2018 Trip to Europe

A trip to see a cousin's wedding and the sights of Europe

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The destinations in this trip.  We worked our way more-or-less clockwise around the map.

This trip had been in the planning stage for at least a year.  Agnes' cousin Christopher would be getting married in the summer of 2018 in the Netherlands and she promised we would go and attend the ceremony.

We left on July 1 2018 for Philly and from there took
the flight to LHR.

We departed from Philly at 10 pm, and did an overnight flight to London Heathrow.  The plan was to try and sleep on the flight and then do some touring in the city as were expecting to arrive around noon local time.  Our next flight would not be until early the next day so we thought it best to use the time to do some sightseeing.

The flight was operated by British Airways as BA68.
This is prior to departure on our big adventure.

Once in London, we first checked in our bags at a storage place in the airport.  We then took the Express train from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Paddington Station.  I was unable to get any sleep on the plane, so I was a bit apprehensive about touring the city on an all-nighter.  It would turn out to be ok although I was quite tired at the end.

Arrival at Paddington Station in London.  It is very beautiful and airy with the exposed
steel work and the glass top.  It was also amazing weather.  The wind blowing
in was fresh (July 2).

In the corner of the station we bought a Pasty.  It looks like a big pastechi and
was really delicious.  I should have bought a second one.

From Paddington we took the London Underground to the heart of the city.

We toured London by using the "Big Bus" line of Hop-on Hop-off busses.
These busses are double deckers with a partially open top.

Once in the city, we had the freedom of getting off and on with the same ticket.  However, it was very warm in the city and we did not have much time.  Also considering our fatique, we just decided to stay on the bus.

Some sights of London.  This is obviously over the Thames river by the London Eye.
This was supposed to be a temporary attraction, but like the Eiffel, it was so liked
that it is now permanent.

We got off the bus at the London Tower Bridge.  The sky was clear blue as you can see.

From the Bridge we decided to head back to Terminal 5 by reversing our steps, where we picked up our luggage and took a cab to our hotel near the airport.  

The hotel we stayed in was the Heathrow Marriott on my points.  A very beautiful location
and they had a nice complimentary buffet for us that evening.  We slept very soundly that night.  But had to be up quite early again to catch our flight to Schiphol.

Getting some breakfast prior to leaving LHR.  We would return to this "Pret a Manger"
location at the end of this test.

We arrived at Schiphol and were greeted by Agnes' relatives,
Eldwin, Quinty and Glenda (her cousins).  We could see a sample
of the architecture in Amsterdam.

Arrival on the continent and in Amsterdam! (July 3)

In Amsterdam we stayed at Glenda's nice home in Zoetermeer.  She has a nice little garden in the back.

As the first place Glenda took us to was Rotterdam.
This is the Markthal (Market Hall).

One of the best parts of this trip was the food and this was the
first time we had a freshly made Stroopwafel (syrup waffle).
The toasty sweet taste was amazing.

We walked by the waterfront in Rotterdam and we realize what a
beautiful and clean city this is.  There are flowers in ample locations.

Breakfast at Glenda's.  She and her spouse and family took great care of us.

The next day (July 4), we toured Amsterdam.  Look at all those bikes!

We decided to tour the city with these "Lovers" canal boats.

We were told that about 50 cars a year fall into the canals and sink
(they are about 3 meters deep).  That is about one a week!

We saw many beautiful sights along the water.  In the distance you can
see the drawbridge in the distance.

The well-known "Dancing Sisters" location.  It shows that settling that occurs with these tall buildings in the soft earth.

Another iconic food is the Flemish Fries.  They also like to serve them
with Mayo, but I declined that part.

Other places we saw in Amsterdam were:
Nieuwe Kerk
Dam Square
Nieuwe Zijde

After this city, we went to Leiden for dinner at an Indonesian restaurant.

At the windmill in the center of Leiden where we had dinner (July 4).

The next day (July 5) we passed through the beach area, then Den Haag, and then picked up our rental car.

On our drive out to the beach we passed through some really beautiful country side.
In some locations we saw a long river passing by houses and some nice water

At Scheveningen by the coast of Netherlands, we tried
pickled Herring (Haring).  Stephanie and Agnes liked it more than
the rest of us.

From the beach, we headed to The Hague (Den Haag).  This
is in front of the Peace Palace.  

We then went to see the Dutch Parliament (Binnenhof).

Walking around Den Haag, we saw a nice flea market and this sand sculpture competition from the World Sand Sculpting Championship.

Near the end of this day (July 5), we picked up our rental car in Rotterdam.
It was a nice small BMW 118i.  All our bags fit into the hatchback.
Research shows that it has a turbo three cylinder 1.6 liter engine.

From Rotterdam we headed to Eindhoven, the location of the wedding.  To be exact, we stayed at the "City Resort Hotel" at Mill, Netherlands.  Coincidently, the hotel has a spa, and escap rooms integrated into it.

We had two rooms at the City Resort.  

One thing to note is that none of the rooms in the Netherlands had air conditioning.  It was usually ok, but some nights we had to sleep with the windows open.  Breakfast was included with our rate and the morning buffet was very nice.

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