life . . . [european tour: benelux]

Hello Friends! I have finally finished sorting through all the images I took during our trip to Europe, so this is the last post of vacation photographs, I promise ;0

The last third of our trip was spent in Benelux. Though we did not visit Luxemburg, we did spend some time in Brussels, Belgium and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. These cities were much more relaxing! …which is exactly what we needed after being on the move and seeing so many wonderful sights in Barcelona and Paris . . those cities kept us very busy. So it was quite nice to relax in Benelux by enjoying the yummy food and large beer selection.

Much of our time in Brussels was spent near the Grand Place, the main square, and said to be one of the best in all of Europe. Brussels is famous for the most random array of things . . . chocolate, beer, lace, the Manneken-Pis, mussels and waffles! A friend told me the entire city smells like waffles and it most certainly does :)

The Grand Place, the heart of Brussels lower town and full of great buildings.

Typical Brussels waffles and the strange Manneken-Pis  . . a world famous statue?

Lots of delicious food from all over . . we really enjoyed this Greek restaurant.

Walking the upper town of Brussels.

Back to the Grand Place for beer tasting while looking onto the square & some nighttime views!

The next morning we took the train to Amsterdam, our last destination. The first thing we did after checking into the hotel was go and rent bikes as our transportation for our four days in Amsterdam! We were really excited since we love riding them at home, our feet were super tired, and EVERYONE rides bikes there. Literally. There were more bikes than cars . . what fun!!

The Anne Frank house was an experience and an excellent museum, as you actually get to tour the apartment where they hid. Then off to eat . . . best Thai food EVER!

Lights of the Leidseplein . . . a main square in Amsterdam.

We visited a couple great museums - the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh.

We also spent a lot of time in Vondel Park, enjoying the view, a few meals, and a bike ride around. This huge park was much like central park, and was right near our hotel – full of lively people!

See the bikes cruising . . . everyone was on a bike?! There are bike lanes, stoplights for bikes, bike turning lanes, bikes with baskets, bikes with whole families attached to them. It was great!

And to park just find anything to chain your bike to, if there is room . . . otherwise join the pile of bikes ;)

We also visited the Singel canal flower market . . tulips or cheese anyone? ;)

All of Amsterdam is built on water, millions of pilings, and thus, has more canals than Venice. The canal side homes were lovely and colorful. Amsterdam felt like a worldly city, full of life and a live-and-let-live attitude. Just perfect.

so sad to return our bikes and off to catch our flight back to the States.