2003 Trip to Europe

This trip began with us traveling to London, UK for a quick overnight stay.  I remember liking the hotel and watching a bit of TV.  We then flew to Munich, Germany.  This city I found to be remarkably similar to American cities.  Our hotel was quite nice, and was surrounded by nice shops and benches.  The weather was good and sunny.  Our first tour took us through the scenery of wild Germany.  I was impressed with the glorious mountains, which were filled with green, tall trees.  The tour guide was an upbeat and funny woman.  We eventually made our way to Neuschwanstein Castle.  This incredible castle is the inspiration behind many of Disney’s fairy tale castles, and understandably so, I quickly realized.  It is so beautiful, standing up on a hill, with glistening towers and bright blue rooftops.  We made sure to take plenty of serene, wonderful photos.  The tour led us to the front of the castle and onward inside.  We learned about the incredible Prince Ludwig, who I consider one of my icons.  I was impressed with the large, ancient-looking rooms and somewhat mysterious atmosphere.  When we walked out of the castle I remember it being very hot; I believe I wanted some sort of beverage.  Our tour concluded with us traveling again through the idyllic mountains.

Our next stop was Vienna, Austria.  We had to take a train from Munich to Vienna.  It is so beautiful looking at the countryside as one travels by train here.  When we arrived, I was instantly taken by surprise just how friendly so many of the nationals are.  It was really something to behold.  One of our first visits was to St. Stephen’s Cathedral.  This picturesque cathedral has really high ceilings, lovely windows, and an amazingly tall staircase.  We decided to take the audio-tour here.  The tour involved us going up the stairs, witnessing the illustrious views of the city, and learning about the history of the cathedral.  Another of our visits was to a great Strauss concert.  Here, they played the beautiful and romantic Blue Danube Waltz.  I have always loved this famous piece, as it makes me imagine lovers dancing the ballroom night away.  The next day, we walked through an interesting Dali art exhibit.  The theme was, of course, Dali’s amazing surrealism.  I am still impressed with Dali’s unashamed embrace of the dreamy, surreal nature of the world.  We then walked among various shops, and actually recognized some of the musicians from the previous night’s concert walking around.  One of our visits was to a grand hall in which several ballet dancers impressed us with their fluid, graceful motions.  I also remember Vienna has a lovely river running through town.

Our next destination was Zurich, Switzerland.  This really is a beautiful, extraordinary city.  I noticed how hilly much of the landscape is here.  The weather was fantastic.  We went on a small cruise on a local river, where we had some great dessert.  I enjoyed the views of the hills surrounding the river, as well as the crisp, fresh look of the long river.  I actually believe this was one of my first times on a cruise.  We also visited several of the local Swatch shops.  Switzerland is known for their colorful, elegant watches.

Our last destination was London, UK.  Here, we visited Westminster Abbey, which is large, majestic, and filled with decorative spires.  We also visited the Tower of London, which has plenty of dark, mysterious hallways and a relatively morbid history.  We made sure to visit Piccadilly Circus.  This place is quite colorful and often jam-packed with tourists.  We also went to Madame Tussauds and the Chamber of Horrors again, and I was once more impressed with the darkness.  Our trip ended with another visit to London Bridge, as well as Wimbledon.

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