We are sharing our personal travel diaries! We started keeping these so our family and friends could keep up with our travels, and get some laughs at our expense. Here is our entry for our European road trip with my brother and his girlfriend, who we travelled with in December 2016.
After waiting 11 long months, the time had finally come. Ross and Chelsea arrived in Germany – woo hoo! KG’s brother and his girlfriend flew all the way from Australia to spend Christmas with us in Europe.
We met in Munich, Germany. We had arrived at the hostel late, due to an uncharacteristic delay on a German train from Italy. Surprise surprise – Ross and Chels were napping. Katherine and her family come from a long line of nappers, and this holiday was to be no exception.
We spent three days in Munich learning about beer, pork knuckles and a bit of history. The weather was poo (as predicted) but we battled on. After a couple of days, we picked up our fancy new hire car. With a devilishly handsome smile from Tom, we even managed a free upgrade to a fancy Audi A6. This beast ensured that we were able to make the most of Germany’s (in)famous autobahns, where there is absolutely no speed limit! That’s right folks – 200 km/hr is perfectly legal.
We headed off to Prague via Regensberg. We actually had no idea whether there was anything worth seeing in Regensberg, but it turns out there was a huge cathedral that was very impressive. We also found some metre long sausages at the Christmas market, so it was a big tick of approval from us.
In Prague we attempted to book on a segway tour, only to discover that segways had been banned in the city centre. We resolved to try again later in the trip, as we all fancied ourselves as pretty awesome segway drivers. Instead, we huffed and puffed our way up to Prague Castle on foot like peasants. The changing of the guard was fun, then we wandered back down to the old town to check out the great Christmas markets.
We also went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant where Chels attempted to order her first Bailey’s and milk. Now, this is a tried and true old lady drink in Australia. However, the phenomenon has clearly yet to hit Europe. When she asked for milk, the restaurant owner looked at her in horror and exclaimed, ‘MILK?! In 45 years I have NEVER heard of Bailey’s with MILK!’. He served her the drink with some disgust but also plenty of good humour.
Next we were off to Berlin via the Bone Church. There are over 45,000 bodies buried in the Bone Church, where the bones are laid out as decorations around the church. There were some pretty fascinating skulls which showed injuries some poor sods had suffered during the Hussite Wars.
Once in Berlin, we attempted to learn more about the Cold War and the Berlin War on a walking tour. However, we soon realised that the assumed knowledge level for this excursion was well above ours. We basically walked around in the cold feeling rather confused for three hours, but did see where Michael Jackson hung his baby out of the hotel window. We also visited plenty of Christmas markets (including a ride on the ferris wheel) and tried our hand (or is it feet?) at ice skating.
Next we were off to Dresden. Dresden was absolutely flattened in the dying days of World War II so it was fascinating to see how well they had rebuilt the old city. We stayed in a great AirBnB apartment with a cat who was intent on giving Ross hayfever, and a rather obese pet rabbit.
Our next stop was Fussen, where we finally saw snow and visited the ‘Disney Castle’. The Disney Castle is actually called Neuschwanstein Castle, but honestly, who can pronounce that?! It was very picturesque and we got some great photos from the bridge beside the castle, although I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been maintained since the 1800s. KG and Ross stayed close to land in case the whole thing snapped in half.
Then we were off to Wattensberg (near Innsbruck) in Austria for Christmas. We had booked an amazing apartment in the Alps, but as luck would have it, it was unseasonably warm and there was no snow. Never fear, we headed off to a nearby mountain to find a patch of snow we could ski on. Chels and I were absolute beginners, so we got an ex-pro skiier to teach us how to snow plow. We also drank plenty of rum, ate too much turkey, gave up on a puzzle and got p*ssed off at Ross for winning cards all the time.
On the way back to Munich, we indulged all of our Sound of Music fangirl dreams by visiting Salzburg. OK, perhaps it was just KG and Chels that were SOM fangirls. We stopped by a few big name sights from the movie, then continued on our way.
The next day, it was sadly time to say goodbye to Ross and Chels as they headed back to Australia and we flew to Paris. Stay tuned for our post on the final week of our trip in Paris!
For our full 17-day itinerary through Germany, Czech Republic and Austria, check out our European road trip article here.