The excitement about being home from our trip and seeing our kids has worn off, and I think we are ready to go back on vacation! :) We visited 3 different countries on our 8-day trip to Europe, so I will break them all down for you in separate posts. Not only do I want to inform you of places we stayed and things we did (in case a trip is in your future), but I want to have a “diary” entry of our trip so I can always look back!
A little background info: We planned this trip about 6 months in advance in celebration of our 10 year wedding anniversary (May 2013). We traveled with my sister, Sarah, and her husband, Nate, who are also celebrating their 10 year anniversary in October. Steve and I have both previously been to Europe, only once each, and not together, so this was such a great “first” for us. My sister and her husband are very well traveled and basically planned the whole trip, which we are eternally grateful for. They had been to all of these destinations previously, and used to live in Germany, so having our own personal tour guides (and German translators) was amazing!
We flew Chicago | London | Frankfort. Once in Frankfort, we picked up our rental car. We thought we were getting a Passat wagon, but they informed us that they had a vehicle with Italian plates (our final destination), which would save us about $300 from having to pay an out of country drop fee. Sweet! We’ll take it. It turns out the vehicle with Italian plates was actually a Mercedes mini bus! We could have packed 12 people in this thing and ended up being a hilarious change of events!
We then drove about 45 minutes to Heidelberg and checked into our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Hollender Hof, right near the Old Bridge, within walking distance to everything, and our rooms overlooked the Neckar River.
Heidelberg is oozing with charm. The cobblestone streets, planter boxes, quaint shops, outdoor dining and drinking, and views are just fabulous.
We could not be in Germany without mentioning the delicious beer! The four of us are beer drinkers, and we had our fair share! Perfectly brewed, poured, and in the perfect glass. Heaven!
I think we basically ate and drank our way through Heidelberg. The weather was perfect for strolling the streets, drinking delicious milch cafes, eating at some of my sister/Nate’s favorite places, touring the Heidelberg Castle, and eating dinner at the Strahlenburg Castle in Schriesheim. The view from our table was breathtaking.
We also had the pleasure of visiting he small, and amazingly quaint town of Schwetzingen on our last day in Germany. My sister and Nate have friends that live here, and we were invited to their home for a German BBQ. These are the experiences I find to be the most memorable, the feeling of getting to do and see things that most “tourists” do not. It was so fun for me to see the inside of a German flat and taste the food and listen to the language and interact with their children in such an intimate setting. The hosts then took us on a stroll through Schwetzingen and we ended the day with a little coffee/beer out in the town square at the Kaffeehaus.
Here are some additional highlights from our time in Germany.
We absolutely loved Heidelberg and our short time spent in Germany. We are so grateful for these new experiences. Tschüss!!
Up next, a quick three hour drive to Lucerne, Switzerland in the mini bus! Post will be up soon!
See other installments of this trip here:
Lucerne, Switzerland // Lucerne > Pisa // Vernazza, Italy // Milan, Italy