Adventures in Europe (Prague/Amsterdam)

For our 25th wedding anniversary, I gave Derek a framed travel map that we pin with all of the places we have traveled to.  We were excited that our holiday travels this year allowed us to push two new pins into our map when we visited Prague and Amsterdam!

We arrived in Prague at night but even as we drove into the city we could tell that this place was special.  We quickly set out to explore and could instantly feel that we had chose a very special place to ring in the new year.

 First  Night in Prauge

First  Night in Prauge

There were tons of people all over the streets and a festive spirit in the air.   

We arrived in Charles Square to see a gorgeous tree that was decorated so beautifully and  surrounded by a Christmas market where you could sample local foods and drinks.

 Charles Square, Prauge

Charles Square, Prauge

Our first night there we stayed at a hotel close to the Charles bridge where we planned to watch the fireworks.  This was a smart move because it was very crowded in town, especially the closer it got to midnight.

 New Years Eve in Prauge

New Years Eve in Prauge

As midnight drew near we went to the bridge along with thousands of others waiting to ring in the new year together.

 New Years Eve in Prauge

New Years Eve in Prauge

It reminded me of the time we spent New Years Eve in Times Square.  It was just a little less congested, equally as COLD but very exciting too.  

To the side of us there was an group of Spaniards who were joyfully passing out cans of grapes to carry out a tradition of eating 12 grapes during the count down to  midnight.  They were so excited and friendly, inviting others around them to join in with their tradition.

During the hours leading up to midnight the fireworks were going off in every direction but when midnight hit, there was a spectacular show all around us.  It was really incredible.  

The next morning we relocated to an apartment just across the bridge from the city.

 Our apartment in Prauge

Our apartment in Prauge

It was a beautiful place.  We couldn't help but take photos as we explored each room of the house.

This "dressing room" had so many cabinets we couldn't imagine how you'd ever be tall enough to climb up to the top of the wall to use them.

 Fun with Lynsay

Fun with Lynsay

All of this storage is a crafters dream!  If this was my home, I'd be tempted to convert this room into my stamp studio!

 I spy a secret wall

I spy a secret wall

The master bedroom had a secret wall built so that the owner could move it to have a view of the Prague Castle from his bed!  

We certainly felt blessed to be able to stay in such a beautiful place where we could look out our windows, across the water to see this incredible city.

 Prauge

Prauge

The buildings in Prauge were rich with history and amazingly beautiful.

 New Town Hall, Charles Square, Prauge

New Town Hall, Charles Square, Prauge

I was glad that the Christmas markets were still up so there was always places to get fun treats like hot cocoa, sugared nuts or these fun potatoes on a stick.

 Prague Street Food

Prague Street Food

We even tried these chips and as you can tell by Lynsay's expression, they were very delicious.

 Prauge Chips

Prauge Chips

We enjoyed a walking tour where we got to explore all different parts of the city.

 Wenceslas Square - Prauge

Wenceslas Square - Prauge

A highlight for me on our walking tour was discovering the Patriae Et Music, the theater where Mozart debuted Don Giovani in 1787.

 Where Mozart debuted Don Giovani

Where Mozart debuted Don Giovani

Up the street from the theater we saw the building where he stayed and I imagined what it must have been like to have heard beautiful music coming out of the windows while he played music there.

 Mozart lived in the house on the right

Mozart lived in the house on the right

The second day we were there we learned that Prauge was celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Republic and there was going to be a huge fireworks show that would be put to music.  We bundled up in our babushkas and found a perfect spot to see the show.  

 Waiting for the fireworks - Prauge

Waiting for the fireworks - Prauge

This was clearly the MOST amazing firework show I've ever seen and I'm not a huge fan of fireworks.  However this show was worth the wait in the freezing cold air to see.  I found it online in case you want to watch it, you can do so by clicking here.

 View from Prague Castle

View from Prague Castle

The next day we enjoyed exploring the Prague Castle.  It was a very chilly day so we found a Christmas Market near the castle and enjoyed some delicious warm Pear Cider.  I'll have to learn how to make it because it was so yummy and the perfect thing to warm us up.

 Pear Cider

Pear Cider

Our time in Prague was short and we definitely would like to return to explore more of this amazingling beautiful city.

Our final stop was Amsterdam.  Just look at the tulips that greeted us at the airport.  WOW!

 Amsterdam Tulips

Amsterdam Tulips

Amsterdam was just a short stop on our way home,  we were only there a day and a half but we hit the ground running and saw a lot of the city on a private guided walking tour.  

We saw a Royal Palace,

 Amsterdam Royal Palace

Amsterdam Royal Palace

We passed by beautiful canals lined with dancing houses and more bikes than there were people!

 Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam Canals

We passed by the home of Anne Frank as well as the house below with the red and green shutters where Rembrandt lived and painted.

 Remlrants House - Amsterdame

Remlrants House - Amsterdame

We saw the floating flower market.

 Amsterdam Flower Market

Amsterdam Flower Market

We sampled local street food like pickled haring which as you can see Derek really enjoyed.

 Amsterdam Haring

Amsterdam Haring

And at many local cafe's I discovered a love for fresh ginger tea.  Something I have been recreating almost daily since returning home.

 Ginger Tea

Ginger Tea

Although I was really cold and a little under the weather, I really enjoyed exploring Amsterdam with loved ones and friends.  

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I was truly grateful for the opportunity to visit Amsterdam and I hope to one day visit again, hopefully next time in the Spring!

 Derek and Cindy In Amsterdam

Derek and Cindy In Amsterdam

Traveling home with a cold wasn't fun but it felt GREAT to get off the plane in Honolulu and read this weather report on my phone.

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It's taken me a few more days than usually to get back to feeling 100%.  However I am glad that I am finally feeling good enough to get back in my stamp room to create projects with all our new products.  

My next post will feature some of the things I've been working on this week.  Until then, thank you for allowing me to share a little bit about our holiday adventures.  I hope you enjoyed traveling through Italy, Prague and Amsterdam with us.  

With love and blessings,

Cindy