Paris | Amsterdam | Berlin | Munich | Heidelberg | Gimmelwald | Zürich
When returning to this great city for a second time, my goal was to just really take it easy and do absolutely nothing but relax, people watch, and sip espresso at cafés. I retraced my steps from the previous trip but branched out to new places and new restaurants. Paris is simply an amazing city and one that I could return to multiple times and always be satisfied.
When in Paris, think about staying in the Montmartre district. It's full of style and has the best view of Paris at your doorstep.
A lot of people warned me about Amsterdam ahead of time about it being gritty and full of strung out junkies. They couldn't have been more wrong. It's really a magical city where every street corner view is a potential postcard shot. We got some rain during our stay but it didn't bother us. Enjoy the view of the canals from street side cafés and take a canal tour for a relaxing and educational boat ride.
My one regret, not trying the pickled herring. Next time!
Berlin is a city with two styles. Even though it's been 20 years since the wall came down and reunification of Germany, this city still bears the stylings and mentality of two seperate cities. It's a really cool mix of bohemian life style and upscale shopping. This city seriously has it all. Don't let the confusing metro system get you down. Take some time to research it before you head there. Then you can traverse this sprawling city easily and checkout the best of Kreuzberg or take a long walk through the Teir Garten.
Rain, rain, rain. My favorite city in Europe and it rained the whole time. Most of the events I enjoy doing in Munich centers around good weather; Biergarten, Englischer Garten, Viktualienmarkt.
I did meet up with Jefim again and we had a great night out with some new friends from the States and Germany. The hostel life style brings people of all areas of the world together.
This was a quick stop off so on to Heidelberg.
Visiting Stephan again with his daughter Joana in Heidelberg. It was great to see him again and his new style. He contributes that to his fiancé.
It's great to get to a small city after 4 major cities. We took this time to relax and cool our heels. A walk up to the castle overlooking Heidelberg is a must. A lot of street side cafés too and plenty of (Asian) tourists.
A lovely city tucked between two hills and a river flowing through.
I have to credit Rick Steves for this find. I saw an episode of his show centered around Gimmelwald and had to visit. One of the most stunning sites I've ever seen. This city is a small farm town in the Alps that can only be accessed by cable gondola. The streets are small so no cars.
You can hear the sound of cowbells ringing and a constant roar of the waterfalls. It's very peaceful and the Mountain Hostel is run by an extremely friendly staff. This is a must see stop in Europe.
This was going to just be a staging point to get to the Airport from Gimmelwald but it turned out to be a surprise. My friend Adam was kind enough to book a room at the Marriott down town which allowed us to see some of the historical area of Zürich. We were lucky enough to be there during a street festival and a walk down the river which opened up to the large lake there was well worth it. Zürich airport is a major hub for the region but take a day or two and explore the river district.
We flew into Paris on Delta and stayed at Le Village Hostel on Montemartre. Then took the French ICE train to Amsterdam and stayed at Flying Pig Downtown. Using the Deutsche Bahn we trained to Berlin and stayed at Wombats City Hostel in East Berlin. On our way to Munich we took a 7 hour train ride and stayed at the ever so popular 4You Hostel. Our trek to Heidelberg was just 3 hours and we crashed at Stephan's house. Through the Alps of Switzerland we trained, bused, and then finally cable gondola to Gimmelwald and stayed at their Mountain Hostel. Back down the mountain and on our way to Zurich, Adam was kind enough to book us a room at the Marriott.