Switzerland is a small country—about half the area of South Carolina or a little more than three times the area of Los Angeles County—but it’s one with stunning scenery pretty much wherever you go. My first and only visit there was in October 2007. It was a whirlwind driving trip with one night in Appenzell and two nights in Böningen, just outside of Interlaken. I … Continue reading Switzerland 2019
The last time I flew out of San Diego on an early morning flight, I almost missed the flight because the lines to check in and through security were so long. When 200 pair of eyes stare at you when you’re the third to last person to step on the plane, you remember what that’s like and vow not to let it happen again.
This time I arrived at the airport almost 3 hours in advance of my flight hoping to avoid the previous experience, and, wouldn’t you know it, I breezed through check-in and security in about 20 minutes. So I began the trip with over two hours of early morning thumb-twiddling.
A few months back I was thinking of when and where my next vacation might be. One of the ideas that popped into my head was to visit the Christmas markets in Germany, so I marked the week of 5-9 December as a vacation week on the calendar at work. That would be right at the height of the season for visiting.
As usual, I began procrastinating and didn’t really get too organized about the trip and certainly didn’t make any firm plans or reservations. Needless to say, I skipped the idea for this year. Still, I knew that I still needed to escape to someplace during this planned vacation week.
It’s autumn. It must be time for Germany.
But this time, I’ll be expanding my travels to places outside of Germany after my great trip to France last year. The plan is to hit the BENELUX countries–Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg–as well. I’ve not been to any of them yet, so this will expand my horizons.
I’m excited to be seeing something new, but am also anxious to return to Germany to see family again.
Once again, this will be another fly-drive trip. I fly from Cincinnati to Frankfurt, pick up a car at the airport, and hit the road. This is also another one of those “make-it-up-as-I-go” trips. The only lodging reservations I have are for a night in Brussels and for the night before I leave for my return flight home.
My first trip to France in May 2009 was a combination of business and pleasure. I had to use my remaining 10 days of vacation by 31 May, and I had been looking for deals to Europe. Lo and behold, Delta Airlines came through with a really great airfare for its nonstop flight between Cincinnati and Paris. Right around the same time, I was system … Continue reading France
What follows is a transcription of the hand-written journal that I kept on my very first real trip to Europe. (I had spent a day in Athens on the way back from Diego Garcia prior to this trip.) I recorded my activities and observations as I went, and I was a bit verbose, so know that this is a long tale that reflects my excitement and curiosity of being there for the first time.
Sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy! Continue reading “Germany, Austria, & Switzerland”