16.02.2011 - 20.02.2011 -1 °C
Pictures will follow soon.
So far so good. We had a great time in Amsterdam and then took the train to Brussels, Paris and Berlin.
Amsterdam was a great start to the trip. We vistied the Red Light district, as you do in Amsterdam. We went to the flower market, the Anne Frank house and the sex musuem. After checking out of the hotel in 'dam we went off to Brussels for the day. Leaving the backpacks in the train station locker let us wander around the majestic city relativly unhindered. Brussels is very majestic and, naturally, full of very, very good chocolate. You can easily see why it is the seat of the EU Parliment. There were French, Dutch, German and English speakers everywhere and Laura spoke to 1 guy who could speak all of them. Everyone we met (apart from the Americans and the English) seem to be mulitlingual. I really should have apid more attention in German back in school...
Anyway, later on we boarded a train from Brussels to Paris (with 4 connections). The 1st and 2nd trains were delayed by about 10 or 12 minutes which meant that we arrived in Lille Flanders just in time to see the 3rd train pull out of that station. Luckily we had planned ahead and had the timetable from the next train all ready and waiting for us to pick up. It was only an hour later that we boarded our 3rd train, but we made good use of the time in Lille to book the sleeper train from Paris to Berlin. Once we arrived in Paris we found a hostel for the night, only a 5 minute walk from Paris North station. It was clean and comfy and the staff were very helpful. It was ideally located too and most important it was excellent value for money.
In the morning we enjoyed our complimentry breakfast and then set off to see the sights. The Effiel Tower, The Oblique, The Louvre, The Place of Justice and Notre Dame. I don't know if you have ever looked at a map of Paris, but, yeah. I walked that. It gets better too. The only time it stopped raining all day was the time we were in The Louvre. I was soaking and freezing. So sorry guys, there are not a whole lot of pictures of Paris as I didn't want my camera to drown. Having said that, the freezing weather did make the coffee and crepes that bit better. Fair enough it wasn't coffee sitting outside be the Seine, but it was coffee by the Seine. There was just (thankfully) a few walls and a roof between me and the river that seemed determined to spend the day inverting upon my head.
Seeing as Paris is a rather expensive city, we decided to take the sleeper train from Paris to Berlin. There is a knack to sleeping on a sleep train. Find a postion that is comfy. Fall asleep. Stay asleep until some part of you is too numb or in too much pain for you to remain in the land of nod. Readjust your body position and repeat. I coped rather well. My friend Laura, however, had a harder time. As such she is a bit tired today. As such we have deceided to just hang about the hostel in Berlin today. Well. That was once contrubiting factor. Another is I seem to have damaged some part of my right foot. It hurts. Especially when walking. Which isn't a problem except for all the walking! Still. I solider on. It also does not help that, while spring has sprung in the UK, Germany has yet to get the memo. Its -1 and this morning i saw snow falling. Extra fleeces tomorrow I think.
Tomorrow we are back on the trail of culture and knowledge: we are going to see the wall and some more museums and points of interest. For tonight, there is a pub down the road.
Goodbye, adieu, à bientôt and auf wiedersehen