It’s no secret that the past few months have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me: I said goodbye to my beloved Manchester, moved to Düsseldorf and started a new job. Though it’s been a great experience, making such big changes has meant putting a lot of things on hold – namely travel.
But after finding a permanent flat, things are starting to settle down, which means I can finally share some of my travel plans for the coming summer months.
As always – tips and suggestions are more than welcome!
My first taste of travel on the continent will be a day trip to Koblenz this weekend. Though Koblenz isn’t a particularly big name for sights in Germany, it is home to the famous Deutsches Eck, a fortress and a cable car – something I’m already terrified about.
It’s been far too long since my last day trip, so I’m looking forward to exploring another slice of my adoptive home county – and maybe taking in a castle or two.
Milan & the Cinque Terre
I found out a few days ago that I will be heading to Milan at the end of June – a city that was never on my list. Knowing next to nothing about Italy’s second city, I threw myself into research and have come up with a tightly-packed itinerary that I’m very excited about.
On our first day, we will explore the Milan (the Duomo, Sforza castle and Navigli neighbourhoods are top of my list) and no doubt eat our weight in pizza and gelato, while on the second day, we will get up at the crack of dawn at head to the Cinque Terre – an area I’ve wanted to visit since reading this post from Frugal First Class Travel.
Due to an early morning flight the next day, we will have to head back to Milan the same evening. I accept that means we will by no means get to see everything the region has to offer, but I am very much looking forward to getting a taster all the same.
At the end of July I will be embarking on my first ever road trip and I am ridiculously giddy at the idea. Along with two friends, I will be driving (as a passenger) through France, Belgium and The Netherlands.
The idea first came about when a good friend and I were discussed just how close London and Düsseldorf are to each other (about a 7hr drive) – so we decided to go for it over the course of a few days and take in the sights.
Our itinerary isn’t set in stone yet but it’s shaping up quite nicely, as you can see. We are hoping to tick off: Etaples Military Cemetery, Lille, Ghent, Bruges, Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau, Maastricht and Cologne and will be doing a mix of hostels and camping.
I seriously cannot wait.
And finally, in September I will be doing something completely different – going on holiday to a completely unknown destination.
No, I won’t be blind booking again – my company is taking 200-odd employees on a free holiday for five days. We are told what weather to expect and what to pack, but not where we are going. They even charter a private plane, so the first we will hear about where we are is the pilot announcement on landing.
Last year was Sardinia – not too shabby as far as work perks go, eh?
The more alert amongst you may have noticed that none of my current plans involve Eastern Europe – in fact, I’ll be heading to countries rarely featured on this blog. But fear not, this doesn’t signify a change in tastes or direction for this blog – I’m just making the most of living on the continent.
Düsseldorf is only a few hours from The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg, which means I’ll be seeing more of Western Europe than ever before over the course of my time here.
I will still be fitting in some return trips East later in the year, but in the meantime, I’ll be turning my attention to more ‘classic’ Europe, which will bring its own challenges I’m sure (everyone in France speaks German, right???), but I can’t wait.
What do you think of my plans?