84 Days of Summer

This is a 3 month trip across 3/4 of the European continent with travelers spanning 3 generations. Naturally, my family and friends are curious as to how it turned out. Here are a few statistics I have gathered from our trip as a brief summary.

Length of trip: 84 days

What we carried: 3 pairs of pants, 3 short sleeve shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, 1 jacket, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of walking shoes, 1 umbrella, 4 pairs of underwear. (Items per person). Shampoo bar, 1 bar of soap, iphone, tablet PC, Kids' security blankets, and other toiletries.  

Number of hours on airplanes: 27.20 hours

Hong Kong International Airport

Number of hours on trains: 64.20 hours

On a crowded train from Berlin to Prague

Modes of transportation: Airplane, Train, Car, Bus, Tram, Ferry, Raft, Boat, Horse Carriage, Bicycle, Cable Car, Metro/Subway.   

Number of countries visited: 9


Countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary.

Number of cities/towns visited: 28

Cities/Towns: Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Gouda, Rotterdam, The Hague, Brussels, Brugge, Libin, Leuven, Charleville Meziere, Bastogne, Copenhagen, Odense, Lubeck, Berlin, Prague, Karlstejn, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna (transfer), Bratislava, Kosice, Budapest, Munich (Transfer), Frankfurt (Transfer), Nuremberg, Bamberg, Koblenz, Trier. 

Nuremberg, Germany

Number of Museums visited: 37

Museums Visited By City

Amsterdam: Maritime Museum, Bags and Purses Museum, Rembrandt House, Van Loon Museum.

Rembrandt House

Gouda: Gouda Cheese Museum

Gouda Cheese Museum

Antwerp: Fashion Museum.

Brussels: Auto world, Royal Museum of Fine Art, Margeritte Museum, Musical Instrument Museum, Natural Science Museum, Chocolate Museum.

Musical Instrument Musum

 Brugge: Fries Museum.

Copenhagen: National Museum, Rosenborg Treasury.

Rosenborg Treasury

Odense: H.C. Anderson Museum, Railway Museum.

H.C. Anderson Museum

Berlin: Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, Pergamon Museum, Museum of Technology Berlin, Gemaldgalerie.

Edouard Manet's "Im Wintergarten" at the Alte Nationalgalerie

Cesky Krumlov: Castle museum.

Wenceslas Cellars of the IVth courtyard of the castle

Bratislava: Municipal Museum, Museum of Wine Making.

Municipal Museum

Kosice: East Slovak Museum, Miklus Prison Museum.

Miklus Prison Museum dated from 13th century

Budapest: House of Terror, Transportation Museum

House of Terror

Nuremberg: Toy Museum, Albert Durer House, Museum of Nuremberg Trials.

Courtroom 600 of the Nuremberg Trials

Bamberg: Cathedral Treasury

The Alte Hofhaltung medieval courtyard

Trier: Karl Marx House

Rotterdam: Maritime Museum.

The beginning of his pirate phase

Number of Castles/Palaces visited: 9

Castles and Palaces: Feudal Castle (La Roche-en-Ardenne),Rosenburg Castle (Copenhagen), Amalienborg (Copenhagen), Prague Castle, Karlstejn Castle (near Prague), Cesky Krumlov Castle, Bratislava Castle, Vajdahunyad Castle (Budapest), Nuremberg Castle, Peace Palace (The Hague).

Feudal Castle (La Roche-en-Ardenne), Belgium

Number of day trips taken: 14

Day trips: Gouda (Netherlands), Amersfoort (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium), Brugge (Belgium), Bastogne (Belgium), La Roche-en-Ardenne (Belgium),  Leuven (Belgium), Charleville Meziere (France), Odense (Denmark),Travemunde (Germany), Karsteijn (Czech Republic), Bamburg (Germany), Trier (Germany), The Hague (Netherlands). 

Brugge, Belgium

Note worthy attractions: Amersfoort Zoo, Tivoli Garden (Copenhagen), Koblenz (Ehrenbreitstein) Fortress, Singing Fountain (Kosice), Nyhavn (Copenhagen), Legoland Discovery Center (Berlin), Fisherman's Bastion (Budapest),Labyrinth of Buda Castle (Budapest),

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Koblenz, Germany

Note worthy religious institutions: Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (Brussels), Strahov Monastery (Prague), St. Vitus Cathedral (Prague), St. Elizabeth's/Blue Church (Bratislava), Franciscan Church (Bratislava), Cathedral of St. Elizabeth (Kosice), Basilica of Constantine (Trier), The Dom (Trier).

Library of the Strahov Monastery in Prague

Note worthy architecture: Antwerp Train Station, Dancing House (Prague)

Dancing House (Prague)

Shopping: Strøget (Copenhagen), Turkish Market (Berlin), Haschermarkt (Berlin), Vaci Utca (Budapest), Central Market Hall (Budapest).

Strøget: The longest pedestrian shopping street in the world!

If I must choose...

Child friendly day trips:  Amersfoort (Netherlands) and Travemunde (Germany).

Dinosaur forest in Amersfoort Zoo

Travemunde beach

Favorite cities with kids: Amsterdam for it's many playgrounds, parks and eclectic museums. The lay back atmosphere is perfect when traveling with kids. Brussels for the food and children friendly museums. Belgian specialties: fries, chocolate, and waffles are all big hits with kids. Museums like Auto world, Musical Instrument Museum and Chocolate museum is a great way to introduce children to museum culture.  

A whimsical character on the canal

Chocolate Museum Brussels

Favorite museums with kids:  National Museum Copenhagen and Museum of Technology Berlin. The National Museum of Copenhagen with vast collections of viking culture and Danish heritage. Free entrance for all with a Junior museum located on the first floor. The Museum of Technology Berlin is a museum complex that features collections of aviation, railway, telecommunications, automobiles, textile, navigation, power engineering, etc. There is even a historical brewery and outdoor picnic space.
National Museum Copenhagen

Technology museum Berlin

Most scenic train ride: Koblenz - Trier. Castles sitting on hilltops and vineyards covered hills along the Rhine.

Please excuse the shadow of my creepy hand in this beautiful scene

Most eventful train ride: Copenhagen - Lubeck. The entire train goes onto a Ferry that takes it from Rodby (Denmark) to Puttgarden (Germany)

Preparing the train for the ferry

Most memorable religious institution visited: The Cathedral of St. Peter (Trier). This impressive Romanesque structure sits above the former palace of Roman emperor Constantine the Great. It is also where the Holy Robe, one of the most significant relics of Christendom is kept.

Favorite off the beaten path destination: Kosice is the most eastern city of the European Union. Voted as European Capital of Culture for 2013, it is a city full of promise. It is worth sitting through a 5 hour train ride, cutting across Slovakia for. Must visit before this hidden gem is discovered by mass tourism. 

The Singing Fountain

Favorite castle: Cesky Krumlov Castle. Just opened to tourists in 2011, this castle offer great panoramic views of the city and unique exhibits.

Memorable meals: Pork knuckle in Cesky Krumlov and open face sandwiches in Copenhagen.

Krcma v Satlavske

Best sandwiches ever! It tastes a lot better than it looks!

Surprise encounters:

I've seen flash mobs in movies but this is the first real encounter (Brussels)
Rodin's "Thinking Man". It's smaller than I thought.

Chanting monks on the streets of Bratislava

We live in an age of contrasts

Mind baffling moment: Learning to use the coin op washing machines in Copenhagen.

It really was harder than it looks

Cities I would love to visit again: Berlin and Trier. Berlin for its festive mood for every season, to see the rest of the hundreds of museums of anything and everything, and its boho chic neighborhoods. It is also the most affordable city to visit in all of western Europe. Trier for its fascinating history as the oldest city in Germany, founded by Augustus in 15 B.C.. There also stands some of the best preserved Roman architecture in all of Europe. 

A second hand book store in the boho chic neighborhood of Kreuzburg

Trier's main market square, in use since 882 A.D.

Cities I probably won't be visiting again: Prague and Budapest. Once the hidden gem of eastern Europe, these cities are now over populated by tourists and prices has also been inflated as a result. It has lost some of it's authenticity and character. For those who would like to avoid the problems caused by mass tourism, I strongly encourage going in the winter months where crowds are thinner and hotel prices are more reasonable. Warning: Hungarian winters are unbearably cold.

Charles Bridge

On top of St. Stephen's Basilica

Beautiful sunsets: Prague, Budapest, Copenhagen.

Hungarian Parliament

Fisherman's Bastion, Budapest


Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

Charles Bridge Prague

Well, this pretty much summarized our 84 days of summer. I was a little sad when it came to an end, but there were also plenty to look forward to once we're home. This will not be the only post of our amazing trip. I will try my best to upload more info about the places we've visited and things we've done. 

1 comment:

  1. What a trip! I love the information and pictures. Beautiful!