I have been fascinated with Europe for a while. It all started in 2004 when my BFF, P first moved there and started sending postcards and sharing stories of a gorgeous world full of snow-clad mountains, fairy tale castles, scenic lakes, etc etc. All her stories created an image of a wonderland in my mind and I resolved to visit it as soon as I could collect some money. And as Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist “if you truly want something, then the entire universe conspires in helping you achieve it” – well, mine sure did. After numerous failed plans, my first international trip was to Spain in 2006. And with this trip, the fascination increased.
In 2011, I managed another trip and visited a small part of Eastern Europe and some parts of Central Europe. You can read more on the planning and routing for that trip here. This trip was extremely special as it was the first international trip that I and my sister planned completely on our own, traveled across 5 countries alone (apart from a small part that we did with P and J) and managed Europe within a commendable budget. This trip did wonders for our confidence, helped us put our lives in the right perspectives, gather numerous priceless experiences and broadened our outlook towards new things. But best of all this trip got us to fall in love with travel itself and helped me set up my travel blog. 🙂
In 2013, we decided to visit this wonderful continent again, but this time we decided to explore more of Eastern Europe. We decided to start this trip from Prague again and end it at P’s house in the Netherlands. We had been to Prague in 2011 but visited it again, as the tickets were cheapest from there. During this trip we planned to visit the following countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Netherlands. But as the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”, ours did too. The changes started while we were on the trip and instead we ended up visiting – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium. While I liked what I did, I was very sad on missing Croatia and hope to be able to visit it soon 🙂 (though the current INR depreciation does not make that plan viable anytime soon :()
This trip was even better than the previous one as we were much better prepared and knew some parts of our ways. We saw some beautiful places (some gorgeous & some tragic), met some amazing people (who went out of their way to help us), made some stupid mistakes and did some crazy things (was on a street for a night in Hungary), had some amazing local food (all kinds of cuisines), used all kinds of transport, shopped for all kinds of stuff, but most of all had numerous adventures that make quite interesting stories.
So follow this space as I share these various stories and tips from my 2013 Europe visit and travel with me as I live my vacation all over again. 🙂