This is a recap of a series of posts I wrote about when I travelled to Europe for the first time back in the fall of 2012. Our trip began with a long layover in London, England, ended in Paris, France and lasted from October 10 to October 23, 2012. If you’re planning a trip to Europe our 2 week European vacation itinerary can hopefully give you some ideas of where to go.
The night before we left for our two week trip to Europe I found out I was pregnant for the first time. Although we had been trying for the previous 6 months, we were both a bit surprised because we thought we had taken a break the month before our trip. With the travel coming up I thought it would be nice to get to partake in the luxuries of travel and time off from work – drink wine, sip coffees, have energy to hike a mountain if I wanted. However, that little pink line at 10:00 pm on October 9, 2012 told me otherwise.
I called the doctor’s office from the airport on our first layover in Dallas and they scheduled my first appointment of many. After asking if there was anything to be concerned about with travel or anything to avoid, they said no and told me to have a great time. I guess they just assume you know the basics of what to do and not to do when pregnant.
Day One: We flew from Denver, CO to Dallas, TX. Then we changed planes and headed for London, England for a long layover. This was an overnight flight so our first official day was all air travel.
Day Two: London, England – Our trip officially began in Rome, but we had a 7.5 hour layover (by design) in London and tried to make the most of it. We booked the express train into town and spent the dreary day speeding between the major sights – Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, and a pub for fish ‘n chips.
Day Two – Four: Rome, Italy – The downside of the long layover (and free stop) in London was the late arrival in Rome. We were smart though and booked a hotel near the train station so it was not too bad getting in so late. But, with the time difference and a full day of exploring under our belts, we were exhausted. We spent the next day and half in Rome and enjoyed lots and lots of gelato.
Day Four: Tuscany, Italy – I had this dreamy vision of driving through the hills in Tuscany and stopping at a vineyard or two on our way to Cinque Terre. Google maps said it would only be 4.5 hours directly so how bad could it be if we detoured just a little bit. Let me just say…not great. It ended up taking us closer to 8 hours and we were pretty tired at the end. Those roads in Italy are pretty tricky to navigate.
Day Four – Six: Cinque Terre, Italy – Located on the northern mediterranean coast of Italy, Cinque Terre is now one of my favorite places. It’s hilly and cars are not allowed so the town we stayed in would not be the best for everyone, but I highly recommend a visit here. We spent 3 days/2 nights here and unfortunately the first and last days were cut short.
Day Six – Eight: Venice, Italy – It was too difficult to see all of Italy in our short week there, but boy did we try. From the western coast to the east, we drove across Italy from Cinque Terre to Venice. This is another one of my favorite cities from this trip. It can be a tourist trap, but visiting during shoulder season definitely helped.
Day Eight – Twelve: Olten, Switzerland – Brett’s family hosted a foreign exchange student in high school and we finally made it out to visit he and his family in Switzerland. Olten is a little town in between Zurich and Bern so it’s pretty accessible. We took lots of day trips, hike a mountain, and of course ate fondue.
Day Twelve – Fourteen: Paris, France – Our trip ended with 2 nights in Paris. Again, we whipped around the city, trying to take it all in. The weather was gorgeous and the vibe of the city was amazing. I cannot wait to take a longer trip there sometime (hopefully, I won’t have to wait too long).