Europe

April 13, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Spring Break 2013 in Europe

For spring break this year we decided to take a whirlwind trip through Italy and Switzerland. When we planned the trip we decided to spend short time (2-3 nights) in each city so that we could experience a variety of different locations. This plan worked well and was a nice way to  introduce the kids to another country and we enjoyed all our train trips.

We flew from Portland to Amsterdam and then Amsterdam to Rome. The flight was long and tiring, but parents and kids actually did a great job of not being grumpy. We were all tired on the Taxi ride to our apartment.

Italy

Rome was crowded and noisy as expected. We spent our days exploring the ancient city and other major sites in the city. We kept our energy and spirits up by eating lots of pizza and gelato.

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Our first train trip took us from Rome to Florence. Climbing to the top of the Duomo in Santa Maria Fiery was the highlight of the city for me. It was amazing to climb up through walls of the cathedral and dome that has stood for nearly 600 years.

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  The collection of scientific instruments from the Renaissance at the Galileo science museum was also impressive.

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Our next train brought us to Venice where it rained on us for much of our visit. Of course, we are from Portland so we were undeterred by the constant drizzle. Like millions of visitors before us we had a great time wandering through the narrow streets and over the bridges in a city without cars. Hannah came up for a the word "canaleyways" to describe the tiny canals between the buildings. 

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Switzerland

We left Venice for the six hour train trip to Montreux Switzerland. This was the longest train ride on our vacation. 

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Water Taxi to Santa Lucia, Venice

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Milan Train Station

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SBB Train Leaving Montreux

Just south of the small city of Montreux is the Chillon castle. We thought that this would be a great castle to visit and it did not disappoint. We visited on Easter Sunday and the castle had egg decorating tables setup in the banquet hall of the castle. They had a big fire burning in the massive fireplace which gave a good contrast the cold feeling of the rest of the castle. 

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We finished our trip in Geneva. We were disappointed by the fact that the day we spent in Geneva was a national holiday because it was the Monday after Easter. So, we weren't able to sample some of the legendary Swiss chocolates like we had planned. We did enjoy our dinner at the restaurant in our hotel, Hotel Edelweiss. They had a two man band with one man playing the accordion and the other man playing a variety of instruments. The highlight was when he played the Alpine Horn and then let the audience have a turn. Hannah took a turn and played better than most of the adults.

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That was the end of our spring break adventure. We have already started thinking about what we might do next year.

Ciao, Scott, Abbie, Hannah and Sam

 


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