What a trip! I just got back yesterday and as much as I'm ready for getting back to a normal diet and routine, I would love to be able to spend months at a time around Europe. I went with my wife and another couple. We left Salt Lake City on the 9th and flew non stop to Amsterdam and arrived Sunday the 10th.
We arrived on a Sunday at about 10 am and our first experience in Amsterdam was a bad one. Maybe it was a rough day but the customs line was a complete disaster. No organization, no real lines, just a crowd trying to squeeze through 3 open gates. A total mess but oh well! Once through there I recognized a lot from Rick Steves Europe Travel Skills video. We got our train tickets into Central Station and after a slight adventure finding our platform, we were off. Our first impression was of course the crazy amount of bikes in the city. We spent the first day checking into our apartment and wondering the city. The next day we we started the morning at the Albert Cuyp Market which was right by our apartment. We loved it and started the rest of our mornings at the market. There is every kind of delicious food and all sorts of different things for sale. We then had a bike tour through Mike's Bike Tours and we loved it. This is definitely the best way to get to know Amsterdam. As soon as the tour ended, we rented the bikes for the rest of our trip. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone who visits to rent bikes. You need to have your wits about you because bikes seem to have the right of way of cars and people, but once you're comfortable riding it is by far the easiest and most fun way to get around the city. That night we visited the Anne Frank house. It was informative and cool to see the actual house she stayed in. There are signs and things throughout the whole house so you can learn the story while you're in there. The only downside was that it is always so crowded so it's just like being on a crowded conveyor belt being sent through the house. The next day (Tuesday) we started off the day by going to the Van Gogh museum. None of us are real art loves or have any passion for art but we can still appreciate that magnitude of what Van Gogh created in such a short time. Even though we didn't spend as much time in the Museum as most people, we still enjoyed it. We spent the rest of the day eating our way through Amsterdam and exploring the Red Light District, which is definitely quite the experience. Our last day (Wednesday) we made sure to go to our favorite place Van Stapele Koekmakerij. They only make one thing, and they are the best cookies ever. All chocolate cookies with a white chocolate filling. We also made a few trips to the Metropolitan which has the best waffles with Nutella. That night we took the City Night Line train to Munich. I was so glad we chose to do this. My wife and I had a private compartment with 2 beds and a sink. We slept great and woke up as we were getting into Munich. This took care of travel and lodging at the same time and saved us a day for enjoying the city.
This was the stop on our trip that I thought my be a bit of a gamble. It was definitely my least favorite of the 4 cities we visited, but I still really enjoyed it. We had no intentions of drinking a ton of beer and partying while there so the fact that the weekend we visited was during Springfest and also an FC Bayern Munich match, we were definitely in the minority. Our first day there (Thursday) we did another bike tour, again with Mike's Bike Tours. This was another great tour and a would also recommend taking the tour when in Munich. We covered a ton of ground and saw all the main sights in just a few hours, and even stopped at a beer garden inside the English Garden. We got a delicious dinner at the famous Hofbrauhaus and it was delicious. Each day seemed based around Marienplatz which is gorgeous but there really wasn't a ton to do there. The market just past the square had a lot of good food (continued)