Moments In Germany

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend! I finally finished emptying out my suitcase and took some naps to recoup from a full week back at the office. It’s true, you need a vacation after the vacation!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI still have a couple more vacation posts to share so I hope you don’t mind. Now it’s time to show you some scenes from Quedlinburg, Germany. I’ve mentioned before how much I love going to the Harz area of Germany. It’s not too far from where my in-laws live so when we visit we usually manage at last a day trip to the Harz.

This time we stayed overnight and spent a great time visiting this beautiful medieval city. Founded in 922 Quedlinburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and I believe it has one of the oldest Fachwerk (half-timbered construction) houses in Germany. It is beautiful. We did have some rain while we were there so we couldn’t spend as much time outside taking pictures but just sitting in one of the cafes around the market square eating delicious cake and coffee was perfect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen we were able to walk around we wandered along cobble-stone streets, found antiquarian booksellers, took the Bimmelbahn for a 45 minute tour and I even saw the Frida K café. Unfortunately it was closed the day we went so I told my husband I’m definitely going back on another visit.

One of my favorite finds in Quedlinburg was the Die Buch Bar shop. This small shop is a delight for any booklover. They had jewelry made out of paper, bookends, book totes, and a bunch of other fun gifts. I was a bit overwhelmed and barely knew what to choose but I got a bookmark and some paper for bookbinding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rest of our visit we spent it with family and friends. Of course I  made my visits to bookstores I enjoy in Hannover and Braunschweig. I made a couple of book purchases whichI will tell you about soon. I ate way too many brotchen for breakfast every day and let’s not even discuss chocolate consumption. Oh but we did do a bit of bike riding in Germany so that should offset some of that right?

Ok, next up I’ll tell you about what I read & bought while on vacation!

More From The Netherlands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur two other day trips from Utrecht were to Rotterdam and The Hague. Armed with maps we picked up from the Tourist Information centers we had nice walks planned out in both cities and the walks would take us through some must-see points.

In Rotterdam I loved the cool architecture we saw. One fun building we saw was the Cube Houses. These bright square shaped cube buildings were designed by Piet Blom in 1984. There is one set aside as a “museum” which you can go in and explore. Well, it’s quite compact but definitely fun to check out

Our walk also took us to the Market Hall which is a great indoor market. You can find sweets, veggies and meats and all sorts of food shops. With so much to look at it was actually almost hard to decide what we wanted to eat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn The Hague we enjoyed going to the Peace Palace and learning more about its origins. Makes me wish more people would go visit and perhaps think more peaceful thoughts! We also found a great little restaurant to try Indonesian food which is apparently very big in Holland. My husband and I ordered the same thing but they served us slightly different dishes which was great as we got to taste a bit more variety. I loved the curry chicken with rice that I had.

Perhaps though the highlight of The Hauge was seeing  this girl.

vermeergirlThe Mauritshuis museum has a wonderful collection of 17th and 18th century art and to see this Vermeer painting was really amazing. The Anatomy Lesson by Rembrandt was quite unique. Oh and The Goldfinch was there too!

So that’s our Netherlands trip in a nutshell. I visited bookstores in all of these cities and I do have purchases to tell you about but I’ll save those for another post.

First though I also have to tell you a bit about Germany. Hope you are having a great weekend so far!

Scenes From The Netherlands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe spent nine fun days in The Netherlands on our vacation. For the most part good weather, and we rented an apartment in Utrecht. We were near the city center so every day we walked along the canals whether we were wandering around or even when we went to the train station to go somewhere else.

We made day trips to Gouda, Rotterdam and The Hague. We could have squeezed in another city but it was nice to have some downtime and not be in a rush all the time. We had been to Amsterdam years ago so it was nice to return and see more of Holland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn Utrecht not only did we see beautiful Dutch houses and lots of cyclists we even saw a UFO. I believe the UFO was part of an art installation from some years ago. While we wished we could have biked, actually our trip to the Netherlands was supposed to be a bike tour but train tickets for our bikes were sold out from Germany to Utrecht, I still felt like every time we walked towards the city center there was something new to look at. We could have rented bikes while we were there but we decided we could do that another time. Yes, I’m sure we’ll go back to

Some of the highlights for me of Utrecht was finding MegaCarta. This great shop sold vintage postcards. I had to buy a couple. Sipping cappuccino at CoffeeCompany. Walking around the Dom tower and just looking at the beautiful buildings.

iliflowA short train ride away and we were in Gouda for a day. This charming city is of course known for its famous cheese, which we did sample, but I fell in love with the Chocolade Fabriek. A chocolate factory you say? Actually this now defunct chocolate factory is home to the city library. We went in to take a break from all the walking around and guess what I found on the shelves? Flow Magazine. So here I sit with the original Flow (in Dutch) mainly looking at the pictures but really enjoying my surroundings. They have a café in this wonderful library and they also had a large selection of English language books.

Next post: Scenes from Rotterdam and The Hague.