Almost Two Years Now
It’s been almost two years since I married the most wonderful, beautiful woman in the world. There have been up and downs, but overall marriage has been a huge blessing. I am so lucky to have my wonderful wife by my side.
Perhaps the approaching anniversary has put me in a nostalgic mood because I’ve been reminiscing about our European honeymoon.
Europe, Here We Come
We decided to head to Europe and do a whirlwind tour of several of the main Western Europe cities. Katie was very gracious in indulging my travel bug and allowing me to plan such a trip IN WINTER. Seriously, hats off to her. Many people look at me askance when I tell them what we did instead of going to a hot beach somewhere and lounging. After all, escaping winter for warmer climes is most peoples ideal vacation. I’d been aching to travel to Europe for some time and somehow managed to convince her it was a good idea.
Traveling in winter/off-season can be very advantageous. Generally, it wasn’t nearly as cold as we thought it would be. Yes, still cold but very manageable. Many times I was able to walk around town without any jacket at all. Also, lines are non-existent. We walked straight up to buy tickets for the Louvre and Vatican Museums. No wait whatsoever. Baller. Lodging was also much cheaper than in peak season.
Our two-and-a-half week itinerary included the following cities: Zurich, Vals, Lucerne, Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Paris. We originally had Venice and San Gimignano on our list of cities to visit, but decided to cut them to allow more time to relax and travel slowly.
We started our European getaway in the magnificent city of Zurich, Switzerland.
We used Airbnb to find much cheaper lodging options than hotels or regular B&Bs could offer. Many of Airbnbs options are renting out the whole flat/apartment, but some people simply list their spare bedroom for a much reduced rate.
In Zurich, we staying in the spare bedroom of an older couple who lived in the city. This is the only time we did not rent out the entire flat/apartment. As they were locals, it was very easy to get recommendations for where to go and what to do.
Andi and Carrie had a beautiful apartment with a wonderful view of the city. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the inside, but I did manage to take a picture of the view from the balcony. If you’d like to see more pictures, check out their Airbnb listing here.
I got better at taking pictures of our lodging as the trip went on. I chalk this up to simply fatigue and lack of experience.
We only had a couple days in the city and, unfortunately, much of that was spent in a daze as we tried to adjust to the new sleeping schedule. Much of our time awake was clouded by fatigue and both nights I woke up at around 3 or 4 am wide awake. The second night this happened, I got up and went to the kitchen to journal.
I surprised our hosts by being up so early. In addition to their main jobs, they both also worked as snow plow operators and were called in early to clear the streets after a heavy snow the night before.
On our last day, we discovered the Old Town part of Zurich. This was enchantingly beautiful in the snow. As great as newer, modern Zurich was (it’s seriously beautiful), Old Town has a charm entirely it’s own and I would have loved another day or two to explore.
Sticker Shock: The Price of a Small Quiche
One thing to note: Those rumors about everything being more expensive in Zurich are definitely true. Our first day there right after checking into the apartment, we walked arosss the street to the closest lunch place. We were starving and had to get something. That something ended up being a $23 quiche! Holy crap. It was good, but not THAT good.
After this little snafu, we discovered we could buy little breads, meats, cheeses (and chocolates) at the local grocery store to save quite a bit of money! Your mileage may vary, but we found it best to eat lunch at moderately priced places and use the grocery store for dinner and snack food.
I really wish we’d had a week in Zurich instead of two days. Heading into the trip, Zurich was just intended to be an acclimation stop before launching onto the real first stop, hence only two days; however, it was so beautiful I wish we had made more time for it.