As of today we have been back from our Euro-Extravaganza for two weeks. As I typically find when I travel, it takes the amount of time I was gone to get back in the saddle. After two weeks, I finally feel like I can sit down and spend a little time reflecting on the trip. As this was two weeks jammed packed with activities, I will take you on a visually inspiring journey. Our adventure started in Stuttgart, Germany, where our friend, Will, is currently stationed with the Navy. After a few days hanging out on his hime turf, we set off on our road trip that took us to Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Lucerne, Murren, Bern and a ton of little towns in between. I have not gone on a formal road trip through Europe before... typically I have taken trains where you are on a schedule and pass through many quaint towns. I think one of the highlights about driving yourself (ahem, or having someone drive you) is that you can be on your own schedule. And all those cute towns? You can pop in and see them. While we had all our hotels booked ahead of time, we were really free to make up our schedule as we went along. While I did have a serious 7-page itinerary of "suggestions", we also had fun scoping out places and areas as we went along. With the longest leg of our journey being 4 hours it always felt like we were on-the-go, but never in an overwhelming way. And, while I did start out white-knuckled anxious in the back of a rather zippy 2-door sports car, I would say I came a long way in overcoming my tensions with heights, accelerated speeds & twisty roads. I now think I can confidently say I am a road trip convert, mountains and all. Bring it.
First Stop: Munich
Love that pop of lapis blue.
Our first night, we ate dinner at a traditional beer hall, Augustiner Braustuben on the main drag. With all the Black Forest carvings and shell grotto-esque center hall it was definitely an overall authentic Bavarian feel.
We grabbed after dinner drinks at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel. The atmosphere in the bar was a cool juxtaposition of rococo style plaster work accented in a dramatic uplight and a clean contemporary blue lit bar.
Coming back to our hotel wasn't so bad either. Our hotel, Hotel Opera, felt like we were staying as a guest in a townhouse, a little off the beaten track. It was only about a 15 minute walk to all the action, so far enough away to escape the thick of it all, but close enough that we walked everywhere. There is also a great neighborhood feel around the hotel with great restaurants, cafes and shops.
Breakfast was also pretty delicious. And, it should be noted, salami and cheese croissant sandwiches are perfectly acceptable breakfast sandwiches.
I kinda had a thing for all the door handles
I have to admit, Munich totally exceeded my expectations. It was an easy city to walk and bike around and inbetween the old world European feel (much of which was rebuilt after the war) there was a very modern and creative vibe. Next stop, Salzburg...