Summing-Up 7 weeks in Europe

Coming back, we felt different somehow. All of us have a new pair of eyes.

Vin reflected to me. “Once you have seen the world out there, you would realise how the ‘world’ you had grown up in is actually VERY small.”

Yes, I feel that too and that is why I love travelling so much. I want to broaden my horizons and hope my darlings would have a broader view of things too. I’m sure Dar is not the same boy he was since he left. Well, he did turned five during the trip, but he had also matured a lot suddenly in this short 7 weeks of travel with us, outside his comfortable zone.

Every time we experience something new, we are putting ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. However, we are also learning more and realising that we have more potential that we knew. For example, Vin didn’t know he could continuously drive for such long hours. The most he had ever driven was about an hour to two. Now, he has a record of at least 3 hours without resting. For me, it was realising that I could bring Dar around by myself on train transport and not get lost, reading station signs effectively and cooking with limited items available. These experiences really toughen us up for whatever we do in the future.

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This picture I drew sums up the 7 countries we went during the trip. That made our number of countries travelled so far at 13! Dar has visited 10 countries now at the young age of 5. Lucky boy! Of course, it’s easier to accumulate Europe countries since they are mostly connected via borders.

For some people, they might have done more places and countries to maximize their time but we didn’t want to tire ourselves running around Europe just making short stops. We wanted to fully experience all the places of interest that a particular place could offer. Even so, we were still quite tired, especially Vin who still had to work on Monday after coming back from a weekend trip. He made it all though and I’m glad we eventually went to places we desired.

So did we plan all these before going? Nope. In fact, we only planned which place/country to go each weekend and the last week of full holiday after his training. During the 6-weeks in Burghausen, I was spending my time each week searching on places of interest in that particular place and which hotel to stay in for the weekend trip. I read reviews after reviews until wee hours and checked pricing on TripAdvisor and Booking.com. Then, we would only book a hotel room on the Wednesday of the week and sometimes as near as only two days before Saturday! It was a mad-rush for time as I had to handle daily chores and boy-boy too.

So I thought I could finally relaxed on our last week because we had it all planned before the Europe trip. All rooms were booked more than one month ago. Then one night, we took a look at our itinerary. One talk leads to another and suddenly, we decided that our initial plan of visiting the old towns was no good anymore as we had seen the same stuff during the six-weeks stay!

Quickly, we decided to switch to Prague, then come back to Germany again before proceeding to Switzerland. We had decided to skip Prague earlier due to tiredness level so it was good to go back to it again. This created a rush to cancel hotels we booked earlier and booking new ones. I have never done last-minute planning before so it was an achievement when we managed to do it. This was among packing to leave the hotel apartment we stayed in and settling the bills. It was really quite hectic!

EuropeTravelledCountries

We visited about 25 places with the most in Switzerland and Germany and for each place, there were several places of interest we visited.

Summary of The Places We Visited:

(You may also read our impressions of Germany after our initial 2-week stay here)

As for whether they were good, everything we visited was pretty awesome and fascinating to us! We came back enriched with all these experiences and felt we really saw a lot. Disappointingly, Dar didn’t care for most of the places. He only perks up when there were transport to take. He stared long and hard at the buses, trams and trains passing by instead of the monuments or cultural stuff we were supposed to see. There were times we were quite frustrated with him for not ‘looking’. Sometimes, he would also urge us to quickly go back to the hotel room. However, we know we could not blame him for not knowing how fortunate he is. When he grows up, he would probably regret not looking harder.

Can he remember since he’s only 5-year-old? Yes, because he has a superb memory. After every visit, he would tell us an account of his day, what he took as transport and where he went. He also drew them in his sketchbooks. He’s just not that interested in historical monuments or buildings. One look and that’s it.

We have also shared the travelling experiences and tips of the following modes of transport used during our trip:

Flight: Getting to Europe
Train Travel
Self-Drive Tour

Hopefully you will find these tips useful!

For blogging, we planned to write about each places of interest in these places we visited in a post or parts if they are too long. These would create a lot of posts on this blog because we have so many photos and accounts to record! We felt each place was worth a note, whether good or bad and would like to share our experiences with people reading this blog. I only hope that this ongoing project would not take too long for us! We would be sharing the load of writing so sometimes, it could be me or Vin writing.

So What’s Up Now?

Meanwhile, I got to get back to choice of photos for editing. The amount we took is CRAZY! It’s the largest amount of trip photos we had ever taken so far. (well, it’s 7 weeks not 7 days…) Therefore, I will only be able to update new posts after I’m done selecting. Fortunately, I had already selected the June ones during the stay in Europe. Now I need to tackle those taken for the three weeks of July!

I’ll also probably finish up the remaining Taiwan posts before posting new posts on Europe. So do look out for them!

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Anyone wants to buy 4-D?  😉

  1. elaine March 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    hi,

    I’m planning for a trip to Switzerland and paris. Will be staying in Switzerland for 6days before heading to Paris. Wish to check whether you have the Itinerary to share on Switzerland trip? thanks

    1. Cat March 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Hi Elaine,

      We stayed in Switzerland for five days four nights. There wasn’t much of an itinerary though but we planned day to day to places and explored the entire Jungfrau region. If you are not in a hurry, we would try to finish up our posts on Switzerland by mid-April on the places and things we had tried in Switzerland.
      In the meantime, we could probably do a up a summary itinerary post but without any write ups on each individual place. I will try to work on it.

      Thanks for visiting our blog! Hope you have a great time in Paris too.

      1. Cat April 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

        I had done up the Switzerland Itinerary Post with information, costs and tips on travelling in Bernese Oberland Region.
        Check out the post! http://www.travelsnapstories.com/2014/04/5-days-in-switzerland-itinerary-and-tips/

  2. sudheer jose June 14, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Hi I saw one of your replies to Salzburg in Tripadviser. Your writing is inspiring and your photographs are excellent. I will be going on a 2 weeks trip with my wife and 5 year old daughter this month end and reading your trip gave me lots of ideas about what to see and information about Europe. Thanks and keep up the good work. regards
    Sudheer Jose

    1. Cat June 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Sudheer Jose,
      Your comment means a lot to us! Thanks for liking our writing and proving that hours spent writing this blog is not wasted…heh.
      We really hope to inspire more people to travel with their children and to make ‘family travel’ a priority, because it’s so much fun to see the world through a child’s eyes! There’s so many things to learn together and the strong bonding we forged as parent-child would bring benefits for a lifetime.
      Have a great time in Europe!

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