Big news - we’ve just booked flights to Colombia in January! As I write this we’re on the ferry back to the UK to celebrate the festive season with family before we begin our 2018 adventures. Driving home for Christmas has taken us to the supreme Cologne xmas markets and to Bruges, which may well be the most beautiful European city we’ve visited to date. Here’s the lowdown on our festive journey and South American plans.
It’s nearly Christmas! Well, it certainly feels like it here in Prague. The streets are strung with fairy lights and the squares full of huge sparkly Christmas trees and stalls selling gifts and mulled wine. This is all set against a backdrop of Prague’s Gothic spires and domed cathedrals, cobbled streets and stone bridges. Oh, and did I mention how flipping cold it is? That’s cold of the cheek-stinging, hand-numbing variety. We’ve even had snow, as well as some family visitors who’ve come to enjoy the Prague Xmas markets.
After a fairy tale trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, we set off along Germany’s Romantic Road, driving through tiny Bavarian villages surrounded by forests and peaks. We climbed higher through the Austrian Alps, passing through ski towns where the snow lay like thick icing on rooftops and clung to the branches of pine trees. This winter wonderland followed us to the next adventure of our European road trip, a week visiting Slovenia.
In the last three months, we’ve travelled over 5,000 miles across nine countries in Europe by car. The journey has taken us from the canal-lined streets of Amsterdam and the beaches of the Algarve to Bavarian castles, Slovenian lakes and finally, to Prague. Here’s a look at our experience of travelling Europe by car, including the benefits, tips and some key things to consider if you’re planning your own Europe road trip.
Visiting Bavaria feels like stepping into a fairytale. Picture forests of tall pointy trees, rolling green fields and medieval towns set against a backdrop of the jagged, snow-topped Alps. Then there’s the castles that dot the landscape, including a turreted Disneyesque masterpiece that looks like it’s been pulled straight from the pages of a storybook. How could we resist visiting Neuschwanstein Castle?
Portugal’s capital Lisbon is a city full of winding cobbled streets, bright yellow trams, wide piazzas, historic buildings and UNESCO treasures. Picture medieval towers, dome-roofed monasteries, baroque palaces and ornate churches. If, like us, you have just a few days to explore the city, it could be worth getting a Lisbon tourist card which grants you discounts, free travel and entry to top attractions.
There was a real treat waiting for us at the end of our 2,080-mile road trip to Portugal, a house sit to rival all others in the sun-kissed Algarve. From peaceful afternoons working on the veranda and sunset dog walks on the beach to chasing down runaway pigs, this is what our house-sitting Portugal adventure was like.
Welcome to our latest pet sit, a Portuguese farm house with a veranda framed by pink flowers. There are orange groves in the garden, a pool and never-ending sunshine. Each morning we stroll around the 30,000 square-metre grounds of our home for the week, followed by a friendly pack of dogs and pigs. How exactly did we end up in this slice of rural heaven? Let’s rewind 2,080 miles to the start of our road trip to Portugal.
Do you dream of escaping the daily grind for an online job that would allow you to live abroad somewhere cheap and sunny? In our digital nomad destinations series, we’re chatting to remote workers who’ve achieved this dream and now live in various corners of the world. This week Shane from The Working Traveller, who I finally met in Chiang Mai this year after five years of following his blog, talks about expat life in Turkey.
It’s only now, when we’re just about to set off on a new adventure, that I’ve felt inspired to sit down and write. Amongst all the recent summer house sits, family get-togethers and work, I somehow lost my will to write. Now the car is ready to be packed, there’s a map with a route through Europe etched in our heads and I’m ready to face the road, and the blank page, once again.