Europe: Trails and Travails

“Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” 

― Ibn BattutaThe Travels of Ibn Battutah

The best things in life are those that happen spontaneously. That is a huge confession for me - the inveterate planner obsessed with organisation and uncomfortable with lack of structure.

We hadn't intended on a vacation to Europe. Our sights were set on Australia for which we had won free tickets. But try as we might, our schedules were not allowing us to set time aside for an Australian vacation. This is where a higher power takes over I guess. In January, my husband met a school friend who has migrated to the Netherlands. Over the course of dinner and pleasant conversation, he invited us over to Amsterdam to stay with his family. And that is how it all began. Before we knew it, the itinerary was planned, our leave applications had been approved and we were all set for an awesome vacation in Europe!

As I write this post, our vacation is officially over. We returned home yesterday after a fabulous seventeen days spent touring the Continent. We covered four countries and seven cities. We soaked up the cleanliness and crisp weather of Amsterdam. We exclaimed in delight over the World Heritage Sites and monuments we visited in France and Italy. We sighed over the lack of proper vegetarian food options and groaned about our aching feet. But would we have wanted it any different? Not a chance!!

I'm going to recount the highlights of my dream vacation in the next few posts. I'll try to give a snapshot of the main attractions and tidbits of history and trivia around it. I hope my musings will help you learn a little bit more about these countries and cultures. And if you're planning a similar vacation, maybe my experiences might help you plan it better.

Read on!

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