As we creep up upon the halfway point of our time living here in Germany, I'm starting to think about the travel "must dos" while we're stationed in Europe. I try not to let myself get too overwhelmed about cramming everything in--we traveled the world before moving overseas, and we'll continue to travel once we return to the States. However, it's a much easier and inexpensive undertaking when Europe is essentially your backyard!
We've done so much traveling and checked so many places off of our bucket list, but while you'd think that list would have shrunk considerably, I actually feel like it just gets longer and longer, and I'm not sure what we should definitely try to squeeze in while we're here versus what would make more sense as a longer vacation from the US.
Most of the major tourist attractions that quickly come to mind, we've already visited--Paris, Normandy, the French Riviera, Benelux (though I'd like to give the Netherlands another shot during tulip time), most of Italy, the Czech Republic, most of Germany, and Austria (we haven't made it to Vienna yet), Barcelona and the Eastern Mediterranean, Lucerne, Turkey, the UK, and Ireland.
The one trip I absolutely, definitely want to take next summer is a Baltic cruise--that would get us to Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Estonia. I think we could do a shorter trip of maybe a week to Croatia, and also hop over to Venice by ferry for a day, which is about all the Venice I think I would need. I'm also considering the Loire Valley for some châteaux and wine tasting. I would love to do more of Spain and also see Portugal, but I'm thinking that might be better for a big trip from the States. Same with seeing more of Greece, since we only spent a couple of days there at Athens and Rhodes. I'm really intrigued by Eastern Europe, mostly because we haven't spent a lot of time there--maybe Budapest? Romania? Poland?
I'm really running out of ideas for long weekend trips--flying with our herd is a pretty huge undertaking, so I do prefer places within driving distance, but it seems like we've exhausted many of our options. I know there's much more in France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria that we could explore that I'm just not aware of. And is there anywhere that isn't a fifty million hour plane ride away where it MIGHT be sunny and temperate in February? Because I might kill myself if I have to go through another sunless Germany winter without respite!
So, I turn it over to you if you feel like playing travel agent. What should be on our absolute must do list, and what could we put on the back burner? After we get back to Germany from our trip to Boston and Louisiana, we have absolutely nothing planned, and I'm suffering from a severe case of TripAdvisor withdrawal!