Friday, January 10, 2020

Flashback Friday: Europe 2000

Back story on my first out-of-the-country experience.  I was in second grade when my mom asked me if I wanted to go with her and my aunts, uncles, and grandpa on her side of the family to Europe. (My brothers were too young, so they were staying home with dad).  My aunt (married to my mom's brother) is from Germany. We would be going at the end of the school year, which meant I would miss the talent show. I did NOT want to miss the talent show.  (Spoiler: I missed the talent show). Mom says I made the decision to go myself, I’m not so sure..

Over the course of 12 days I got to check the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, and Luxembourg off of what would turn into a never-ending travel list.

The journal accounts are not in depth and lack a lot of substance (I was eight, what do you want from me?) but I thought they'd be fun to share with some photos, regardless. I threw in some extra info in italics based on my mom's journaling in my scrapbooks. I threw my own memories in as well, proceeded by "Edit."

May 25, 2000 Day 1

Dear Journal,
Today I went on my first airplane.  It was fun, but I got a headache.  I was in the cities, then I flew to Chicago and then to Amsterdam.

Dad and the boys took us to the airport.  We took an early flight from Minneapolis to Chicago, which took 50 minutes.  Then, we had a five hour layover until we left Chicago.  The next flight took about seven hours to Amsterdam.  We shuttled form one terminal to another.  There, MaryAnn met someone that she knew from Mankato - small world! The last leg of the trip was our flight to Munich.

May 26, 2000 Day 2

Today was a very fun day.  We went to a restaurant called The Golden Goose.  We went shopping.  We are staying at a hotel for the night. We are going to take a tour of a concentration camp tomorrow.  Our plane also was in Holland.  Our suitcases got on the place after us so we had to wait for them.

Then the adventure began!  When we arrived in Munich we went to get our luggage and it wasn't there.  We arrived and not our suitcases.  After Dagmar straightened that out, we went to get our car.  But, there was no car for us! Dagmar and Lou got that figured out while we rested.  Everything worked out and we were on the way to our first stop.

Edit: What I remember most from the hotel is the hotel key! It was a real key, with strings hanging off the end of it.  It was like the kind of key you see in movies at fancy old hotels.  I also remember the breakfast being delicious!

Outside our hotel in Munich

May 27, 2000 Day 3

Today we went to a castle.  It was fun.  We went to Dachau.  We went to a concentration camp and it was kind of scary.  When we were at the concentration camp we watched a video that showed us what it was like.  The gas chambers were empty.  There was one house still up from when that happened.  We are in Füssen, Germany.  We rented a car yesterday. We had a fancy dinner tonight at our hotel.  I have some German money.  We came to a different hotel and we will stay here for two nights.  I got a necklace with my birthstone on it and it has dolphins on it.  I will be leaving on Monday, June 5th.  I will be going on three more airplanes.

When we visited Dachau, it was cold and damp.  We toured most of it on our own.  We cu tthe visi shorted than expected when it started raining. On our drive from Munich to Füssen, we drove into Austria.  We were disappointed no one stopped us at the border to stamp our passports.  The scenery was beautiful.

Glacial Lake in Austria

May 28, 2000 Day 4

We went to three castles.  They are called Linderhof, Hohenschwangau, and Neuschwanstein. They were fun.  King Ludwig built all three castles.  He lived in them all.  He never finished one.  He did not have a throne finished because he died too early.  We have a very nice hotel room.

Hohenschwangau was the first castle we visited on this day.  We took a carriage ride up the long, winding road.  We toured only a small part of the castle, then we had a long walk down!! Neuschwanstein was also a long way up.  We took a shuttle bus up a very curvy road, and then walked down the very steep road. On the way down, we crossed over the gorge on Mary's bridge.  We started up the path on the other side of the bridge, but had to return back.  Looking over the bridge, it was a long way down!

We walked across this bridge!!
At Hohenschwangau

May 29, 2000 Day 5

We went to Dinkelsbühl.  We went to Rothenburg ob der Tauber.  We spend a lot of time shopping.  There was a big wall around the town.  We also went to a museum of dolls.

We left Fussen and headed up the Romantic Road.  We stopped for lunch and shopping at Dinkelsbühl.  This was a shopping mecca.  Then we continued on to Rothenburg.  Rothenburg is a city completely surrounded by a wall.  The wall was built to protect the city from invasion. Inside the wall, there were no parks or grass, so the houses had plots of trees, flowers, and grass patches. We visited both a doll museum (Puppen & Spielzeug Museum) and a medival criminal museum (Mittelalterliches Kriminal Museum).


May 30, 2000 Day 6

We went to Würzburg and a residents' castle.  We went to a fancy restaurant with Dagmar's uncle.  We went to Dauscheid where we met Dagmar's aunt, cousin, and family.  I met Dagmar's cousin's daughter Shelby and she is German.  Shelby played with me a lot.

We stayed in a nice bed and breakfast.  It was someone's home that had two extra bedrooms which were rented out.

May 31, 2000 Day 7

I stayed and played with Shelby while the rest of them went to a castle.  Shelby and I were swinging a lot.

Edit: I remember watching Sailor Moon with Shelby in her living room.  I can't remember if it was in German or English, but I know we both loved the show. 

June 1, 2000 Day 8

I went to some castle's I had five ice creams.  We, well the kids, got chocolate coins.

Edit: I ate A LOT of ice cream in Germany.  They had ice cream vending machines outside the castles, which I had yet to see in America at this time. When we went out to eat for lunch/dinner, Shelby taught me to mix mayo and ketchup to dip my fries into. I didn't like mayo OR ketchup, but they were good mixed!

Outside Eltz Castle

June 2, 2000 Day 9

TODAY WAS SO EXCITING. We drove to Paris.  We could not find our hotel.  It took us forty-five more minutes than we had thought it would to get to the hotel.  Our hotel is called Hotel Louvre Marsollier Opéra.  We took a metro and that is a subway. The money in France is called francs. The money in Germany is called Deutsche marks. We will be here two more days.

We drove through Luxembourg on our way to France.  We stopped just over the German-Luxembourg border at a rest area.  We got out to fill up with gas and to grab something to eat.  It was only a six hour drive from Dauscheid to Paris.  The countryside was very pretty.

The metro was the easiest form of transportation It was the easiest and most efficient way to get acorss the city. Our hotel room was on the sixth floor.  The elevator was no larger than a phone booth...we took the stairs a lot!!

On the metro
The River Seine
Our hotel
In front of the Eiffel Tower with Uncle Ho

Calling home to Minnesota from Paris

June 3, 2000 Day 10

Today we went to the Louvre.  We took the bus from the Louvre to Notre Dame.  Last night we went to the Eiffel Tower! It was fun! We took the elevator to the middle part of the tower.  On the Notre Dame we saw gargoyles.

The Louvre was our first stop of the morning.  We spent a few hours there and just saw only parts of the museum. 

Edit: Twenty years later, the thing I remember most about the Eiffel Tower is the people selling stuff. Knock off bags and other knick knacks.  They were selling illegally, and I remember the police coming and the venders running off. I also remember a little cafe around the corner from our hotel where we got croissants and Nutella! This was my first time having Nutella - I was in love! Also, Notre-Dame had A LOT of stairs. It became a game to me at the castles in Germany to count the stairs we walked.

Heading into the Metro

Outside the Louvre

Venus de Milo

Gargoyles outside the Notre Dame
View from the top of Notre Dame
On the top level of the double-decker bus.
(Those are headphones from the bus tour, not a stethoscope!)

June 4, 2000 Day 11

Tomorrow we will leave.  I don't want to leave.

June 5, 2000 Day 12

We flew back June 5, 2000.  We flew from Paris to Amsterdam to Minneapolis.  We almost missed our flight from Paris, but made it home safely.

Plane ride home to Minnesota!

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