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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/

Date: 2009-05-27 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waxfruit.livejournal.com
that sounds wonderful!
i tried to bring home macarons too but they really don't keep at all! they really need to be eaten the day the are made. it's sad.

Date: 2009-05-27 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenosopher.livejournal.com
delightful.

Date: 2009-05-27 06:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] terrajen.livejournal.com
sounds like an awesome time! glad you're back :D

Date: 2009-05-27 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joshc.livejournal.com
I think you can get hagelslag at a few places in Seattle, but it really doesn't seem the same without dutch bread.

Date: 2009-05-28 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joshc.livejournal.com
there's another kind that's a bit more advanced -- Vlokken -- which is just shaved chocolate instead of sprinkles.

Date: 2009-05-27 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahmarvelous.livejournal.com
Sounds like a wonderful trip!
I love the Haribo gummies! I got a bag of "Star Mix" when we were in Ireland that had fizzy colas, lots of weird stuff, and gummies shaped like fried eggs. You know, Haribo has a factory just outside of Baltimore, but alot of their best flavors aren't available in the U.S.

Date: 2009-05-27 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squiggle.livejournal.com
great you got to see so many places! looks like a lovely trip.

Date: 2009-06-04 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lehrtocke.livejournal.com
Wow, it looks like you packed more into two weeks in Europe than I did in two years. Glad to hear you had a good trip.

I also just only recently was introduced to the kebab and was so taken by it that I ate pretty much nothing else for my last few days in Scotland. I was walking down 3rd Ave earlier this week and saw a place claiming to be a kebab house, so maybe I won't have to give up my new obsession.
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