Planning Euro tour 2017

In less than a month, I take off for another (just short of) three week trip to Europe.  And yes, I was in July/August in 2016 (going to Russia, Turkey, Bosnia and Romania).  The reason for my trip is the wedding of a VERY dear friend, whom I’ve known since 1999 or 2000?  The lovely Julia was a supervisor in the boarding house whilst I was at school – she was studying at university.  Even in my school years, she spent time in Germany (Cologne I think), and since then, has lived in Heidelberg, off and on.  She’s also spent time living in Brisbane and Melbourne, and so we’ve seen each other in different places as the years have passed.  I visited her in the European summer of 2008, before continuing on to Berlin.  Then I ‘last minute’ went to Heidelberg from Christmas 2010.

Snowy Christmas

The invitation was enough to jump start me to add side trips I’ve long wished to do, and re-blog about earlier this year.  The key things being

  • visiting Oradour-sur-Glane in France
  • seeing the tulip fields in the Netherlands
  • see Iceland

Seeing Tulip fields is seasonal, and so it’s a lucky coincidence for a spring wedding to almost coincide.  I did go to Amsterdam and The Hague in 2010, between Christmas and New Year, but it will be quite nice to see it in another season.  I will visit a friend I studied in France with in 2006 in The Hague, who will be expecting her first child!

Talk about futuristic! A Hostel in Iceland

Going to Iceland is a more recent passion.  I continued to see other bloggers visit, namely 71 Toes with their brood of children, and the (not by choice) childless Blog About Love couple. Seeing as the latter was published in 2014, it’s been a slow simmer to get me to visit.  I did look at flights last year when I was in Turkey, but it was logistically challenging and accommodation both pricey and hard to secure.  Earlier this year, I caught up with a dear school friend who’d recently been to Iceland, so I took that as a final ‘push’!  She’s recommended a great tour company, so I’ve booked a WEEK worth of day trips! As I’m travelling alone, I’m not keen to hire a car.  I did hope I could twist my brother’s arm to come travelling with me again, but he has work commitments (and… coincidently, can now go to Iceland to accompany a school trip.  Beats me bank rolling his travel ;))

Pretty tulip fields

So I plan to fly to Amsterdam and spend two nights in The Netherlands, before about a week in Iceland.  From Iceland I will fly to Frankfurt and catch a train to Heidelberg (which I now feel like is almost normal to me, after a few times!) for a long weekend – arriving before the wedding and staying until the Monday.  I’ve lucked out with finding a friend of the bride who wants to share accomodation with me in an AirBnB – actually aside from Iceland, I’m staying in AirBnBs.  In Iceland, I went for quirky hostels.  And the book end to the trip will be France  – a few days to head to Oradour and then fly out of Paris back to Sydney.  It’s only these last few days in France I’ve not booked, but basically, I plan to train or fly in from Germany, hire a car, and head south.  It’ll be my first foray hiring and driving a car on that side of the road – eek!

Of course, this will take me to the wire of annual leave days I have.  But beats a week or a day on the couch in Sydney, so it’s worth it!

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6 Responses

  • Hi Sarah, You’re heading to Oradour for the war memorial? I had to look it up. Horrifying! I hope the memorial is testament to the resilience of the people in the region. I can’t wait to hear about your Iceland travels. It is #1 on my wish list. We hope to go in the next year or two – it is not an expensive flight from here, but we’ll want to save up for the lodgings, food and side trips/tours. With new car and new roof this year, our only travel will be visiting family.I will travel vicariously through you 🙂

    • I know what you mean about Iceland – I’ve spent a lot more than I would be usually comfortable with! But given I ‘almost’ went last year, and on NYE I realised it was the one place I wanted to go, I feel the spend is worth it. I’ve prepaid all the tours and accommodation so I hopefully the incidental costs and food will not be as shocking to the daily budget! But I did get a new car in the past 12 months, so I feel for you!

      I am heading to Oradour for the war memorial – I believe I read a fictional book set there, and it really brought to life the town.

  • Sounds a brilliant trip. Iceland is the current flavour of the month. I had a friend went two years ago and says it was quite crowded. My dad actually ran off with an Icelandic woman and she returned to Iceland after decades in Australia – but hey, that’s a whole other story.

    I hope you’ll give us details on your Airbnb accommodation and the tours you go on. Helps us live vicariously through you and help us dream. And maybe even plan our own adventures.

    • I will FOR sure share the photos and details. It certainly seems the flavour of the month – though I realise now that when my aunt visited me in France in 2006, she’d come from Reykjavik,before it was cool ha!

  • Oh how very exciting!! Definitely will be living the vicarious travel through you. I love reading even the minutinae of travel from transport issues to accommodation. Oradour would be challenging, I think. It wasn’t far too from us in Bordeaux in Jan. After weighing it up for a few days I ended up going up to the mountains. So I missed a visit there and will look forward to a trip report. The tulips look so beautiful. You will be covering a lot of ground in a short time!

    • I will do my best to let you know the tiny travel details! I’m debating about taking the laptop so I’m better for blogging, as the iPad failed me last year…



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