EITC SENIOR CONSULTANT – 7 YEARS
20 YEARS EXPERIENCE
EUROPE – MAY 2019
1 – WHERE DID YOU GO?
Munich, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Baltic Cruise (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki & St Petersburg), Amsterdam, Ypres, Antwerp, Copenhagen and Singapore.
2 – HOW LONG FOR?
Five magical weeks!
3 – WHO DID YOU FLY WITH AND WHY?
Singapore Airlines because they are my favourite airline, they never disappoint.
Also Croatia Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines for the internal flights.
Scandinavian would have to have the friendliest and relaxed crew I have flown with. Croatian was good too although as a nervous flyer I was not such a fan of the little Dash8 turboprop aircraft from Munich to Zagreb!
4- WHAT OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORT DID YOU TAKE?
Train and Serenade of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The cruise was a very relaxed seven days and although I had been to most of these ports previously it was nice to see them in a different season (previously I had visited in winter). This was an easy way to visit Russia without the hassle of a visa as a little taster to see if Russia is a place I would like to explore in more depth later.
5 – WHAT WERE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT SEEING & DOING?
I was most excited about Zagreb and Ljubljana which have been on my wish list for years, and I was curious about St Petersburg.
6 – DID YOU REVISIT PLACES YOU HAVE BEEN BEFORE?
Yes. I have been to Munich, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm before but in the depths of winter so it was nice to see the cities in a different light without the covering of snow.
7 – WHAT WERE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT EATING?
8 – BEST THING YOU ATE?
I like to try local food where I can so I tried Strukli in Zagreb from a little restaurant called “La Struk”. According to my tour guide, their version of Strukli is second only to his grandmothers! This is a very cheesy dish with layers of dough; delicious but probably not the healthiest of options!
9 – WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT?
That is hard to say as I loved the whole trip! If I had to narrow it down though:
Neuschwanstein Castle (day tour from Munich) was just as much a fairytale as I had imagined, although I do recommend taking the shuttle up the hill!
Ljubljana was a beautiful pedestrian town, very cute and had some quirky little local stores to wander through.
Zagreb was very interesting with all its history, both medieval and more recent with their homeland war. Definitely pre-book some tours here as there are so many secrets in this city you would otherwise miss. The Museum of Broken Relationships is an unusual way to spend a couple of hours too, unlike anything you will have seen before!
Amsterdam really surprised me in how much I enjoyed the city. Again, a walking tour here shed a lot of light on why the Netherlands has certain laws that we find a little odd; it all makes perfect sense! The Anne Frank House was a highlight here and something I had wanted to see since I was a teenager but you MUST pre-book this online as it sells out well in advance.
Ypres with its Last Post ceremony each night was very moving, even more so when you see the list of all those Australian names on the Mennin Gate. The town itself is charming and a visit to the “In Flanders Fields Museum” shows just how devastating the war was here and how far they have come since then.
10 – WHAT WAS THE LOWLIGHT?
Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t cooperate for the first week or so, it was cold and rainy and I was not prepared. As the Europeans say though “there is no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothing”!
11 – WHERE WOULD YOU GO BACK TO?
Definitely I would like to go back now and visit Russia in more depth, probably on a little 10 day tour or so taking in both St Petersburg and Moscow and some of the country areas too. I also would really like to revisit Ypres and the Western Front for a little longer, I think there is a lot to learn here and the people and countryside were gorgeous. Amsterdam too I think deserves more than a couple of days!
8 – YOUR BEST TRAVELLING TIP?
The more you plan the finer details in advance such as day tours, sightseeing and transfers the less you have to figure out on the road and you can sit back and enjoy the trip!
Copenhagen, Tallin, Neuschwanstein Castle & Nuremberg