Announcement: European Adventure, the Itinerary & What I’m Looking Forward to in Each City
After having been to Europe a handful of times, I was ready for a new challenge! I (sort of) started planning a trip to Ecuador – I really want to check out the Galapagos Islands. After months of dreaming (and deliberating), I finally decided to hold off on this trip. I will get to Ecuador eventually, but with the ease of traveling from country to country, city to city in Europe – well, I decided that for right now, this is the right move. I can cover more ground and see (and share!) more of Europe. The Galapagos is a project for later this year (or maybe 2017). Anyway, right now I’m just a month away from jetting off to Europe! And I’m so excited.
I recently wrote a post about how I organize my trips and myself, and keep sane – especially when planning a trip that leaves you hopping from country to country. You can read it here if you need help organizing a big adventure.
Right now, I’m in research mode. As I’m tying loose ends and finalizing the trip planning, I’m on the lookout for what to see and do at each location. So today I am sharing my itinerary and one thing I am excited about (be it person, place or thing ;-P) in each city or town I’ll be checking out. Let’s go!
Photo of Wawel Cathedral by Gabriela Fab via Creative Commons
I’m starting off in Kraków. The thing I’m most excited about in Kraków is really just walking and experiencing the Old Historical Town. It is supposed to be a very well preserved, charming medieval center that has now been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will be my first time in Poland, so I’m also looking forward to hearing (and practicing) Polish in the charming shops, and restaurants.
I’m excited to hear Chopin’s Nocturne in C Sharp Minor. There are free Chopin Concerts during the summer time (May to September) at the Fryderyk Chopin Monument (go figure), in Łazienki Park.
Photo by Blok 70 via Creative Commons
I’ve been hearing so much about Berlin lately – I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out the city. I will be meeting my cousin there – so I’m looking forward to seeing her, and I’m looking forward to exploring the distinctly unique neighbourhoods of Berlin. I love this Berlin Neighbourhood Guide by Travels of Adam, who lives in Berlin and broke it all down for us.
Photo by Marcus Pink via Creative Commons
Dresden’s city center was rebuilt after it was almost completely destroyed in WW2. I am looking forward to seeing the city thriving, and the impressive buildings – and to look out at the Elbe river on the “Balcony of Europe”, Brühl’s Terrace.
Photo by Roman Boed via TravelMag.com
Prague, Czech Republic
I visited the Hungarian State Opera House while in Budapest, and during our tour, the guide mentioned the rivalry between the Hungarian Opera House and the Opera House in The State Opera in Prague (more than once). Now, I have to experience them both and decide for myself, which is the fairest of them all!
Photo by Gilad Rom via Creative Commons
Ljubljana is picturesque – green, serene and inviting. Not surprising, it was awarded the European Green Capital of 2016. The city is designed for pedestrians – I’m looking forward to walking the city, strolling along (one of) The Triple Bridge, Tivoli City Park and exploring the surroundings (lots of day trips around Slovenia, the small but beautiful country).
I have a few more locations I am planning to visit, but they have not been confirmed yet. I want to keep these as a surprise, and I will share more about them once plans have been confirmed. But if you really want a hint, I’ll just say that I have a friend who just got married and is living in Italy at the moment – and I miss her, lots – obvious enough?
Last but not least, I’m closing my trip in Paris. I’ve already done a lot of the “must-sees” in Paris, and have crossed-off a lot of my own “to-dos” in the city. This time, I want to experience more of the “back-door” Paris; for example, I’ve booked an Underground Paris and Graffiti Culture Tour through Airbnb. Instead of staying close to the center, I’m planning to stay just at the outskirts and discover a lesser-known Paris – the neighbourhoods of Belleville, Batignolles and Père Lachaise – Ménilmontant, to name a few.
A big part of the travel experience is the planning – the anticipating and the dreaming, the details and the bookings – so take your time with it and be open to inspiration and information (sometimes from unexpected sources). Enjoy and savour it.