I’ve been to England HEAPS but I haven’t really spent much time on the Continent (mainland Europe) so this year I am doing something inconceivable and travelling to Europe WITHOUT going to London!!
I know right.. there is definitely something weird here but hey, I might as well embrace it while it lasts. Although in saying that, there have been many times during the planning of this trip where I have honestly thought about scraping all my plans and just going to London instead.
Right, so according to this post in January, I was going to be flying into Copenhagen and then going to Hamburg > Würzburg > Lindau > Salzburg > Vienna > Linz before finishing the trip in Munich. This trip has changed slightly when I swapped Linz for Prague but it has changed a lot more since then.
The problem with my travel plans is that I tend to OVER plan because I figure that while I’m there I might as well go to that place and that place and of course I can’t forget that place.
It gets a bit overwhelming sometimes if I’m honest. At one point I even added Stockholm to the mix.
Whilst I was pretty happy with the itinerary I set myself I decided that I didn’t want to have to keep moving every couple of days because I didn’t want to lose enjoyment of the actual trip. So I decided to scale back to the basics.
I knew that I was flying into Copenhagen and out of Munich 4 weeks later. I also knew that I wanted to travel by train between each place I was staying. Most importantly was where I wanted to spend my birthday and on that point, it was non-negotiable – I am going to spend the day at Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, north of Copenhagen. The reason for this is because I am a HUGE Hamlet fan and knowing that Kronborg Castle was the inspiration behind Elsinore Castle in Hamlet was as good as reason as any for me to spend my birthday at the joint.
Overall I will be in Denmark for about a week, beyond that I have decided to spend the remaining time in Germany which means I will no longer be visiting Vienna or Prague. Salzburg is a maybe but only as a day trip from Munich. I would like to visit those cities at some stage but I decided that Germany is going to be the real focus and with that, here are my final plans:
I will be in Copenhagen for 3 full days. I have been here before and really enjoyed it but I am looking forward to seeing some new parts of the city I didn’t see last time. I will then be spending two nights in Helsingør, and while there I am thinking of getting the ferry across to Helsingborg in Sweden – it is about a 20 minute journey so completely doable.
From Helsingør I am then heading, via Copenhagen, to Hamburg, another place I previously been but only for about 12 hours. This city was part of the original itinerary but it was removed and put back in during the week of the “Great Itinerary Debate” (a mostly an internal debate but I also discussed things with two good friends who totally understand me & my “I’ve been thinking” moments) but it was put back in with the final draft and I will be spending 3 full days in the city. I do plan on doing a day trip or two while based in the city, I really want to visit Lübeck and/or Bremen and both are easy trips from Hamburg.
Note: After writing the above the other day, I found out that one of my ancestors come from a seaside town of Warnemunde, located about 2-2.5 hours by train from Hamburg so I will be heading there for a day plus either Lübeck or Bremen – to be honest, I am leaning towards Lubeck.
Next up is Würzburg. I originally had Würzburg in the itinerary because I had to change there when I was going from Hamburg to Munich. I googled the place to see what was there and kind of fell in love with the look of the Bavarian city. When I was debating with myself to find the best itinerary I had decided to move it from being a stay over destination and base myself in Nuremberg instead with a day trip to Würzburg but I have since decided that I really want to stay there (plus it is WAY cheaper that Nuremberg). So I will have 4 full days there with day trips to Bamberg and Rothenberg ob der Tauber with maybe a day trip to Nuremberg as well. I am really looking forward to staying in Würzburg.
The stunning Würzburg by Herbert Frank on Flickr. I am so glad I decided to use this place as my base instead of Nuremberg!
From there I go to Stuttgart.. I love saying “Stuttgart”! I am basing myself here for 4 full days and plan a few day trips: Heidelberg – which I have to do on the 19th November because it is my friend’s birthday and she loved Heidelberg when she visited so it is only fair that I spend her birthday in one of her favourite cities when she is all the way back in Australia.. the things I do for friends!! Tübingen – I accidentally came across this town, I think I was watching an Aussie travel show and they might have ended up there for some reason. Whatever the reason, it does look like a very pretty town. Strasbourg – I honestly did not think I would be able to add this French town to my list because originally I was going in the complete opposite direction but now I have changed things around I am going to be spending a day here. Best thing is that it is only about an hour and twenty minutes from Stuttgart so definitely planning a wee visit there.
The very pretty Strasbourg by Watsonette on Flickr. I mean how could I not included this place!
After Stuttgart I will be going to Lindau, which has always been part of the original trip because who doesn’t want to stay on basically what is an island in a lake that is bordered by Germany, Austria and Switzerland!!
Lindau waterfront by Martin Hilber on Flickr. I am staying in the yellow building and CANNOT WAIT!!!
And finally I will be in Munich for 3 full days. I am going to try a day trip to Salzburg but would prefer to visit Neuschwanstein instead so we will see what my timing is like. Or I might just spend 3 days cooped up in my hotel room because I am all travelled out.. anything could happen really.
Neues Rathaus (or New Town Hall) by Guy Buchmann on Flickr. With buildings like this I might not be leaving Munich at all!
So there you have it – the updated itinerary. Of all those places I have only been to Copenhagen and Hamburg before, the rest are all completely new destinations for me and as you can see… no London in sight!
Has anyone been to any of the places I’m visiting? Got any tips & tricks for me?