Having family in the airline business definitely helps when it comes to traveling across the planet. My Aunt Colleen, while being an adventure addict and a well traveled flight attendent had never seen Europe the way we had in our five days on the continent. Besides seeing 3 of the most pronounced cities known to man kind, my father Paul, my Aunt Colleen and myself would have never thought that renting a car to go across Europe would remain to be our only fault of the whole trip.
Let me start at the beginning. My aunt being the spontaneous person that she is decided off a whim to take us to Amsterdam and then rent a car to visit the Eiffel Tower, Munich, Germany, and lastly the infamous Red Light District in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We had a budget and five days to take a whirl around Europe to get back to Minnesota for my cousin’s wedding the following Saturday. Leaving from Minneapolis airport on Sunday afternoon, I would have never expected that jet leg would hit me so bad. When arriving in Amsterdam, I immediately crashed in the car. Besides waking up every so often to see windmills and the occasional bike rider, Europe was in my dreams. As we approached the Eiffel Tower at the end of our first day in Europe, I awoke from my deep sleep and remember driving into Paris. What a lovely city Paris is in the summer and such a mixture of cultures. The elevator up the Eiffel Tower was the most heart stopping experience of my life. Seeing everything you’ve read in geography come alive is simply breath taking. As we drove through the night to get to Munich the next day, my Aunt Colleen came upon a merge sign in French. Not being fluent in French and also approaching a barrier and a side by side collision with a semi truck, she chose the barrier. Now, by this time it was 4 am in Verdun, France. We did not have a interpreter or book of French lingo nor did we have a spare tire. Thankfully the autoban has night crews that look for people stranded on the road. Although we knew no French besides,”Mercy” our car some how got fixed, but we also got delayed atleast 8 hours and slept in our tiny, broken down, rental car.
When the car was finally fixed, with a small alignment problem, we still had to look for a new hub cap for the other one was broken in two. Now, finding a Kia dealer in Europe going from Munich to Amsterdam is not the easiest thing in the world. Even just asking for the hub cap seemed extremely insane to some car dealers, but we eventually got one and our car even though it didn’t run as well, looked good as new. I believe Amsterdam was one of my favorite parts of our trip. Bike riding in the country and exploreing the great wonders of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in the Red Light District was definitely enlightening and made you respect where you came from. While I am not completely sympathetic with the idea of legal prostitution, it is a great culture shock that I believe everyone should experience.
Seeing Europe in five days with my family was one of the most frustrating, fasinateing, and culturely benefital trips that I will never forget. For me, this story is always the best to tell.
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