The One with the Thoughts of Frans

2009 in Places

I decided to join the crowd over half a decade after this kind of post started showing up across the Internet — and I bet it wasn’t new when I first saw it either. Here is my 2009 in places, alphabetically. I spent the night at most of these places, but some were “merely” the subject of day trips.

  • America
    • Chicago
    • West Bloomfield (+Detroit)
    • Holland: where they tried to explain the flags of the Dutch provinces and Wilhelmina peppermint to me.
    • Palatine
    • Saugatuck
  • Belgium
    • Antwerpen
    • Brugge
    • Brussel
    • Gent
  • France
    • Lille: on the way back the conductor told us we’d better be glad he’s Flemish, ’cause the French would give us a huge fine for not validating our dated return ticket prior to boarding the train (had already been checked on the way there, as well…), and that this was apparently written “clearly in 4 languages at the station.” Maybe on the validating machines themselves, but certainly nowhere else. Other than that it was quite nice.
  • Germany
    • Nürnberg: old looking city, but actually quite new due to WW2. Nice museums and metro system. Each church was apparently built by killing all the Jews who lived where the church is now located. A Nazi past, so to speak. The hotel had rooms based around local fairy tales, and was a total dream: both for the price we paid, and compared to our accommodations in Italy.
  • Italy
    • Atrani, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast: wonderful scenery, a horrible road that makes a 20–30 minute drive into one that’s more like two hours, lots of touristy shops, and the most laid back people anywhere, ever.
    • Capri: didn’t spend quite as much time here as we’d liked; blue grotto is nice but overpriced.
    • Florence: northern Italy is so refreshing after the south, recommended.
    • Torre Annunziata: Naples suburb that is near the Pompeii and Oplonti archeological excavations; also has a convenient train connection to Naples. Very impressive Roman ruins, and nice landscape, but the modern-day suburbs, city, and nearby villages are not very inviting. The atmosphere is a lot better in the villages than around the city, but the natives peer at you like you were some creature from outer space, which is rather uncomfortable.
    • Rome: definitely need to go back sometime; we barely scratched the surface despite being there for a while. Scariest and oldest elevator I’ve ever used. Who says elevators aren’t supposed to go down like 10cm when you step into them?
    • Sorrento: lots of stairs, just like anywhere else along that coast.
    • Venice: involved quite a bit of dragging with suitcases. Very special place.
  • The Netherlands
    • Amsterdam
    • Den Haag: they didn’t have a sand sculpture. Lame.
    • Den Helder
    • Middelburg
    • Rotterdam
    • Scheveningen
    • Texel
    • Utrecht: I lived here, after all.
  • Sweden
    • Stockholm
    • Tippen, Saltsjöbaden: where we spent the night and enjoyed the hospitality and company of a good friend.


  1. Um, baby, we didn’t use the metro in Nürnberg, only buses.

    Aside of that, I do believe the list is complete, with accurate commentary. ;P

    January 1, 2010 @ 13:59Permalink

  2. We totally did! We got on at Weißer Turm to go to Maximilianstraße. At Plärrer they were like this metro will not go further, you need to switch, so we switched. We got to Maximilianstraße, discovered that the courthouse was closed, went back, had to switch again at Plärrer, and got off at Lorenzkirche.

    January 1, 2010 @ 20:30Permalink

  3. Dweeb. I still find it odd that none of those names ring any bells. @_@

    January 2, 2010 @ 18:28Permalink

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