Euro Trip 2016: Amsterdam Video

Euro Trip 2016: Amsterdam Video

The video below is the last leg of our European honeymoon. Amsterdam was a favorite city of ours and we would love to go back and do more exploring. After using my GoPro Hero 3 for the duration of the trip, I’m tempted to get a Hero 4. I would upgrade to the newer Hero 5 but it’s not compatible with my Feiyu Tech gimbal.

The music track we used was Sheppard’s “Keep Me Crazy” which doesn’t allow the video to play on mobile devices. I did not know it would be restricted but it can’t be helped now. Thanks for watching.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Advertisements

Euro Trip 2016: Amsterdam

Amsterdam 2016

Amsterdam was our last stop on our European honeymoon and also the shortest. Three days were not enough to fully explore this amazing city.

Cell Phones

Since this was the last leg of the trip and the shortest, we didn’t purchase a new SIM. We decided to use our SIM cards from the previous countries until we used up all the minutes and data. We would switch to WiFi whenever possible to cut back on data usage.

Transportation

We picked up a three day Amsterdam Travel Ticket for 26. This Smart Ticket or (OV-chipkaart) is easy to use and you can choose a longer duration, up to seven days. Getting on a bus or train is easy, you tap it on a pad on trams and buses. It also comes with a transportation map which was helpful. The ticket covers the train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station. This is convenient since you do not need to purchase separate tickets for the public transport in the city. We used the Citymapper app to navigate around the city. It’s a lot better than Google maps for transportation schedules.

Accommodations 

We stayed in Amy’s Blue Room on the historic Haarlemmerdijk. It’s a short distance to central station, two stops on the bus. You can easily get to the other parts of the city from Central Station. It’s about one kilometer to the Anne Frank House and the city cente, and it’s a nice neighborhood to walk through.

The Fun Stuff

The Canal District

We loved walking through the canal district. The clean streets, iconic architecture and fresh air were a welcomed break from the busy streets of London, Rome and Paris. While not many places of interest are in the canal district, the scenery and architecture is well worth the stroll. We would buy pastries and hang out along the canals which looks great at night as well.

Anne Frank House and Museum

The Anne Frank house and museum was a short walk from our place. I did not read her diary growing up but the museum gives a great history of her life. The museum did not allow pictures to be taken inside which was a relief. The wife and I were able to just immerse ourselves in her story without trying to take pictures. I was able to read excerpts from the original diary which was a great experience. We picked up a copy of her diary in the gift shop, which I will read soon.

Heinekin Experience

If you are a Heineken drinker, this is a must visit. The Heineken Experience is a tour through the first Heineken brewery in Amsterdam. You learn the history of Heineken and how their beer is made. Beer is no longer brewed in the building but kegs are shipped in from their closest brewery. Two glasses of beer are included with the ticket.

Van Gogh Museum

My wife and I decided to visit the Van Gogh museum instead of the Rijksmuseum. We wanted to visit both but we were limited on time. She’s a fan of Van Gogh’s work and wanted to see more of his paintings. If you’re a fan of Van Gogh, this visit is worth the trip.

Thoughts on Amsterdam

I didn’t mention everything we did in Amsterdam above. We went to the red light district, coffee shops and two CrossFit gyms (they were closed). We had a blast and we wish we spent more time here. In retrospect, we would have cut two days from Paris, and stayed the extra days in Amsterdam. I hope you enjoyed my recap of our honeymoon. If you have any questions feel free to comment or use the contact form, safe travels.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Euro Trip 2016: Rome

Rome 2016

Rome was the third stop on our European honeymoon. My last visit to Rome was 25-26 years ago. I was around four and do not remember much. My return to Rome was with my wife and I couldn’t have asked for a better travel partner. Main points of interest on this trip was the Vatican, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

Cell Phones

We picked up a new set of SIM cards from TIM. It came with a few gigs of data and costs about $30.00. The coverage was great and data speeds were fast. We would switch to WiFi once we got home which made the data last about five days.

Transportation

From the airport, we used an airport shuttle that was offered at the airport. It was about €10.00 per person. We used the same service to transport us back to the airport for our flight to Amsterdam. The subway system in Rome is small compared to Paris and London. It contains only two lines that run near the center of the city. The bus system is your go to for public transportation. We picked up the three day pass and a two day pass from a local convenience store. They also sell passes at kiosks around Termini station.

Accommodations

We stayed in an AirBnB on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Aside from the awesome name (my first name is Emmanuel), it’s within walking distance of many tourists spots. We walked to the Vatican, Pantheon and Trevi fountain. Unlike Paris, we booked a room but it had a bathroom which was a plus. The person checking us in was very helpful and gave us directions to laundromats, popular eatery’s and tourist spots.

The Fun Stuff

The Colosseum

The Colosseum is an iconic Roman structure. It’s featured in most if not all films that portray ancient Rome. It’s also the setting for one of my favorite films depicting ancient Rome, Gladiator. The structure is large but not as large as I imagined. If naval battles were fought in the arena, the ships would have to be really small. We walked around the ancient arena and then headed towards the Forum.
Roman Forum

The Forum was a short walk from the Colosseum. The Forum contained ruins, churches and other buildings. Some of the churches were old temples that were converted when Christianity became the national religion of the empire.

The Vatican

My wife and I are both Catholic and the Vatican was at the top of our must visit places. We visited St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel  and the Vatican museum. Like Paris, we were able to attend mass in St. Peters. While there Pope Francis give his weekly address in St. Peters square. We were able to view great works of art such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as well as the Pieta. Some of the papal tombs were open and we were able to walk through them. Unfortunately we were not able to see the tomb of John Paul II, but we were able to view St. Peters tomb.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of the more famous churches in Rome. It was a former temple that was converted into a church. Two famous tombs can be found in the Pantheon. The tomb of King Victor Emmanuel II (pictured above) and the tomb of the famous artist Raphael.

CrossFit Villa Albani

A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without visiting a CrossFit gym. Simonetta, the owner, was very welcoming and asked us to sign her wall in the lobby. We picked up a few shirts after taking a tour. We didn’t get to workout but hopefully we will the next time we visit Rome.

Our trip to Rome was amazing and we were sad to leave. We had a great time wandering streets and eating amazing Italian food. I’m going to miss the pizza and I’m sure my wife will miss the gelato. This will not be our last trip to Rome.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!