We passed through Belgium rather rapidly but I kept the video camera handy and I caught Central Station in Antwerp from the highway out of the bus window.
We next major stop is Amsterdam, Netherlands (Holland) where we took a wonderful float trip through the city via various canals. We started just outside the Central Station, passing by the famous Anne Frank’s house, before docking at the Sea Palace for dinner. The next morning we visited a Diamond Factory that sits close to the Opera House. As in many cities we have visited I got a few shots of the churches and other unique structures. In many places in Europe I found that the oldest buildings still standing are the churches which is why they are so unique and interesting to visit. Some have famous people buried within them.
After completing our trip on the Rein River we board our bus and travel to Koln/Cologne Germany. Along the way we still spot more castles, some that are large in size. Once we reach Koln we visited the famous Cologne Cathedral and see some of the ancient artifacts that are contained there.
We reach St. Goar and board a bout for a sightseeing cruise down the Rein River until we reach Boppard where our bus will be waiting for us. All along the way we got to see more castles from the unique view of the waterway.
Next we stopped off at Heidelburg to tour its famous castle. While touring we learned how the castle was expanded by each generation before it was ruined. It was nearly lost to time before the city found great uses for it; one being tourism…
After a wonderful time in northern Italy, we now turn north and head into Austria. Our two major stops here are Innsbruck where we toured the city and then later took an evening horse and buggy ride through Stubia Valley and had a nice drink at the Gasthof Schallerhof near Stubaital. The cows were decked out with special bells for a festival and they say they can find a cow by its bell as each has a unique sound.
Next stop is Verona, Italy. Like all places we visit in Italy you see ruins of the Roman times but this city is also famous for something else. This is the city of Romeo and Juliet where we visit the actual place the story is told about; nothing like the movies of Hollywood but a simple place that many today travel in search of love by leaving notes of one sort or another. I have never seen so many sticky notes in one place before…
The mainland of Venezia is a wonderful place to explore. The famous Bridge of Sighs is a bridge to the prison which the condemn saw their last sight of the city. In the main square (as in Saint Mark’s) is the Doges’ Palace, the Basilica, and the tower. We also spent a lovely canal gondola serenade ride with our two new friends from New Jersey.