Our Europe Itinerary May/June 2018 (We were 6 months pregnant)

2 September 2019


We were almost 6 months pregnant. Our safe and golden time to travel aka the second trimester was ticking fast. We were in a huge financial crisis (never trust anyone with your money kids, not even your friends). We wanted to travel so bad. We booked our first-ever Europe trip 8 days before we were to leave. It was now or never. I did not have any spare moolah to even get a decent hair-trim before leaving. It was our first time on that continent. We made it there! We skimped on every last $. We walked thousands of more steps each day to save on public transport tickets. We ate at cheap shady joints despite the pregnancy advice against it. We had the most amazing time of our life. Just the two of us and little blueberry (Aiza) inside me. As I posted our Europe 2019 itinerary, I felt a nostalgia creeping on me. Memories of a carefree life. I felt like I was doing a disservice to that trip by not sharing more about it. I could not share much then as we did not reveal our pregnancy to anyone for its entirety.
Now that I can, I will try and share more of that trip. First up, the itinerary we followed.
As it was our first time on European soil, we tried to tick off a lot of touristy and hyped up cities. We always knew it won’t be our last trip to Europe so we did leave some cities for any future trip some years down the line. Who knew we’ll have such an amazing time that we’ll come back with an 8-month-old in tow, exactly a year later (EXACTLY- the same date even!). An addiction had begun.
We started from one end (London), visited many cities in geographical order and flew back home from Paris. This is our preferred way because even though multi-city flights cost a little more, it gives us more travel options. We do not have to return back to the same city again. I discussed this travel strategy and more in ‘Our Travel Process’ blogpost here. We used the same strategy for our Europe 2019 trip.
Here's the itinerary we followed for the 4 weeks we were in Europe. We touched 15 cities and 7 countries. First up, the itinerary in photos, details after the photos.

We were actually there at Megan and Harry's wedding at Windsor Castle, London. 
Tower Bridge, London
Exploring Amsterdam (Netherlands) like a tourist
Walking 2 km with all our luggage to our accommodation in Haarlem (Netherlands)
Bike rides in Leiden (Netherlands)
Flower Market in Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Bruges (Belgium) old town. Started living in husband's tees at this point.

Environment awareness art installation at Bruges (Belgium)
Cycling from Bruges to Daame (Belgium)
Ghent town centre (Belgium)
Riding bikes in 'No Bike Zone' in Ghent (not knowingly)
RyarAir flight from Brussels to Berlin (Worst flight, got charged 55 euros per person for checking in 2 minutes late)
A wee bit tired at Berliner Dom (Berlin)
German Parliament building, Reichstag (Berlin)
Middle-eastern cheap eats in Berlin
The most photographed spot in 'Rothenburg ob der Tauber' (Germany)
Sunset scenes in Bamberg (Germany)
Bamberg (Germany)
The castle that inspired Walt Disney- Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)
Colosseum (Rome, Italy)
Views of Vatican City (Rome, Italy)
The majestic Roman Forum (Rome, Italy)
Best Pizza we've ever had- Pinsa Mpo- Rome
Louvre selfie (Paris, France)
Love lock bridge in Paris has no locks now (France)
Planning to bring my future kid to Luxembourg Gardens (Paris, France)
Parisian Boulangerie treats 
Thai Airways vegetarian treats
Stopover at Bangkok (Thailand)
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok (Thailand)
Back home to my plant babies- Auckland (New Zealand)
Itinerary details-
London (UK)- 3 nights- Stay at Travelodge hotel in Slough, near Heathrow Airport
Haarlem (Netherlands)- 3 nights- Took a flight from London to Amsterdam and then a train from Amsterdam Schipol Airport to Haarlem city centre. We walked 2 km with all the luggage to Hotel Ibis Styles.
Note: We bought the 3-day 'Amsterdam and Region travel ticket' to cover all public transport in and around Amsterdam. Haarlem is covered under the same ticket option.
Leiden (Netherlands)- Day trip from Haarlem. Hired bikes there to explore the city.
Note: Leiden not covered in Amsterdam and the Region travel ticket.
Amsterdam- (Netherlands)- Day trip from Haarlem. Explored the museums and canals.
Bruges (Belgium) - 2 nights- AirBnB at Oostkamp, Vlaanderen
Amsterdam to Bruges by train (stopover at Brussels)
Ghent (Belgium)- 2 nights- Best AirBnB we’ve ever stayed at. I'll share more about our Airbnb's in next blogpost. Location- Sportstraat

Bruges to Ghent via train.
Berlin (Germany)- 3 nights- AirBnB at Knobelsdorffstra├če
Ghent to Berlin via a flight
Nuremberg (Germany)- 3 nights- Stay with friends at Herzogenaurach town.
Bamberg (Germany)- Day Trip from Herzogenaurach with friends (travel via their car)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Germany)- Day Trip from Herzogenaurach with friends (travel via their car)
Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)- Day Trip from Herzogenaurach with friends (travel via their car)
Note: This is the castle that inspired Walt Disney, located at the border of Germany and Austria.
Rome (Italy)- 3 nights- AirBnB near Vatican City
Travel from Nuremberg to Rome via a flight
Paris (France)- 3 nights- AirBnB at Montmartre
Rome to Paris via a flight
Bangkok (Thailand)- Extended stop-over en route home with Thai Airways. We spent 7 hours exploring the city.

Auckland (NZ) - Home

When we planned this trip it felt doable. Remember we planned it in 8 days! We booked ourselves back to back. We were so late in finalising our travels that we had to rely on flights instead of trains. We booked the oddest times. Many late nights and 5 am mornings. Even though we survived this trip and loved every minute of it, I can tell you now that every night we were absolutely knackered. I struggled to write in my travel journal every night. So exhausting! We learned a lot about how, where and when to book during this trip. All of what we used to plan our May/June 2019 Europe Trip.

It was the excitement that kept us going every day of these 4 weeks. The excitement of being in a new continent, marvelling at some stellar architecture, eating the foods we had drooled over in travel shows. It was one super hectic trip but oh so wonderful! In the end, I was in awe of my pregnant body that walked 15k steps every day.

I hope this helps some of you to plan your dream Europe itinerary. I wouldn't change anything about this itinerary, except giving more days to each city and counting the travel day between cities as a rest day.



Are any of these cities on your wishlist?

Happy Travelling!

Love
Nishu

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