We begin our tour of Europe in an English pub.  This pub is in Derby (pronounced Darby).  It turns out that the Guiness actually is better in England (it's less bitter and more flavorful).

Other than drinking, there isn't a whole lot to do in Derby.  Andrew provided an excellent walking tour, though.  Derby's main claim to fame is its old horseracing track, which is now a park.  This racetrack is why horse races are sometimes called Derbys.  Since they don't have a racetrack any more, they have two stone rams to show the tourists.

Ace makes friends with the first ram.

We spend a while hanging out with the second ram.

Eric is thoughtful.

In addition to the rams, there are also rabbits.  Mr. Dodsworth is Fluf's English Lop buck.

Will Martin the rat is also in Derby.  He is named after the college that bought out the college where Fluf works, because Will Martin College are a bunch of dirty rats.  He is a Husky rat, because his markings resemble the dog of the same name.

There are lots of clocktowers in Europe.  This one is in Derby, and has a neat stone sword in front of it.

Jetlag is a strange experience.  It is made even stranger by spending the day wandering around the London tube system.  Eric has found the way out.

In London we went on the London Eye, which is an enormous, slow-moving ferris wheel that brings you up over the heart of the city.

Eric on the Eye.   The muddy brown background is brought to you by the river Thames.

Big Ben, as viewed from the Eye.

London is a large enough city that people feel free to express themselves.  For instance, this family decided that it would be an attractive statement of individuality to pave their garden with SHARDS OF BROKEN GLASS. Very punk rock.

Our plane to Amsterdam left from the East Midlands airport, which seems to fly more Cessnas than Boeings.  Perhaps most interesting was that their method of loading the plane was to walk all the passengers out onto the tarmac, up the stairs, and onto the plane.  This did little to help Andrew's fear of flying.  Nonetheless, we managed to make it to Amsterdam unscathed.