May. 26th, 2009

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Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, Cologne, Hannover and Berlin again. I got home yesterday. My trip was wonderful. Berlin is a really awesome city--it feels very young and artsy and hip. Bruges was a sidetrack and I'm glad we went. It is very very cute and well preserved! Amsterdam was fine but I wasn't feeling very well so I felt kind of grumpy and that may have colored my experience. I don't know if it was allergies or a cold or what, but I tried to buy some Sudafed-type product at the pharmacy, and the pharmacist told me they don't sell decongestants like that at all in Holland (!) but gave some kind of crazy nose spray. I don't know what this stuff is but it WORKS. After a day it knocked my sinus misery out and I was fine for the rest of the trip. The weather was pretty much perfect the entire time. Really wish I had more time for Paris. It is such a huge city and I feel like we were just kind of getting into the swing of things and feeling slightly more comfortable there when it was time to go. Just means I'll have to go back. :)

Europe loves its gummy candies. One of my favorite candies ever is Haribo Fizzy Cola--NOT the regular ones, the fizzy ones. For some reason they are kind of hard to find around here but Fizzy Cola-type candy is EVERYWHERE in Europe. I also ate cola flavored Mentos.

Macarons and lemon tart in Paris: check. Creme Brulee: check. Bakery-fresh baguette: check. Snails, crepes, more ham than I've ever ate in my life: check. In Holland a thing is to put chocolate sprinkles or shavings on buttered bread for breakfast. I think that's what you were supposed to do, anyway. Curtis laughed at me for slipping extra boxes of chocolate shavings and little individual packets on spreadable gouda from the breakfast buffet at the hotel. We poked around in supermarkets and made a little spread of meat and cheese one night in our hotel room. In Bruges I bought a little box of assorted Belgian chocolates from a shop that actually survived my overly-warm flight home fairly well. I was going to try to bring some of the macarons home but they were not faring well at all with the passage of time and looked sadder everyday, so we ate them all fairly quickly. Sorry. :) Cocktails are not that great there because they don't believe in much ice so I drank a lot of beer and wine. Also fell in love with a gyro-type item called a doner kebap, which is very good street food. Sausage and schnitzel and red cabbage of course.

The best part was getting to hang out with Curtis after being apart for a month. He's my best travel buddy.

Here's my photos, which probably tell a better story than my travel-addled brain can do at the moment: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maggies/sets/72157618832582638/

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