Traveling to Europe is the dream of many Americans.¬† Some people know exactly where in Europe they want to travel, while others just want to go on a whim and explore at random.¬† There are even some people who have no idea that Europe is not a country, but a continent!¬† Thankfully those folks have a plethora of information at their fingertips before they buy a ticket to Europe.
If I could plan MY dream vacation and have it go off without a hitch, I would fly into Amsterdam and stay a few days.¬† We would rent a car at the airport and drive around Holland, checking out the tulips and windmills and the beautiful countryside.¬† From Amsterdam, I would go in a crooked clockwise fashion around western Europe.
Next stop would be Hamburg, Germany.¬† While there, we‚Äôd take a tour of St. Michaelis (a church dedicated to the archangel Michael), the old warehouse district, and the many museums the city has to offer.¬† From Hamburg, the next stop would be Berlin.¬† Berlin is most famous for the Berlin Wall, which fell 20 years ago this year, signifying the end of communism in Germany. Of course, visiting the remnants would be on the top of the list of things to do, followed by the Brandenburg Tour (Gate), and the Zoologischer Garten Berlin (the zoo).¬† After Berlin, we‚Äôd head down to Frankfurt to see the lovely Romerberg (the city hall square) and Zeil – the main shopping street of Frankfurt.¬† Our last stop in Germany would be in Munich, where we‚Äôd hold our own Oktoberfest, regardless of the time of year. No trip to Munich is complete without a stop at the Hofbrauhaus, you¬† know.
Departing from Germany, our next we would make our way over to Vienna, Austria. While in Vienna, we would definitely have to stop at Tiergarten Sch√∂nbrunn ‚Äì the world‚Äôs oldest zoo, founded in 1752.¬† Another place I‚Äôd like to see is the Donauturm. It is the tallest free standing structure in Austria at 830 ft tall. It offers spectacular views of Vienna and the Danube River.
Onward to Italy! First stop, Venice to enjoy the novelty of getting places via water taxi and gondola rides. St. Mark‚Äôs Square (Piazza San Marco), the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal are on the top of my list of things to see here.¬† From Venice, we would head south to Naples.¬† It is the city where pizza was originated, so you know they have the best pizza in the world. Of course, I would want to see a bit of the city such as the Archaeological Museum and the Piazza del Plebiscito, but in all honesty,¬† I‚Äôd be visiting more restaurants than museums.¬† Rome would be next on the agenda.¬† In Rome, I‚Äôd have to buy a gelato specifically to eat while sitting on the Spanish Steps, just like Audrey Hepburn did in ‚ÄúRoman Holiday‚Äù.¬† There would be a photography expedition to the lovely Borghese Gardens – established in 1605 by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. And of course, no visit to Rome is complete without a trip to the Vatican City to see St. Peter‚Äôs Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.¬† This is quite a bit of distance from Rome City Center, so we‚Äôd need a separate dayto enjoy this part of Rome. The final stop in Italy would be the cosmopolitan city of Milan, one of the top fashion capitals of the world. Milan is where I would do a lot of my shopping and have a fun night out.
After the excitement of Italy, a nice peaceful stay in Zurich, Switzerland would be next.¬† I‚Äôd have to go down to the old city to see St. Peter‚Äôs Church, as they have the largest church clock face in the world.¬† After taking some pictures of this, a trip to Kunsthaus Zurich is in order; this is a modern art museum, housing one of the largest collections in the world.¬† You can see works by Munch, Braque, Picasso and more here.
Departing Zurich, we would head on over to Paris.¬† Ah, the City of Lights,¬† such an exciting place to be.¬† Where to begin?¬† There is the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, Moulin Rouge‚Ä¶I could go on and on.¬† I myself must always stop at the Eiffel Tower as seeing it in person never gets old.
The final stop on my dream vacation before heading back into Amsterdam would be Brussels, Belgium.¬† My high school French teacher grew up in Brussels, and the stories she told us about this ancient city were magnificent. I have never been, but thanks to her it is a place I have always wanted to go.¬† I‚Äôve had Belgian-style fries and waffles before, and they were delicious, but I‚Äôd love to try them first hand.¬† I would also love to visit a brewery, as the lambic style beers are only brewed in and around this area. (Lindemans is a good one to try, if you never have had a lambic brew.)
And here we are back to the drawing board.¬† Before departing Europe to come back home, I‚Äôd want to spend at least one more day in Amsterdam, maybe going to the places I might have skipped the first day.¬† The Anne Frank House, the Museum of Bags and Purses (I‚Äôll probably have to go alone on that one!), and the Tulip Museum to name a few. And so, fellow travelers, this would by my dream vacation.¬† What’s yours?