Sunday, February 21, 2010

euro(road)trip


Grace a carnival, last week I did not work (ah, how I love thee, European celebrations). So what's a girl to do with a few free days? Convince a few lovely La Rochelle folk to hop in a car with her to explore Belgium and the Netherlands, with a few bits of Germany and France for good measure. Oh, and throw in a business professor named Al.

We started in lovely Luxembourg, exploring the old casemates and introducing the La Rochelle gang to la vie Luxembourgeoise.

 
Monday morning, we hit the road, stopping in Aalst, Belgium to participate in some Carnival festivities. Note: in this particular Belgian town, the local men traditionally dress up as women during the celebrations. See above.



Monday night, we found ourselves in Antwerp, sipping beer with an ex-pat named Geoff...

  
...Tuesday was Rotterdam, eating apple pie at a North African restaurant....


...Wednesday and Thursday we discovered Amsterdam, Dutch pancakes, tulip markets and the peril of driving those winding canal roads....



...Friday was Koln (but not before two hours of traffic), and a 533 step hike to the top of the cathedral belfry (it's really not a true European vacation until you climb to the top of a church)...



...and Saturday we ended our little tour in Strasbourg where we attacked a mound of Alsacien Sauerkraut. 

We parted ways in Strasbourg - the Rochlais made their way back to La Rochelle, while the Luxembourg group headed back to Differdange to start a new week of work.  When I pulled into the Chateau parking lot, officially finishing this little roadtrip, I could help but feel like that girl who came to Europe for the first time three and a half years ago, tipsy with the thrill of discovery and adventure.

4 comments:

marissa eve said...

KELLEY I AM SO ENVIOUS OF YOUR LIFE...what wonderful experiences you are having. All those beautiful places. If only we could all be so lucky as you, to spend our young days exploring the magic of Europe. Sigggh...please be warned, your spring break trip to Kazakhstan will not be glamorous nor quaint nor classy. You'll have to bring that all here! Love you and can't wait to see you in just 5 weeks.

Anonymous said...

I forget to check in with you but got caught up tonight....
goodness you are enjoying your time there and taking wonderful advantage of opportunities!
I see you will really be traveling in the spring to Kazakhstan....
I think you will be making someone very very happy!
Take care.
Mrs. H
ps I love the photos...

c.hump said...

pleeeease tell me you weren't driving!


love you :)

Jonathan said...

I remember the trek up the stairs to the top of the Koln Cathedral ... beautiful really amazing ...