I’ve already been to quite a few places in Europe from Gent in Belgium, to Venice in Italy, London in England, and Prague in the Czech Repulic. But there are still plenty more that I want to visit. And so I’ve set the quest to visit at least 5 European cities outside of the Netherlands.
I’m not counting business trips (unless there is time for sightseeing) because you never really get a “feel” for a city or a chance to explore. I want to have a real visit before adding it to this list.
Below you can read about the visits during the 1001 days period.
Visiting Paris in September, 2016
Me, P. and L. decided it was time for a fun trip with just the three of us girls. We didn’t want to go too far and it had to be rather low-budget and so we decided to go to Paris. I had been there three times before but only at the airport and once in a taxi through the city, so I hadn’t seen anything there yet.
My vision of Paris as the ultimate romantic city had been long gone but I was excited to see what they had to offer, and that was plenty! We went to all the highlights from the Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower, to the Moulin Rouge and the Chocolate museum. We even went to the Louvre for a quick visit. Which was pretty exciting (and secretly a little scary) because there appeared to be a bomb threat and the entire place was shut down.
It was obvious throughout the city that they were on high-alert everywhere with loads of metal detectors at sightseeing locations and loads of militairy guys and police with massive guns. A very clear reminder of the terrorist situation we are dealing with.
But we definitely didn’t let it spoil or fun or stopped us from going places. Very important in the “fight” against terrorism is just enjoying things and going out and about. We’re not planning on letting hate and fear take over our lives. And glad we did because we had a blast with great conversations, good wine and of course some French macarons to top it off!
Visiting Antwerp in November, 2016
This was a very last-minute trip and eventhough we didn’t really see much of Antwerp we did spent the night there and went partying so I’m adding it to the list.
I have another blog (in Dutch) and it’s gotten some niche popularity because of that I have a few contacts within PR agencies and one of them sent me an invite for a game launch party in Antwerp. Because I had to work and it was a bit of travel at first I wasn’t planning on going.
But a few days before I was chatting with P. and she mentioned she was free those days and instantely we decided we were going to go. I arranged the days off at work, we booked a train and hotel and were ready to go!
We arrived in the early afternoon and went for a walk through the city before getting some food and drinks and heading to our hotel to get ready for the party. It was an absolute blast and the goodiebag we got afterwards was insanely good (it even had the game worth €60,- alone). But most of all it was great to meet some of the people that worked on it and having a great time with my friend.
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Visiting BudApest in March, 2017
When I lived in England (6 months for my minor) I met L. a great girl whom I’ve been in touch with ever since (not to be confused with the L. above. Let’s name one UK-L and the other just L.). Even when I moved back to the Netherlands we continued to visit eachother and now, more than 5 years later we still talk often.
So when she said she wanted to do something special for her birthday and wanted to celebrate somewhere in Europe I was ready to go! Together with another friend, P., we decided on Budapest
Or more, we went on Expedia.com and saw an amazing deal for a superior room in a very luxurious hotel in Budapest, Prestige Hotel Budapest**** A hotel that would normally be way over our budget but with this deal was perfect. And so we decided to go for it!
Yes, we literally decided on where to go because of a hotel.
The trip was great! Budapest is a lovely city (but to be honest, not my favorite European city) and we had a blast with shopping, sightseeing, clubbing in the ruin bars/pubs, and I even got to experience my very first legit food poisoning. Never felt as miserable in my life as then but also very, very happy that we were in this amazing hotel with the toilet seperate from the bathroom.
Cherry on top however was also our Michelin star breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We had eggs benedict, croissants, fresh orange juice and some yummy sweet rolls that made for a perfect start of our travel back home. We were so busy eating that we forgot to take a picture, so instead have one of the Hungarian Goulash that gave me the foodpoisoning.
More trips coming soon (hopefully)!