Our Complete Europe Itinerary

So here it is. Our holy grail. Our complete itinerary from our UK & Europe adventure which lists our cities, time spent in each place, and most importantly (and let’s be honest, what I think most people really want!) .. the links to all the accommodation for the whole trip. I’ll also be listing all the websites that we used to get all the information we needed to help you in your own scheming and planning. Hooray!

Our trip included visiting 48 cities in 20 countries. Wowee I had never counted that before until just then…god I miss being in each and every one of those 20 countries. 
An important disclosure before I share allll of our info however. I am, in no way shape or form sharing this for you to take the trip and do it exactly the same. There is no way you could ever replicate a trip from doing so. Our itinerary worked perfectly for us as it was exactly what we wanted but every single person is different and you really need to find your own travel groove. Take a little or take a lot but just use this as a good inspiration and guiding light to get started. 
Are you ready?
Our Europe Itinerary for 4 & a half months

London for 4 nights & we stayed here 

Cardiff for 1 night & we stayed here
Dublin for 4 nights & we stayed here
Belfast for 2 nights & we stayed here
Inverness for 2 nights & we stayed here
Portree for 2 nights & we stayed here*
Elgin for 2 nights & we stayed here
Edinburgh for 4 nights & we stayed here
Amsterdam for 3 nights & we stayed here
Brussels for 2 nights & we stayed here
Athens for 2 nights & we stayed here
Santorini for 7 nights & we stayed here & here
Mykonos for 3 nights & we stayed here
Split for 3 nights & we stayed here
We then Sailed Croatia for 7 nights (highlight of our trip) & used this company
Budapest for 3 nights & we stayed here
Kirchburg for 5 nights & we stayed here
Vienna for 3 nights & we stayed here
Prague for 4 nights & we stayed here
Rome for 4 nights & we stayed here
Naples for 2 nights & we stayed here
Positano for 2 nights & we stayed here
Amalfi for 2 nights & we stayed here
Florence for 3 nights & we stayed here
Venice for 3 nights & we stayed here
Milan for 2 nights & we stayed here
Vernazza (Cinque Terre) for 2 nights & we stayed here
Monte Carlo for 2 nights & we stayed here
Nice for 2 nights & we stayed here
Cannes for 2 nights & we stayed here
St Tropez for 2 nights & we stayed here
Toulon for 2 nights & we stayed here
Nimes for 2 nights & we stayed here
Barcelona for 4 nights & we stayed here
Valencia for 4 nights & we stayed here
Mallorca for 2 nights & we stayed here
Madrid for 2 nights & we stayed here
San Sebastian for 3 nights & we stayed here
Paris for 4 nights & we stayed here
Luxembourg for 2 nights & we stayed here
Berlin for 3 nights & we stayed here
Frankfurt for 2 nights & we stayed here
Heidelberg for 2 nights & we stayed here
Munich for 2 nights & we stayed here
Interlaken for 5 nights & we stayed here
Dubai for 6 nights & we stayed here
Websites that we used to book all of the above – & spent a million hours researching on…
Skyscanner – to book all of our flights internally & across countries
Airbnb – an ah-ma-zing website that we adored. This is how we stayed in luxurious apartments for so cheap.
Hostelbookers – you can’t backpack through Europe without staying in hostels & this was the best website.
Hostelworld – also good for booking hostels but less variety than hostelbookers & a little more expensive.
Booking – great to find hotels & hostels when the other websites can’t find you many options.
TripAdvisor – we didn’t use this to book, but great to read honest reviews of hotels from previous guests.
Also, the only iPhone Apps that we couldn’t live without over there was the following.
AroundMe – SO helpful in any and every city we went too when we needed to find an ATM, restaurant, toilet, the list goes on! It would pick up on where you were and then point you to the closest everything. It saved our butts many times.
TripAdvisor CityGuides – TridAdvisor is obviously every travelers best friend so this app shouldn’t surprise you! Before reaching each new city we would download it to the app so once there could look up all the top attractions, tours, restaurants and activities. It would map you there from wherever your starting point was as well so if the mood called to use it we could just get the app up and map ourselves to the tourist thing we wanted to do at that moment. Fan-tastic!

[Left; Budapest      Right; Cinque Terre ] _________________________________________________________________________________

So there you go. 4 & a half months of trip of a lifetime travel condensed here, for you, with love, in just 3 paragraphs. This is the thing though, I am trying to encourage as much as humanly possible for you to just book that trip. Just go. Stop telling yourself that you never have the right timing, or money or circumstance because let me assure you, if you keep telling yourself that, then you never will. I had told myself, that no matter what, when I finished uni, I’d go to Europe. I spoke it aloud, I wrote it down, I shared the dream, and last year I did just that. I would love to see 2013, or the years to come manifest in to the year you took a trip to the place you’ve always dreamed of but never deemed possible. I truly believe, with the right belief, planning, research, saving & tools you will be able to do it. And this is exactly what I hope my 2 Europe posts will do for you.

Your turn.

If you have any cities that aren’t on there that you think people would love or should know about then I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Also share any other websites or Apps that you have found amazing when traveling, let’s help people grow their travel dreams together.

Love, light & big wishes,

Anna xx

[ Madrid ]

[ Croatia ]
[ Nimes ]
[ Kirchburg ]
[ Vernazza ] 

[ Munich – Oktoberfest ]

Finding Love & Magic in Interlaken

If there were 5 words to sum up just how truly amazing, beautiful and memorable our time in Interlaken was they would be…
It can’t be summed up. 
It truly can’t. 
How can you honestly put in to words one of the most incredible, exciting times of your life? WE SAW SNOW. Cue fireworks and band music now. But not only did we see snow, we saw some remarkably heavy heavy snow that covered the whole town in white and allowed us to frolic like we were 12 year olds, do snow angels and have snow fights all whilst the snow was still falling. It was un-real. 

Here is the clincher though – Morgs & I had put Interlaken on the list (Switzerland in general) for 2 reasons … 
1. To go Skydiving over the Swiss Alps.
2. To go skiing for the first time for us both ever
And guess what? Both of these amazing events couldn’t or didn’t end up happening because it was snowing so heavily. Initially I was pretty sad that two of the big to do’s on our trip list couldn’t end up happening – in fact to say I was gutted about not being able to skydive would be an understatement. But here’s the beautiful thing, remember me first sharing how much I’d let go on this holiday? Well that came in to play hugely, but alongside that, I had Morgs who without skipping a beat shrugged the whole thing off like it wasn’t no’thang’, immediately said it was for the best as there were obviously better plans for us – have I mentioned how much I adore this man? and dragged me back out in to the snow for some more laughs & incredible awe inspiring moments.
I don’t think either of us can really explain what it was about Interlaken that was so so amazing for us – it’s just snow after all (right? wrong!), but being two snow virgins being out in falling heavy snow was one of the most magical moments of our life. 
The awesome thing that happened as well is that because we couldn’t go skiing or skydiving it opened up two whole days for us to explore the surrounding mountains which ended up being some of our favourite memories from Switzerland. Being able to train up to Lauterbrunnen and Grindewald to have big lunches, play in even more heavy snow and laugh till our cheeks hurt from the fun are moments and memories we get to now cherish forever. 
The other cool thing that happened was we declared to the universe obviously Switzerland wasn’t meant to give us all of our experiences and falling snow and being in snow was what we were to take away from Interlaken. We are now exploring the option of booking a ski holiday in Queenstown New Zealand and exploring different sky diving options at home (jumping over the ocean is high up our list as is doing it when we get over to Melbourne this year), both things we never would have gotten to experience otherwise which we are totally claiming as beautiful blessings in disguise. 
With all of this love talk about Interlaken here are just a few other incredible lessons we took away from our time in this magical white winterland…
  • To live, laugh and love with carefree abandon. I really mean it.
  • That acting like a child again was some of the most freeing and hysterical fun we had.
  • That when plans fall through, plans we had your heart set on, it was for the best and the universe has so much more in store for us.
  • To truly be in the moment and show up for ourselves. 
  • To find peace in the quiet moments. And I really mean Peace.
  • To do exactly what I felt like doing when moments called for it (like spinning till I fell over, screaming from excitement and running out in the cold with barely any clothes on to feel what its like) was some of the most fulfilling fun moments of our travel trip. 

Even sitting here quietly now, back in my beautiful sunny home town Perth writing about our Interlaken experience actually makes me tear up, it was truly just that fun and memorable. Like the whole rest of our trip though it just worked, everything that was meant to be happened for us and it couldn’t have been a more perfect town to end our huge 4 and a half month adventure in. Leaving Interlaken bound for the Zurich airport to start our trip home I felt relaxed, fulfilled and truly blessed for 5 days of pure magic. 

Can you believe this is it though? Interlaken was our final destination in Europe and although I have a post to do on Dubai – oh myyy god did we love Dubai! – our big adventure is over. I will be sharing a few more posts to do with Travel before it’s back to business around here and I have some exciting & huge plans for the blog in 2013. 

Thank you to all you gorgeous souls though for following along on Morgs & I’s crazy adventure – we felt connected through all of your comments on the blog, tweets and instagram comments….a big thank you post is on it’s way but for now, just know having you all ‘along for the ride’ made our trip that much more special and memorable.
I hope you’ve loved sharing our experiences as much as we loved living them and writing about them. 
SO much love + gratitude,
Anna (& Morgs) x x

We heart Heidelberg

It’s hard to put in to words just how beautifully surprised we were when we first arrived on Heidelberg’s doorstop. Our biggest no-no when travelling was from the very get go to never go in to a country or city with expectations from ourselves, and especially from others so Heidelberg was of course no different. We arrived with no expectations just a little knowledge of this old town full of character and our heavy backpacks. Can I just say here though, if we did have any expectations, they would have been exceeded, exceeded so much that to use metaphors, the ball of expectation would have been smashed way out of the ball park, down the road and around the corner, we were that surprised and that immediately in love.
It’s like with any new city or town or country that we went to and fell in love with though. You can’t put your finger on exactly what it is about that place you love so much. I mean, after all, it’s just a new city, with similar shops elsewhere in the world, an old castle that most other old cities had, and friendly locals willing to help out if need be. But you don’t love it any less. 
Heidelberg for us was it’s Baroque old town, its gorgeous cobblestone streets, it’s incredible Christmas markets scattered all over the city and it’s beautiful old, rich rich history. The town had originally been slapped on our travel map as when looking in to Germany we discovered it was one of the only towns that escaped bombing during WW2 which meant that the town stood originally as it did many moons ago, which was a huge attraction to us. Once there though we both fast said it was one of our favourite places visited in Germany and we loved how we could be surprised with new things to see or do each and every day. 
We walked for hours everyday getting lost in it’s old town streets, we wandered up to the medieval castle high a top the hill, we found hole in wall cafes to drink hot cups of coffee out of the snow and we went for food and fun every night in the Christmas markets alongside all the other locals and tourists searching for the same thing as us – memorable times with loved ones. 
When we spoke of going to Germany, everybody gave us fantastic recommendations on where to go like Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and all the normal places you would expect to go….but if I can give you our own recommendation put Heidelberg high on your priority list (and make sure you stay in old town, it’s the heart of this beautiful city). 
________________________________________________________________________________
Your turn…
Have you ever been to a city you’d never heard of before and it been one of the most magical times ever? I’d love to hear about it and get inspired for our next trip.

Memories in Milan

{ Duomo Cathedral – such an incredible sight }
So here we are….out of Italy! We had an amazing time the past 3 weeks exploring all the towns we’d dreamed of for many many months (& years in my case) and had some expectations exceeded, and some not met – a la Florence being one not met. I shouldn’t be so mean about Florence. It was actually really beautiful and had some gorgeous sights, fab-o allyways, and we even loved our morning runs snaking down the big river….it just lacked that za za zu I was hoping for? Expecting? I suppose what I mean to say is it just felt like any other city. Rome for example blew our socks off – that’s not entirely true we didn’t wear socks, but it blew us away. Amalfi Coast was indescribable, Capri was beautiful … but when we got to Florence it did just feel like ‘another city’. A gorgeous one at that I will absolutely give it credit where credit is due. Morgs & I bucked every trend in Florence as well and didn’t even go to see the Statue of David. Shocking, outrageous and poor form I know….in our defense however we did go to the museum and line up for about 10 minutes but knowing that we were in for a wait as long as the day is long plus having already seen plenty of nude men with chiseled bodies & their man bits out in the Vatican Museums – we opted instead to find the best ice cream in Florence – which by the way we did – it was the biggest scoops we’ve come across. 


So why bring up Florence in a post about Milan? Because that’s the only mention Florence is going to get. We came, we saw, we conquered. Don’t get me wrong either we did enjoy Florence. We ate, we drank, we explored, in fact we clocked up over 22km of walking on our 2nd day there…and don’t ever let someone’s opinion of a place put you off from going. Florence till your hearts content I say!! Just give me a few extra days in Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast …
Our opinon of Milano then you ask? Well. Milano impressed. 
Think about all the stereotypes you can of Milan … high fashion shops, gorgeous restaurants, every person dressed impeccably, clean city, great sights – and they’re all true. I really loved the vibe of this place and enjoyed just walking and walking seeing as much as we could. 
We ventured in to the high fashion areas and even dined in the Martini Bar which is inside the Dolce & Gabanna store. Morgs & I really did try so hard to be polite & posh … but clearly our subconsciousness couldn’t handle the faking and we both ordered meals that can’t be eaten any other way than with your hands … Hamburgers. HA! We considered for 0.2 seconds that we might attempt to eat a hamburger with our knife & fork but laughed it off & tuckered in to those suckers like nobodies business. It was all so unglamourous in an exceptionally glamourous restaurant but it was US and we had a ball.
The highlight had to be Duomo Cathedral though & Duomo Square. It’s a short metro away from Centrale station & as you come up the metro stairs it is there right in front of you in all it’s glory. It’s just a mammoth gothic looking building in a great area – the square itself reminded me a little of St Marks Square in Venice as the pigeons are friendly and it’s packed with people. 
Not wanting to see Museums & Cathedrals in every city we venture to though we do try to do something a little different and Milan dished us up the weirdest tourist attraction yet … A cemetery!!  Morgs had read up on it from Trip Advisor – it was number 6 of things to do in Milan which is pretty much a ‘must see’. We didn’t spend too much time in there but it is worth a visit for the sheer size & over the top’ness of the statues & graves – some that are the size of a small house. 
Speaking of Trip Advisor – best Travel tip I can give you that we’ve learnt? Download the free app they do called ‘City Guides’ before you hit each new town. It is ahh-mmaa-zzinggg. It basically lets you look up all the tourist attractions, plan your days, map you to places, gives you restaurants nearby, bars nearby, the list goes on. We go through and hit ‘save’ on everything we think we might like to do, where to eat, where to buy ice cream – worked out ice cream is our Achilles yet? & then you can map your ‘saves’ – so the app works out the most efficient route for you to see everything you want to see and maps you there. It is honestly brilliant and has helped us SO much. 
I have Venice to share with you next & then recount our adventure in Cinque Terre which has been heralded as a highlight of the trip – up there with Santorini & Sail Croatia. 
Morgs has kept me in hysterical fits of laughter our whole 3 weeks with his running commentary about Italy & what it has to offer so I have asked he share what we will call his ‘letters to Italy’ soon. 
We are still unaware of days/weeks/times and are still relishing in every one of our moments. 
Love & Light xx
psst – Morgs & I did try to go to see Leonardo Da Vinchi’s ‘The Last Supper’ original painting whilst in Milan but as our unfortunate luck would have it…the workers were on strike!! So we didn’t get to see it. Bought the postcard though 😉 
{ Waiting for our food to come – being lavished with the little extras that come when you order wine though – one thing I love about Europe!! }
{ In the cemetery – it’s ok we weren’t the only ‘tourists’ there and we were very respectful }
AND JUST TO GIVE FLORENCE SOME CREDIT…. here is a pic of me & the end of my amazing ice cream in Florence exploring their local markets (which oh me oh my had some insane shopping, I wanted to buy every bag in sight!! 

Our day trip to Capri

Arriving in to Naples via train Morgs & I were ready for a relaxing afternoon and an early night ready for our big day trip to Capri the following day. We were doing 2 nights in Naples purely for Capri, but wanted to make sure we also had enough time in the city itself to try out it’s famous food – pizza!! – Which we managed to do & film but that is staying just for us!
All our plans came together perfectly though and at 9am the next morning, we were bound for Capri cruising smoothly along on a fast ferry. 
Docking, we had no plans. Like always. The plan everywhere we’ve gone so far is to arrive, go for a walk to get comfortable with the town, stop for a cappuccino to relax & people watch – steal some wifi from a cafe, scope out what’s groovy to do around town & go from there. This normal plan didn’t change much at all for Capri and so we found a great path leading up to the main little town in Capri called Ana Capri to tick off the walk part & the ‘find the great coffee part’. As we reached the top of town there was a gorgeous little square with 4 small cafe’s in each corner – the beautiful thing about being on holidays we realised this particular day is that our biggest problem for that day was choosing which cafe to sit at, but rest assured we managed to solve this problem & got in our first coffee for the morning. 
Feeling ready for the adventures we very casually mapped out our day and off we went. 
We walked down to Via Krupp – a private beach with spectacular views of the clearest ocean waters I’ve ever seen we were stopping every few metres to stare in awe at what surrounded us. When we finally got there you actually had to pay to go on to the beach – Note: Capri we found was the biggest tourist trap so far on the trip – so we opted to sit at the private restaurant right on the beach for lunch & wine instead which turned out to be the best decision as we ate the best seafood risotto of our lives. I adored the story behind the restaurant too. It has been owed by the same family for 70 years and the current chef (owner) is the grandson of the original owners. Every day they get their seafood fresh from 2 elderly local fisherman & you can see how much pride they take in their cooking. The views from here were simply unbeatable.
From Via Krupp we walked back up in to the Gardens of Augustus for even more amazing views of the island, it’s surrounding waters & incredible cliff faces. 
Now here is where the lesson is for the day. We had heard of/been told to do/read up about a place on Capri called the Blue Grotto – I posted the video of our experience here.  We hadn’t gone to Capri with the full intention of doing it, & hearing about how it cost to go on the boat out there, then cost again to get rowed in to the actual grotto we were almost not going to do it thinking it wasn’t worth it. BUT ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT whilst travelling & mine wasn’t settled that we weren’t going to do it. I felt like I’d regret it if we left without seeing it. 
So off we went. 
We booked a boat tour around the whole island, which took us not just to the Blue Grotto, but also the Green grotto AND the white grotto and through the ‘kissing cave’ which is a huge rock just off shore in the ocean with a natural archway carved in to it. All up it cost us $28 euro each to go on the boat tour (2 hours) + entry in to the blue grotto and was worth every cent. 
We LOVED it. 
If you ever do Capri don’t be put off by bad reviews – the Blue grotto on Trip advisor has some shocking reviews but it was actually the most amazing, fun, insane experience of the day! – find your own fun & adventure & like with all travel….trust your gut.
One thing we’re learning is if you’re un sure about something on holiday ask yourself if you DON’T do it will you regret it. That simple question alone helps us dictate most of our touristy decisions – and it has worked to our advantage every time. 
Capri was a magical experience & we may have even said we’ll be back!
{ The pathway leading down to Via Krupp }
{ Left: Morgs & I both went with the Seafood Risotto’s and it was one of the yummiest things I’ve ever had – apart from mums Lasagna’s & Savoury Lamb… Right: The restaurant we wined & dined at at Via Krupp }
{ Via Krupp – the private beach in Capri – the view from the restaurant over the water }
{ Being blow away in the Blue Grotto }
{ On our boat tour about to go through the ‘kissing rock’ }

Europe here we come

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I have been jumping out of my skin with excitement the past few days as the past Sunday Mr M & I sat down and officially started booking our Europe Accommodation. I was squealing like a 5 year old on Christmas morning as we hit ‘book’ on hotel and hostel again and again. We aptly finished the day off sharing a bottle of champagne in celebration and toatsing our upcoming adventure. We are by no means finished yet, but to me, the ‘hard’ work – who am I kidding I’ve loved every second of it – is done, we have done weeks of research and picked our destinations and accommodation we just have to finalise each booking – which we have started doing. Having locked all places in, and shared on this blog from the start my Europe planning, I wanted to update you on the final itinerary.

I’d LOVE to hear from you if you’ve been to these places, lived in these places or just dreamed of these places. I want to hear your own experiences or tips on what Mr M & I should be doing once there.

So here goes…

p.s we fly out 1st August 2012 and home 5th December 2012.

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[England]
London

[Wales]
Cardiff

[Ireland]
Belfast
Dublin

[Scotland]
Inverness
Elgin
Aberdeen
Edinburgh

[Netherlands]
Amsterdam

[Belgium]
Brussels

[Greece]
Athens
Santorini
Rhodes

[Croatia]
Split
Hvar
Trstenik
Dubrovnik
Mljet
Korcula
Makarska

[Austria]
Salzburg
Vienna

[Czech Republic]
Prague

[Hungary]
Budapest

[Italy]
Rome
Naples
Capri
Postiano
Amalfi
Florence
Venice
Milan
Cinque Terre

[Monaco]
Monte Carlo

[France]
Paris
St Tropez
Cannes
Nice
Toulon
Nimes

[Spain]
Barcelona
Madrid
Valencia
Mallorca
San Sebastian

[Portugal]
Porto

[Luxembourg]
Luxembourg

[Germany]
Berlin
Frankfurt
Heidlburg
Munich

[Switzerland]
Zurich

Your’s in love & light,
Anna xx