Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One backpacker's guide to Europe

This blog post is for my Travel Blog page.  This covers my 13 day backpacking experience around Europe; just one suggestion on how you can map out your trip.  I'll include some tips I learned the hard way, things to do in each city, and my favorite spots.  I had the awesome priviledge to backpack Europe with one of my best friends, Lyd.  We started our adventure in...
When you go to Amsterdam, one of the best ways to explore is by renting a bicycle at one of their many rental locations.
We really enjoyed taking the ferry across the river away from the busy part of the city and into the beautiful country side.  We had the lady at the bicycle shop circle where all the windmills were in the city, and we went on an adventure to find them all:)

From Amsterdam, we started our 13 day Eurail pass.  We boarded the train for...

Enkenbach, Germany
Many of you have not heard of Enkenbach, but it is one of the cutest little towns in Germany and where I happened to live when I was little.  If you want a taste of true German culture without the tourists, it's a great place to visit.

We didn't stay in a hostel here, but with some of my family's dearest friends:) 
Next we boarded the train to... Berlin

the Berlin wall
We spent about two days just walking around Berlin, taking it all in.  Then we left for...
Salzburg, Austria
There are two organized tours I highly recommend when you reach Salzburg.  The first is the Sound of Music tour.  This will take you out into the beautiful country surrounding the city, and on a bus where they play all of the music from the movie!

the Von Trapp house from the movie

the famous gazebo! "I am 16 going on 17..."

the church where Maria and the Captain got married in the movie
The other is a tour of the Salt mines.

There's this really fun slide you take to get deeper into the cave:)
Our next stop was Garmisch, Germany in Bavaria
This was my favorite city on the trip, absolutely beautiful!

then Venice
We stayed in a camping village about an hour outside of Venice called Alba D'Oro in one of their cabins. I don't recommend it. What I recommend is trying to find one of the cool hostels in Venice on a canal before you arrive in the city. We were kind of winging it, which proved very entertaining most of the time, but we would've preferred to stay in the city. 

We made two mistakes in Florence. One, we were there on a Monday. Museums are closed on Mondays. So we didn't get to see the David statue or anything else.  Still a very cool city to walk around with some awesome cathedrals. Second mistake, we planned to just sleep in the train station that night. The Florence train station actually closes at 1am.  So we ended up hopping on the last train out of there, which was to Pisa.  The Pisa train station doesn't close;)

This was the only picture we took in Florence;)hehe  Now Mattioli is this awesome Italian leather boot shop where I bought my boots!  Highly recommend!! ;)
Rome, Italy
We finally made it to Rome: from Florence, to Pisa, to Rome. If you're ever in Indiana, I'll tell you the full story over a beer;)

St.Peter's Basilica

The Colosseum

Now these guys stand outside of the Colosseum and will grab your camera to get their picture with you. WARNING: They will force you to pay them for the picture by holding your camera hostage! You do get a pretty funny picture out of the deal, but just be ready to pay.hehe
Geneva, Switzerland

Reformation Wall in Bastions Park

Lake Geneva.  Lyd went paragliding off that mountain!
Paris, France

Our final stop on day 13 was London, England
We made sure to stay in a Bed and Breakfast here.  London has some great ones.  The highlight of our stop in London was seeing Phantom of the Opera at Her Magesty's Royal Theatre, which is absolutely beautiful.

So this is just one take on how to organize a backpacking trip of Europe.  We had way too much fun and will never forget it.  This post is totally dedicated to Lyd, who is now raising her own little family of adventurers:)


  1. Great post and such fun seeing your pictures! Xxoo

  2. Best trip of my life...by far! I LOVE THIS POST! So many wonderful memories! Let's go again!

  3. Love those pictures, Michelle! Makes me want to go right now. :)