Anita & Sam

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Europe continued in Copenhagen, Amsterdam & Brussels

Hello... how is everyone?

Last Saturday we took off for Copenhagen in Denmark for 3 nights. We arrived about lunch time and spent the afternoon walking around the city square and main shopping arcade which we weren't overly impressed with at first sight. It seemed surprisingly a bit Americana and kind of dirty. Anyway, we stayed in a good hotel in walking distance to the main square. We visited the information place to find out unfortunately that most of the city tours etc. don't run in winter and that the big gardens/ amusement park type attraction in the middle of town called 'Tivoli' was closed. The next pic is looking back at the town hall and the one below is a nicer square in Copenhagen.

Not too worry, the following day we took ourselves on a train ride a bit further up to the middle of Denmark and stopped at a place called Hillerod. We were told it was a nice place to visit. We walked down to a big lake with a castle on the waters edge (Frederiksborg Castle). It was really lovely.

The castle is now used as a museum. We just had a walk around the lake then got back on the train. It was nice to see the little village there. Next we went a bit further along on the train to Fredensborg and visited the Frenensborg Palace where Princess Mary and Prince Frederick were living! The gardens there were so nice and are huge. After a walk around the palace gardens we headed back to Copenhagen.

Our second day in the the actual city was much nicer. We took ourselves on a self-guided walking tour which was great. It took us to some much nicer parts of the city such as the beautiful port of Nyhavn (below)

and past some of the major sights like the Amalienborg Palace and Kastellet which we were told is one of Europe's best preserved fortifications. The walk also took us through some city gardens which were all orange and red with the autumn leaves on the ground. It's a nice time of year to visit we thought.

We really liked Copenhagen and Denmark after we explored a bit more. We did find it to be quite expensive though.

We flew from Copenhagen to Amsterdam and spent 3 nights there also. Amsterdam took a little bit of time to settle into as well actually. I guess even though you have an idea of what to expect it still takes you by surprise. We spent time enjoying the really beautiful side to Amsterdam and of course the notorious seedy side.

It is a city with canals running all through it and little bridges everywhere so it is really pretty. Everyone gets around on push bikes so it is is quite peaceful and relaxed. The canal houses are nice too. They are tall skinny houses which are all built a bit wonky and look very different to each other. They look great all next to one another on the canal though.

We did some interesting stuff in Amsterdam. We visited the Sexmuseum as well as the Hemp, Marijuana & Hash museum! All very educational :)

We visited some 'coffeeshops' which is what they call a shop where you can buy pot. It's pretty gross though. Sam and i both thought that because it's legal and widely accepted in Amsterdam that the 'coffeeshops' might have been ok. But they still seem to be dark, smelly places popular mainly with young guys. We did find 1 or 2 that weren't too bad and tried some 'space cake' (as you do when in Amsterdam!)

We did have a fun time exploring all these weird things that you wouldn't find anywhere else.

And of course the Red Light District...a crazy place not to be missed. It's right in the middle of a lovely city and really unavoidable even if you wanted to. It's good for a laugh though especially when you see someone going in to a window or coming out. There really are all shapes and sizes and it's quite a busy spot with tourists as well as the grotty customers! There are plenty of sex shops and shows offering "sleeze and filth in a nice environment" :)

We also visited the Ann Frank House in Amsterdam. Where Ann Frank wrote her famous diary about hiding with her family from the Nazi's in WW2. We took a lovely canal boat tour as well which is a nice way too see the city. Unfortunately it was fairly rainy while we were there though. Amsterdam has a lot too offer and is really a pretty, unique place. Like nothing I've ever seen.

From Amsterdam we caught a train to Brussels for 2 nights. We arrived late so only had one full day here. In the morning we walked to the main city square called 'Grand Place'. They claim to have the most beautiful central square in Europe and it is definitely the prettiest we've seen. It's fairly small but the surrounding buildings are amazing. It's all paved with cobble stones and is really lovely. Pictures below are all taken in the Grand Place...

It was rainy in Brussels too and seeing as we only had one day to check it out we paid for a city bus tour. It was a good tour and Brussels seems to be a really nice place. We learned that it is called the Capital of Europe because it is the city which holds the European Union Headquarters. We were surprised cause it's quite a small city in comparison to some others. There seemed to be alot to do if we had more time but a day was nice just to check it out. This pic was taken in a shopping arcade...

We tried some Belgium chocolates and waffles

In the evening we went to the main dining street which is quite long but narrow and full of guys trying to encourage you to choose their restaurants. They all had open fires in the restaurants which was warm and cosy. It was lucky cause it was freezing and raining outside! This is us standing at the top of the dining street and inside the restaurant where we had dinner...

Love Anita & Sam,

miss you guys xoxo


  • fantastic blog again Anita and VERY educational!
    Love Mum and Dad (Cathy and Dave)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 AM  

  • I've been dying to know how you went- what a great way to hear about it with photos to help describe it!!!!!!! hey, I laughed with the photo of you in the red light district- did you know apparantly they throw you in the canal if you're caught with a camera/photo anywhere!! (: ha ha, lucky you weren't caught!! (I was petrified when I was there of not looking like i had a camera) so a space cake hey- can't wait to hear about it... such a nice little story writer you are, lovely!! talk to you soon, i keep missing you with the time difference lately!! catch you soon, Love Leah xoxoxoox

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:56 PM  

  • What a great time you have had.Aamazing to see the houses right on the canals? The work that has gone into those buildings is amazing eh! Pleased you were careful in the "red light district". You both look well, talk to you soon,Love us.XX

    By Anonymous G'dad and Granny, at 9:41 PM  

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