I finally uploaded a mini-album of our honeymoon to flickr. I’m almost at my capacity with photos here on the free account so I am switching to Flickr as my photo storage.
Our honeymoon was 9 days in Amsterdam with trips around the Netherlands and a day trip to Bruges, Belgium. We had an EURail pass, which was really great.
We went to the Netherlands specifically for the Tulip Festival. The tulips are in bloom all across Holland from mid-April to mid-May. There is also a parade where the floats are made with flowers and tulip bulbs on April 23rd that goes from Noordwijk to Haarlem. We flew into Amsterdam on April 23 on an overnight flight with plans to meet the parade at some point. We were exhausted, though, and crashed only to emerge from the hotel room around 7pm. Luckily, all the floats were on display in Haarlem on the 24th!
That first day we managed to get out to dinner at Wagamama and see the I am Amsterdam sign in Museum square.
The next day we went to Haarlem and saw a bunch of flower floats and a Glockenspiel. I also found a sewing shop! It was closed. 😦
That night we had a wicked dinner at Baut Zuidas.
We visited Rotterdam and saw the cube houses and giant babies everywhere. I got some glutenfree stroopwafels there!
On King’s Day in Amsterdam, we walked around the city and got apple tart drinks and macarons. The entire city was filled with people selling things on the side of the street and, in Vondelpark, it was all children selling things.
We went to Keukenhof Gardens, a massive tulip garden only open during the Tulip Festival. It had 32 hectares of flowers!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the best weather while there. It was cold and raining almost every day. It prompted me to buy this hat!
I look adorable in it, though.
We went to Utrecht for Lapjesmarkt. I wrote about that in this post.
We visited Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. My favourite exhibit was the Breitner exhibit for his Girl in a Kimono series. It was gorgeous and they even had two kimonos that Gessje Kwak, his model, wore for the paintings.
My favourite painting to see in person was Vermeer‘s The Milkmaid. I teared up seeing it. It’s a beautiful beautiful painting and positively glows in real life.
We took a day trip to Bruges, Belgium with our rail pass. The town has canals, like Amsterdam, but is completely different in look. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and was really amazing to see.
And of course, there is Belgium chocolate and waffles there. 😉
For lunch there, we went to De Wijngaert and had duck and kangaroo. It was incredibly tasty.
After 9 days in Netherlands, we got onto the Celebrity Silhouette for our Baltic Sea Cruise for the next 12 days. My husband’s wonderful family got us the cruise as a wedding gift. Dale’s cousin works aboard the ship and we got spoiled rotten.
We went on a couple of tours of the ship, as well. My favourite part of the tour was the mooring room. It was neat to learn about how the ship is attached to the dock. It’s also one of the more, if not the most, dangerous jobs on the ship since those lines can snap and, if you are in the way, you get snapped in half, too.
We lucked out with weather while on the cruise. It was 12 days straight of sunshine and warm temperatures! The sea was incredibly calm the entire time, except for the very last day, but even that wasn’t too bad.
Our first stop was in Rostock, Germany. We took a tour to Schwerin, which is about an hour bus ride from Rostock. We visited the Duke’s Castle there.
Next up, after a day at sea, was Tallinn, Estonia. I was incredibly brave there. I am terrified of heights, but I climbed the old city wall and looked over the city. It was beautiful at first and then the adrenaline wore off and I was terrified. Look how high up it is.
To other people, that’s probably nothing, but I get scared standing on a chair.
Looking over the tops of the buildings from the wall:
There was a gorgeous church in the centre of Tallinn.
After Tallinn, we had two days in St. Petersburg, Russia. We took a 2-day tour and visited….
The Hermitage Museum, where I saw two paintings by Da Vinci:
St. Isaac’s Cathedral where the interior was covered in beautiful paintings and mosaics:
The Church of the Spilled Blood where we saw tourists outside taking pictures with live owls and a person playing the cello:
Catherine’s Palace where I decided I wanted to live and that I am in love with Catherine:
Peterhof where we saw 100s of fountains and spied our cruise ship across the Baltic Sea in St. Petersburg:
After Russia, we visited Helsinki and took a boat tour of the islands and walked around the market and some of the city streets. I loved Helsinki and would absolutely go back.
Dale bought me gorgeous pendant for my necklace there.
And you can see how sunny it was, because I was burnt after several days of sightseeing. I bought sunscreen in Helsinki!
The next day we were in Stockholm and it was probably my favourite stop on the cruise!
The cruise into Stockholm was gorgeous and filled with beautiful pictures like this one above.
There was someone important visiting Stockholm and the palace had the guard out for a demonstration. We naturally assumed it was just for us. 😉
We took a boat tour in Stockholm. It’s just such a gorgeous city. We’re planning our trip back there already.
After Stockholm, we had a much-needed day at sea and a day to rest up after four cities in five days! Next stop was Copenhagen, Denmark. We took a tour that included Christianborg Slot and Rosenborg Slot, but we also got to see the Little Mermaid statue.
Christianborg Slot where Dale found a velvet room he wants to take home:
Rosenborg Slot, where we found our crowns:
And some jewels for me:
The interesting thing about the crowns and jewels is that they are all property of Denmark and have to be loaned out to the Queen of Denmark and she isn’t allowed to take them out of the country.
The Little Mermaid statue:
Denmark was our last stop on the cruise. Then we had one more day at sea and one more day in the Netherlands and flew back on May 15th. Our last day was spent in Utrecht. I already told you about the first visit to Utrecht for the Lapjesmarkt, but we weren’t able to look around anymore since I threw my shoulder out. I am still having trouble with it and am working with my chiropractor. Basically, I rotated it too far (thanks super bendy limbs!) and pulled ligaments…ouch.
I was glad to get a chance to see Utrecht two weeks after the first visit! We visited an old water tower, took a stroll by Oudegracht, an old curved canal, and stood under the Dom Tower, the tallest belfry in the Netherlands.
It was an amazing three weeks. I stood in places that were created hundreds of years ago and was surrounded by incredible riches and amazing history. I saw such beautiful things.
It does feel good to be back in Canada, though, but I am already thinking of another trip to Europe and our next cruise… 😉
You check out even more pictures in the flickr album.