when we went back for two more days at the end of our trip!

  27. Sarah says:

    WOW did you see a lot of sights in Paris in such a short time!! I’m impressed. I’d love to go see the sights there, not so much Notre Dame Cathedral (the French built a similar cathedral in Algiers, so I’d rather just go there as it’s nearer) or the Luxembourg Gardens, but definitely the Saint Chapelle, Louvre, l’Ar de Triomphe and of course the Eiffel Tower.

    I’d always thought Venice was a bit boring – my impression was that all there was to do there was gondola rides (which obviously you’d have to take if you ever visited), but you’re description’s changed my mind on that. I love laid-back places.

    It’s a pity that you didn’t get to enjoy Florence as much, but at least you made the best of it – well done with your bargaining!

  28. […] can read my recaps here, here and […]

  29. […] stop was London! Even though Eric and I have been to Europe twice before (once in 2010 for our big 3 week backpacking trip and again in 2014 when we went to Ireland & Scotland) we had never been to London so we were […]