We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday
Here’s where the Digital Nomad lifestyle really starts to pay dividends……
My daughter, Cristal, came from Australia (Melbourne to be precise) to stay for 3 weeks – so we organised an itinerary to see as much of Europe (& each other) as we possibly could!
She had been planning the trip for a while, so we had plenty of notice concerning her arrival. After some very excited Skype calls & several Facebook messages back & forth, we were able to agree on an itinerary which would include some local sights around Frankfurt (my home base for the next 12 months) before heading off to see Berlin, Budapest, Vienna & Prague.
We spent a few days seeing the sights around Frankfurt – including a picturesque boat trip on the Mainz river down to Rudesheim it’s a 3 hour cruise down the rive to get there and, being in the midst of a wine growing region, Rudesheim is a lovely village which features a cable car ride to a national monument – great views of the river, the town & the surrounding vineyards.
Then, it was time for us to board a train to Berlin. This was on Cristal’s “Must do” list! We had collectively decided to spend several days in each city. That way we get to see & experience the place in a manner that doesn’t feel too rushed. We spent four days in Berlin – seeing the regular sights like the Berlin Wall & Checkpoint Charlie, as well as experiencing some less well know attractions – like the floating bars on the river & the vintage clothing store that sold clothes by the kilo rather than by the piece (thanks Cristal)!
From Berlin had a short flight to Budapest. I must admit, this wasn’t on my radar at all but I’m so glad we went there. Great people, beautiful city & so many things to see & do! We went to a couple of
“Ruin bars”, so named because they are set up in a ruined building – some of these places are little more than a tent in a spot where a building once stood, others are a little more substantial, it’s a really unusual environment but a great atmosphere!
We went on the “Hop on Hop off” tour to get a better picture of the city & that was really interesting but what really blew me away was our evening cruise along he Danube – this city is so beautiful at night with all the old buildings looking down over you as you cruise past – especially Budapest Castle & the Houses of Parliament!
Another highlight were the bath houses. The city boast
s an abundance of natural springs – many of which have bath houses built
around them to take advantage of the warm water that is also supposed to have many healing qualities. We chose to visit the Szechenyi Baths – mind you, the day we went along was glorious – blue skies &quite hot! Which was a bit of a shame because, on the day, I would have appreciated water to swim in that was a little cooler!
Exploring the city with it’s narrow back streets & cafes & restaurants seemingly everywhere was a real experience. I would definitely recommend this place if you ever get to Europe!
After three days it was time to board our train for our next stop – Vienna. Iris & I had been here in January to celebrate my birthday but the city was so different now that we were in summer. We thought that the place was beautiful in winter but now, with clear blue skies & temperatures in the high twenties it was just stunning!
This time we stayed on the outskirts of the city, just near the Vienna International Centre (VIC) which is the campus and building complex hosting the United Nations Office at Vienna. A short walk & a six minute train ride had us in the centre of town each day.
First up we went to Prater Park – the world famous amusement park
that was closed during our winter visit. Cristal & I went on a couple of hair-raising rides before all three of us went on the elevated chairlift ride that gave you amazing views of the city at night!
The next day Cristal went off to do some shopping whilst Iris & I took ourselves to Schonbrunn Castle. This has got to be one of the most spectacular Royal residences I have seen – certainly on a par with Buckingham Palace. The interior is stunning & the grounds are simply beautiful!
Vienna is definitely a must see city – it has something for everyone. Cristal discovered a music festival & took us there – what a great event! Two stages outdoors with music playing continuously & a really amazing atmosphere – we loved it!
We had to leave Vienna all to soon but, as a kind of compensation, we now headed off to Prague. Again, this place did not disappoint! Spectacular architecture wit really friendly people – & so much to see & do!
The Astronomical Clock is incredible – installed in 1410 the engineering behind it is mind-boggling. It’s situated just off the old town square – itself
an amazingly well preserved look back in time & a popular gathering spot for tourists & all that goes with that.
We also went on the old funicular railway up to the Petrin Tower.
Nearby was a restaurant with views back to the city that were even more mouthwatering than the menu!
Whilst walking around the old streets we cam across a “Living” piece of street art that is dedicated to the late John Lennon, suitable named, “John Lennon Wall”.
The bridge that you cross to go from the main city area to the Petrin Tower hill is also quite amazing – & always seemed to be crowded (we crossed it several times).
Sadly, our four days in Prague was over before we knew it & it was time to catch the train back to Frankfurt, where my daughter would gather herself & go on to meet up with a friend in Barcelona, before travelling to London & then onward (after a couple of days exploring) to Melbourne.
Our three weeks together went by oh, so quickly but I am so thankful that my Digital Nomad lifestyle affords me such opportunities – to be able to travel through Europe with your daughter & wife & not have to worry about “Annual leave” is such a blessing. I am such a lucky guy!
To be able to enjoy life, to travel, spend time with those you love & to create memories – both for yourself & others – it’s such a blessing!