We returned home this past weekend from a wonderful two-week trip to three destinations in Europe - Amsterdam, Paris and London! Along the way, we stayed in four hotels and changed time zones five times!
We began our trip flying on a 747 (one of the things Robbie's always wanted to do). We moved our watches ahead six hours on that flight, so it was already the morning of the next day when we arrived in London.
It just so happened that we arrived on the Saturday that was the end of daylight savings time in Europe, so we moved our watches back one hour before going to bed that evening. Sunday was a very crisp day with quite a few hours of sunshine - perfect for attending the Cleveland Browns versus the Minnesota Vikings NFL game at Twickenham Stadium. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the fact that the Browns lost.
We fell into a peaceful sleep that night . . . only to be awakened by the fire alarm at 11:30pm. We slipped into our jeans & jackets, grabbed our passports, and trudged down the five flights of outdoor stairs into the very chilly night. Fortunately, there was not a fire - while the hotel apologized for the inconvenience, the lack of an explanation leads me to believe that someone on the hotel staff set off the alarm accidentally.
The next morning, our flight to Amsterdam was only an hour and a half, yet we lost another hour as we moved our watches ahead to another time zone. We arrived at the Schiphol Airport where we took the train into Amsterdam Centraal and checked into our room with a great view of the city and canal.
After two and a half days, we boarded a train for the three-hour trip through Belgium to Paris, France. Our room was lovely, very Parisian, although the view out the window was disappointing as the mall across the street was under construction.
Three days later we headed back to London, changing our watches back an hour in the process. We headed out to see the new Thor movie and enjoy a steak dinner in Leicester Square the first evening.
We were not aware of the annual anti-establishment protest march that was taking place until after we walked out of the restaurant and heard pops (like fireworks) and saw a group of people running toward us in the midst of smoke bombs. Along with others in the area, we hurried into a nearby building as the protest group raced past, most of them wearing masks, followed by a troop of riot police. Honestly, it was very frightening! It took the bicycle rickshaw driver we hired a good while to get us back to our hotel as he had to continually backtrack and go out of the way to avoid the crowds and multitudes of riot police! We were glad to arrive back at our hotel suite, although I didn't sleep very well at all that night!
The next morning was a beautiful sunshiny day, and we enjoyed four days of sightseeing and meeting up with online friends before heading home! Our flight home was a very long 10 1/2 hours, however, we gained six hours and once again reset our watches. Of course, all the clocks at home were still set for daylight savings time, but we were so exhausted when we got here that we fell into bed without even taking time to set the clocks back! When we woke up the next morning - very early due to jet lag - Robbie went around the house and got all the clocks and calendars set to the right time and month! It's taken a couple of days, but I do believe we're now on the correct time! :)
I'll be sharing lots more photos and stories from our trip, along with the three items I checked off my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 List, in upcoming posts.