As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this weekend, I think back to the time of it happening, and since I lived across the world, I had a hard time understanding exactly what it all meant.
The one way I could connect with this event was through music. It’s no exaggeration to say that much of the popular music of the 80s dealt with the cold war and the division of Berlin, and so it makes sense that when the wall came down, some really great songs were written about how powerful an event this was.
I’m going to share four of those songs, though I’m sure many more have been written. But these four are ones I remember, and they all offer a lot of insight.
1. You will be the cause of at least one bike accident during your stay.
2. Guess what? There IS weed in Amsterdam. Everywhere. Get over it.
3. The Red Light District is subdivided into various types of women to fit every taste: on the main streets are model types, but in the different alleys are Hispanics, black women, Asians, even fat chicks…
4. The live sex show is incredibly underwhelming.
5. There is more free wi-fi in Amsterdam than all of Europe combined.
6. Stoner friendly also means child friendly. Food everywhere, inexpensive, and they’re used to childish behavior.
7. If you don’t get to the Anne Frank house before it opens, don’t even think you’ll be getting in.
8. Nobody’s really sure why the city’s symbol is ‘XXX’.
9. There are two old ladies in the red light district who own an art studio, who are famous prostitutes (they retired). They are pretty much local celebrities.
10. You are never too old for Amsterdam.
11. Amsterdam is quite possibly the most friendly city in Europe. It’s ok to let your guard down a little bit. The guy in the bar who offers you a brownie is probably not trying to get you high, he’s just being friendly.
12. That being said, watch out for the brownies.
13. The coffee cups are micro sized.
14. It is perfectly legal to have sex in the Vondelpark.
15. Cash machines are surprisingly hard to find in the red light district.
16. You will remember this trip for the rest of your life, and will long to come back.
Just minutes from Stuttgart, we found an excellent adventure for the kids – a Fossil Dig!
This slate quarry doesn’t look like much of a playground, but the kids had an amazing time.
As I see it, as far as travel in Europe goes, you have the big three: London, Paris and Berlin (some people feel that Rome should replace Berlin on this list, but they are wrong). These are the major hubs – centers of culture, history, and tourism. So you if you wanted to get a good feel of Europe with the most stuff to do, you’d want to make sure you hit those cities.
But you should also note that some of the slightly smaller European cities provide equally amazing experiences, without the huge crowds. Some of those cities would be Florence, Amsterdam, Budapest and Vienna. And for me, Prague is on the top of that list.
Ask anybody about Oktoberfest, and they’ll tell you about an amazing party in Munich you should attend at least once before you die.
You’ve heard all about it. 6 million people descend upon Munich for two weeks between the end of September and the beginning of October wearing leather pants and traditional German dresses, just to be part of the largest annual beer festival.
But what many people don’t know, is that just 2 hours west in the city of Stuttgart, is Germany’s SECOND largest “Volksfest“, and I’ll venture to say it is even better. While tourists from all over overcrowd Munich to check another item off their bucket list, Stuttgart’s Volksfest remains much more authentic and local, and therefore much friendlier. Don’t get me wrong, it’s by no means small. In fact, it’s kind of huge. And in this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about how to have the most amount of fun here, and live to tell about it.
Right, so let’s hit the ground running. First blog post.
I’ll be tweaking things a lot in the upcoming weeks, but right now,let’s just start with getting things up and running.
European living can come as quite a shock to the system, but if you keep an open mind, you’ll find you adapt quite quickly. Hell, after a while some things actually make a lot of sense.
But first, you’re going to have to change your way of thinking a little bit.