I LOVE traveling.
Few other things make me feel more content, more at peace, more in awe as waking up in a foreign land and experiencing all sorts of new sights, smells, and tastes.
Tate and I have traveled A LOT together; our honeymoon six years ago was two months backpacking around southeast Asia and we did a six month straight stint around South America and Asia after living in Peru. We have always been interested in going to Europe but were putting it off for a time when we had more money than time. Well, not sure that that statement is true now but when our dear friends moved to Germany last summer we knew the time had come to make the trip across the pond.
We did Europe tapas-style, taking bites out of five countries over 12 days. It was nearly more than we could chew but so delicious nonetheless!
Our plane landed in Prague, Czech Republic. We immediately jumped in a rental car and hit the road to Berlin, Germany.
Pieces of the Berlin Wall
Walking through the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Next we drove to Amsterdam, Netherlands…love Amsterdam!
Amsterdam has a feeling of a big (very touristy!) town, rather than city
Biking is absolutely the best way to tour around this town
While in Amsterdam I randomly found out that my dear, sweet college friend Corinne was going to Paris the next day too!!! She lives in Salt Lake City (where we studied dance together at the U of U) and we hadn’t seen each other in 3 years. We spent an awesome day touring Paris together.
Europe has the most gorgeous water fountains!
Next stop was a camping-at-the-beach-in-Bordeaux-France rendezvous with our friends living in Germany. I didn’t really get any camping pictures because I was too busy playing but after two nights there we headed West in a three car, 8 person caravan through wine country.
Late afternoon we stopped to use the facilities and I struck up a conversation about wine tasting with the owner of the restaurant. Apparently we weren’t on the tourist route but through a series of phone calls he found a vineyard that agreed to give us a tour and tasting. It was awesome! Our group didn’t speak French and Eduardo of Chateau Rioublanc didn’t speak English but we did have Spanish in common!
With two days to kill (and a lot of kilometers to cover!) we decided to check out picturesque Berne, Switzerland.
Amazing Aare River that flows through town and has hundreds of swimmers floating the current downstream
Tate, naturally, made friends and kicked ass trying out their river board
One more long day on the road took us through the Alps,
and back to Prague.
With the exception of three nights of camping we rented apartments on airbnb. I’m very familiar with this sight and company, as I’ve used it many times in the States and have actually been renting my own home in Charlottesville out on weekends to make extra money. Our home was rented both weekends we were away, earning us $800. We spent just under $1100 on camping and apartments for the 13 nights we were away, meaning that in the end we spent less than $300 on lodging. One awesome thing about airbnb is that it can help you save money on food too, since most places you rent have a kitchen. We always had coffee and breakfast in and often other meals as well. We only ate out 5 or 6 times the whole two weeks!
Here are the profiles for the apartments we rented if you are interested.
Every place we rented, except Prague, was someones primary residence but they weren’t there while we were (we had it to ourselves). All the ‘hosts’ were awesome to work with and each apartment super clean and comfortable.
It was a really great trip. The weather was perfect, the cities exceeded expectation, I ate as much cheese and drank as much wine as one can in two weeks, and I felt sated and happy with my tasted of Europe.
If you want to see even more check out the video Tate made of the trip, I posted it on the Gracefulfitness Facebook page!