After my collarbone healed from the mountain biking accident in Argentina (see List of Bad Travel blog) I flew into Dublin on June 19th, met up with some friends, toured the Guinness Brewery, bar hopped in the famous Temple Bar district, and then flew to Germany for the World Cup games visiting Berlin, Hamburg, and even Nuremberg for the final USA match against Ghana.
While traveling in South America I met many backpackers who said Prague was the most beautiful city in the world and a must see if I was ever in the area so I took a train into the Czech Republic. I was not disappointed (see pics below) and also learned that Prague was home to some of the best beer and most beautiful women in the world. At this point in my trip I also noticed a similarity in each of the European cities. The 'red light' districts were hugely popular where most of the good bars, restaurants, and parties were. In Hamburg it was called Reeperbahn and they had some of the streets completely blocked off and checked ID, letting in only males 18 and over. Apparently prostitution is legal in many areas of Europe.
I cruised back into Germany and then headed to Amsterdam. This place is gorgeous during the day with canals, parks, shops, and restaurants. I walked into an Internet shop called Happy People Café and noticed there weren't any computers and the place was full of smoke. Of course I had to ask whether it was really an Internet café which was followed by laughter and a menu with various types of 'shrooms and weed'. I had to visit the red light district and sure enough it's just like you imagine with stretches of red lit windows full of strippers/prostitutes trying to get your 50 euros for 15 minutes of whatever? We ended up talking to a guy that owned and operated 65 'windows' and he said that it was like running a hotel and rented the windows for 110 euros for 8 hours. He also mentioned that the city was trying to change its image. Good luck!
After Amsterdam I headed to Pamplona, Spain for the 'running of the bulls' (see blog).