We decided during planning, it would be a good idea to get back to Paris early to ensure we didn’t miss our flights home. We also thought we had overbooked Paris and this last day could be used as a catch up of anything we had missed. We did not take into account how tired we would be. I really just wanted to lay in the hotel all day. But, we decided to at least go on a search to buy some art we could bring back. No such luck, the quick google search led us to cheap, disappointing studios. One was filled with obscene adult cartoons. DEFINITELY not my style. Another studio looked as if high school students were selling art. We gave up and headed to dinner in search of Pho. The highest recommended place did not look like it was open and was down a questionable alleyway. We choose the next rated Vietnamese place and were a little disappointed. We decided it was time to call it a day. Continue Reading…
Our pizza and wine infused evening resulted in a later than anticipated start to our only day in Venice. Thankfully the gracious B&B owner left the the breakfast open for us. The fresh fruit and drip coffee perked us up just in time for us to wait in line at bag drop.
Knowing we were short on time but long on activities we maintained a positive attitude and started to multitask by picking up the Venice Museum Pass and getting more cash. Kim had been talking up riding on a vaporetti or a gondola, without really knowing the distinction. Unfortunately, the strike motif of the trip reared its ugly head as the vaporetti workers were striking for higher wages.
The bottle of wine at dinner and the long day of “touristing” meant that our alarms were left snoozing until the last possible minute to catch our bike tour of Amsterdam. Our first day had consisted of doing all of the common tourist activities in Amsterdam but this was partly due to the city. The Dutch are very friendly and tolerant but definitely prefer to keep the locals separate from the tourists. With good reason as I’m sure tourists, especially in Amsterdam, can be very obnoxious.
One of the most obvious ways this separation manifests itself is the use of bicycles; all of the locals have them and few of the tourists are riding. The tourists that are riding use rented bicycles which stand out like a sore thumb. On the bike tour, we were given innocuous looking bicycles which blended in nicely. This tour was led by a local guide who had some insight into the history of the city, common architecture, and culture of different neighborhoods.