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Germany’s Rhine Boat Cruise

Germany is more than just beer, voluptuous woman and Oktoberfest. Perhaps Oktoberfest encapsulates my first two points, but there is more!

The Rhine is the longest and most important river in Germany as it provides a way for trades and goods deep in land. The massive body of water is about 1,320 kilometers (820 mi).

Alongside the river, you can find many castles and prehistoric fortifications as a testament to the importance of this waterway.

It was a lovely and relaxing cruise – good to get a glimpse of peaceful Germany.

The Famous Autobahn Takes Us Through Germany

A very nice, yet long bus ride into Germany from 2 amazing (crazy!) nights in Amsterdam. A change of scenery was definitely needed after visiting Holland.

Most of the ride into this beautiful country had a lot of open scenery right around us. Many forests, grassy hills and bushes along the road side.

The Autobahn is known by many but in the end it is just a highway, nothing more. It is a German word that means major high-speed road restricted to motor vehicles capable of driving at least 60 km/h (37 mph) and having full control of access, similar to a motorway or freeway in English-speaking countries.

German Autobahn’s are famous for one of the few public roads for having no speed limit! Of course there are speed limits imposed in dangerous curves, construction zones and roads of needing repair. Vehicles with certain restrictions on weight, passengers and size of vehicle are limited to speeds of 100 km/hr or less.

Although there are these “loose” laws, everyone drives with caution and care. The German’s have a very high driving etiquette. The roads and guarder rails are in excellent condition – nothing less in Germany.

Enjoy our intro into Germany:

Holland’s Tasty Frites

YumminessOne of the best decisions you can make while in Holland is tasting their yummy frites with mayonnaise. Very greasy but delicious.

You can find frites almost on every street in Amsterdam as it is a very popular item, especially amongst the ones with the munchies! (not me though)

The arrangement can be a combination of mayo, ketchup and/or onions whicTastiness Frites Amsterdam Hollandh is all very delicious I’m sure! I enjoyed my frites with Anthony and Nathalie topped with Ketchup and Mayo! When I was in Germany, there was a Holland Frites stand where I tried the works!!

The price point is fairly reasonable as a small portion size is about 2.00 Euro. The only difference between all of Europe and North American is that you have to pay for Ketchup and Mayo!! Can you believe it? They are about 30 cents for each item. I guess you can’t take our free condiments for granted when in Europe.

A greasy but good taste of Holland most certainly!

Red Light District Boat Canal Cruise

Have you ever been in the canals ofBoat Cruise the red light district on a boat cruise with unlimited piss? Yes, you heard me correctly – piss! That’s how our Aussie friends like to call it; to us, it is simply booze.

The cruise was quite relaxing and a good chance to get to know everyone early on in our trip. Especially after a few Heineken’s that didn’t seem to ever run dry!

Each of our tables had cheese and olives as snacks while we drank the night away and took in the beautiful scenery that surrounded the canals. Our welcoming drink was Flügel which tasted like Vodka and cranberry juice mixed together. We had to take the cap off the tiny bottle of Flügel and stick it to our forehead right before Flugel!saying “prost” and guzzling down the tasty shot. Prost means Cheers!

After that the night was pretty much open to drink and socialize with the others. Nearing the end of the night, there were some Flügel shots left and the lady leading the party asked who wanted them. Anyone that did, would have to do something like dance, strip, sing or anything creative. Naturally, only knowing everyone for 1 or 2 days, no one wanted to strip! Instead we had a drink off between all the different countries in our group.

I was lucky enough to represent Canada and others included Australia, Thailand, Japan and USA. We had a full glass of Heineken and the shot of Flügel dropped in it and we had to drink it all down. I thought I had this competition hands down but the underdog, Japan, took the victory with seconds to spare. Yuta was the representative from Japan and little did I know, would become very good friends with me later on in the trip! Bokki San!!

I also got a grainy picture of arcs that make up all the bridges throughout the canal. They are here in perfect alignment…too bad the quality didn’t come out better!Bridge Arcs

After the cruise we headed back to our hotel where there was a bar inside and dance floor. This was everyone’s first time to experience what kind of dance moves everyone had!

We can’t forget about the random guy from China who was taking photos of the ladies on the dance floor!!

What a night!

The Anne Frank Story

There is nothing better than being on vacation and experiencing a piece of history that has touched many lives all over the world. The Anne Frank, embarrassingly enough, was a new story for me. Thanks to Natalie, Anthony’s wife, for explaining the story to me as we Anne Frank Housewere waiting in line.

A bit about Anne Frank, taken from Wikipedia:

Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank (June 12, 1929 – early March 1945) was a Jewish girl who wrote a diary while in hiding with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Frank and her family moved to Amsterdam in 1933, after the Nazis gained power in Germany, and were trapped by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. As persecutions against the Jewish population increased, the family went into hiding in July 1942 in hidden rooms in her father Otto Frank’sSecret Annex office building. After two years in hiding the group was betrayed and transported to concentration camps. Seven months after her arrest, Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp within days of her sister, Margot Frank. Her father, Otto, the only survivor of the group, returned to Amsterdam after the war ended, to find that her diary had been saved. In 1947 he had it published in Dutch under the title Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven van 12 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944 (The Backhouse: Diary notes from 12 June 1942 – 1 August 1944). A collection of her other writings recovered from the hiding place, Tales from the Secret Annex was published in 1949.

The diary, which was given to Frank on her thirteenth birthday, chronicles her life from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. It was published as The Diary of a Young Girl and eventually translated from its original Dutch into many languages and became one of the world’s most widely read books. There have also been several films, television, theatrical productions, and even an opera based on the diary. Described as the work of a mature and insightful mind, it provides an intimate examination of daily life under Nazi occupation and in hiding; through her writing, Frank has become one of the most renowned and discussed of Holocaust victims.

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The entire house hAnne Frank Housead been preserved since Anne lived there with her family. It is now a very popular piece of history which you can go in and visit for less than 10 Euro.

As you walk through the house, each room has a story to tell. There are quotes from her diary printed on the walls, doors and glass casings. This is a definite must if you’re traveling to Amsterdam.

The whole experience really touched me and it will be something that I’ll never forget.

Anne was a brave, young girl that changed the world through her experience.