Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trips in June 2010-June 2011

This summer we have traveled to the Alsatian region of France (one of my favorite areas and also where some of my family are from!), Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and London.  This Fall, we are going to be traveling to Budapest, Hungary and in December we're spending a week in Morocco.
A long weekend trip to Madrid in May.  We're heading to Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Denmark and Latvia this coming summer too!!  We will be heading back to Africa for Christmas, to Egypt!  What a year in travel!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trips in June 2009- June 2010

Our second year in Germany, we traveled to six new countries and also visited some new cities.  We went to Naples, Italy and drove the Amalfi Coast all the way to Paestum, which has some of the best Greek ruins.  We also took a drive to Lake Constance.  The micro-country of Liechtenstein was also part of the long weekend trip.  We spent Thanksgiving in Krakow, Poland and for the second Thanksgiving in a row, explored Concentration Camps.  At Christmas time, we packed up our Mini complete with our two dogs and drove all over Northern Italy, spending Christmas day in Sienna.  We also spent some days in the micro-country of San Marino.  For my 30th Birthday, we were in Paris.  For the long weekend in February, Porto, Portugal was where we went.  This is the place where Port Wine is made and we spent the entire long weekend, tasting this yummy wine.  We bought a lot and shipped it to our home in come visit and taste some Port Wine.  In April, we spent two weeks in Turkey, spending the second week trapped due to the Volcanic Eruption in Iceland.  For Memorial Day weekend, we took another driving trip.  This time to Bruges, Belgium as well as a night in Luxembourg.

Krakow, Poland

Trips in June 2008- June 2009

When we moved to Germany, my personal goal was to visit 12 countries in our first 12 months.  I met my goal!  That first year we traveled to Germany (of course!), Poland, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Greece, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, Czech Republic, and Switzerland.  

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Paddington Station, London

Santorini, Greece

Hotel Info

I'm going to try to remember to always add our hotel info in this post in case anyone is interested in doing a trip we've already done.  I'll also include a little write up of the hotel.  As an FYI- We are budget travelers.  I chose hotels based on location and reviews.  None of these hotels are going to be amazing looking, but ALL will be safe, clean, and have a great location.  How much time are you spending in your room anyway??


Best Western Hotel Leipziger Hof, Innsbruck
Allows dogs, within walking distance to downtown


Hotel Cordoeanier, Bruges

Fantastic little B&B.  No parking, but great location and a great Trappist Beer Bar right next door.


Hotel Prince, Paris

Great location, Rue Cler neighborhood.  Close to Metro.

Diana Dauphine, Strasbourg

Close enough to downtown.  Has private parking garage.

Hotel De La Couronne, Riquewihr 

Sweet little place right downtown.  Has parking spaces.


Hotel Bella Vista, Constance

Includes a bus pass with room to get downtown.  Parking and dogs.

Motel One München Sendlinger Tor, Munich

Within walking distance of downtown
Hotel Forsthaus, Oberau
Great little hotel owned by German and American couple.  Allows dogs and is close to Garmisch (by car only).
Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, Mosel Region
Nice hotel, within walking distance of some wine tasting places.
Hotel Roemerhof, Baden-Baden
Great location, allows dogs (5 euro each) and has private parking (11 euro a day)

Shaftesbury Premier London Notting Hill, London
Super small room, but a nice location.  Close to metro.

Gozsdu Court, Budapest

Fantastic!  We had a studio apartment complete with kitchenette and living room.  Great location!  Parking and pets are welcome.  There are a couple little cafes for breakfast options.

Hotel Bogart 2, Milan
Within walking distance of train to get downtown.  Private parking area.  Allows dogs.

La Meta Alghero Casa Per Ferie, Sardinia

Great location across from both beach and bus stop.  Buses however do not always run.  Parking available.

Hotel Firenze, Venice

Fantastic location right in St.Mark's Square.  Allows dogs.

Hotel Montecarlo, Rome
Great location, 5 min. walk to metro.

Vilnius Rent,
Awesome apartment right in the old town!


Mercure Luxembourg Centre

Bed and Breakfast Durderdam, Amsterdam
We rented the yellow vacation house.  Free parking, about a 5 min. drive from a lovely grocery and the park and ride.  Parking/tram tickets 8 euro per car..not per person..awesome deal!  One separate bedroom (inside a sauna, but perfect for baby or a child), loft space for two people, and a double bed on main floor.  


Riad Zitouna, Fes

Awesome, awesome, awesome!  The best hotel ever!  If you stay here, definitely stay for dinner.  It's cheap and probably the most amazing food ever!  It's not heated in the winter months, so bring along an extra sweater for dinner.  We used the Airport Shuttle service, and although it's more pricey than just getting a taxi yourself, it's worth it in my mind.  They meet you at the gate to the medina and save you the walk lugging your suitcase.  

Ibis Krakow Centrum, Krakow
Great location, within walking distance.


Pensao do Norte, Porto

Great location, within walking distance of downtown and Hop On Bus stop.  Although we wouldn't recommend doing the Hop On in this city.  Not necessary.


Hotel Titano

Super nice hotel.  Allows dogs and is a great location.

Edinburgh- Airdenair Guest House- about a 10 min. bus ride from city center.  Great location, nice B&B.  Awesome breakfast!


Catalonia Mirador des Port, Mahon, Menorca

If you have a scooter, than it's a great location.  Otherwise, it's a bit of a walk.

N.H. Brenton, Madrid
About a 5-10 walk to nearest metro.  Nice hotel and comfy rooms.  

Bahia Blanca, La Palma, 1, 35130 Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Great resort.  All apartments have ocean view, kitchenette area, patio, AC.  A quick walk to beach and downtown taxis to that area if you're feeling lazy.  :)


ETAP Hotel Luzern City, Luzern

Within walking distance of downtown.  Has parking and allows dogs.

SiDE Hotel and Pension, Istanbul
Can't say enough about this pension.  Stay on the pension side.  They take only cash, but it is super cheap and a great location.  Roof top deck!


This post is a work in progress.  But I thought it could be helpful to those of you planning trips to these places.  Most of these places I had been to way before I started this blog, thus the limited amount of restaurants, but as I remember their names and as we continue to travel, the post will grow!

Salzburg- StPeter Stiftskeller- so amazing!  Great fish!  Be sure to get the salzburger nockerl, no matter where you eat!   


Paris- Le Souffle- Each course is a souffle dish!
Paris-Restaurant L'Ardoise- WOW!
Reims- Brasserie du Boulingrin- awesome French food!!
Epernay- La Cave a Champagne- amazing!!


Fellbach- El Mero Mexicano- The best Mexican I've had in Germany so far..
Baden-Baden- Le Provence- Great food, nice setting, romantic


Budapest- Chocolate Bar- A-mazing!
Milan- Mozzarella Bar- Need I say more??
Vilnius-Medininkai- This restaurant is fantastic!  It's right in the old town.  This is the street address-  Aušros Vartų gatvė 8 
Vilnius-Radisson Blu Astorija Hotel Restaurant.  I know it's in a radisson, but we had a lovely French meal at this restaurant.  Would recommend if you're in the mood for French or at least in the mood for Mussels like I was.
Amsterdam-  Pancake Bakery- amazing!  We had the apple/bacon.  Not to miss!!
Krakow- Miod Malina (Honey Raspberry)- The tastiest pirogies!  We got the sampler!
Edinburgh- The Outsider- I think we had the most amazing food at this place.  I had the mussels and the rhubarb dessert.  I would go back in a second!
Edinburgh- Mum's- Awesome homemade sausages, even vegetarian.  Great milk shakes!
Edinburgh- The Dog's- I had the veggie haggis and while it wasn't my favorite meal, I would go back and try something else.  The dessert, honeycomb parfait, was a bit of heaven I didn't want to share!  AMAZING!
Madrid- Toma Jamon, C/Cava Baja 10- has the best jamon!!
Zurich- Sprüngli confectioner- So this is not a restaurant- but a must stop for Luxeumburgerli's.  :)
Istanbul- Doy-Doy- Great prices for great Turkish cuisine.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


In August, we spent five days in Sardinia.  Sardinia is a beautiful island off the coast of Italy, south of Corsica and north of Sicily.  It was purely a beach vacation, which is just what we needed and wanted.  We were there to celebrate our 3rd lucky!!  We rented a scooter one day and drove along the coast to Neptune's Grotto.  After a long hike down nearly 600 stairs, we entered the Grotto.  Beautiful and would definitely recommend if you are in Sardinia.  We ate seafood every night and enjoyed gelato every evening at a different Gelateria.  Although Brian and I have done a lot of eating of gelato all over Italy, we still think that Germany has the BEST..and more specifically, the shop near our house has the BEST!  

Alghero, Sardinia 
The King's Pub has a great drink menu!  We went there almost every night for cocktails.