Only 116 days til we leave for Paris…… not that we are counting or anything 🙂 We are mostly organised now. The apartment is booked, deposit paid and contracts signed. Astrid’s passport has arrived. We have booked and paid for all our flights between here and Paris. We have even booked our flight back from Belgium to London. We have worked out all the trips we want to do while away and have costed the train passes we need. Next job is starting to book train tickets and accommodation for when we aren’t in Paris.
Our plans are to base ourselves in Paris and see bits of Europe within a reasonable distance, in multi-day blocks. We also want to see a few things in France aside from just the Parisian sights. We have planned 5 days in Switzerland, which takes us through Geneva, Interlaken, Luzern and Zurich. We are doing the golden pass line to get in lots of Swiss scenery as well as a day trip to Jungfraujoch, which is the highest railway station in Europe. There will definitely be some snow up there for Astrid to play in. Our second big side trip will be to Brussels and Amsterdam, just to see the major sights and get a little taste of each city. We are hoping to see some areas of the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam on a short tour. Unfortunately it will be the wrong time of year for tulips but I’m sure the canals, windmills and clogs won’t disappoint. We are also squishing in a day trip to Luxembourg. We will return to Belgium at the end of our trip to see Bruges and Ghent and then catch the train back to Brussels and fly from there to London. We decided to only spend a couple of days in London to maximise our time in Paris. We will just see some of the major tourist attractions like Big Ben, Buck Palace, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, the Cartoon museum and the Thames before heading back to Australia. Anto is also hoping to get to Bletchley Park while the girls get some sleep before our big flight back.
Whitin France, we are planning on heading to see Le Mont St Michael, Versailles, the Loire Valley, at least one of the wine regions and possibly some of the Normandy coast. We will do a few other short trips out of Paris to take Astrid to Parc Asterix and maybe cycle around Monet’s Gardens.
We have a list as long as our arm of places to visit in Paris and we are planning on trying to walk to as many of them as possible, to burn off all the croissants and chocolate than will be eaten! We also plan to answer the question: Who has the best chocolate; Belgium, Switzerland or France? Stay tuned for that in-depth analysis.
Is there anywhere we have missed that we must go to?? We might have 1 extra country on our train pass so we might be able to squeeze in a couple of days somewhere else. I’d love to go to Berlin or Prague but I’m not sure whether we will get there. If anyone has any suggestions on must see places (for this trip or next) please share.
Astrid is blissfully unaware of all the exciting places she is about to go. We did promise her that first stop in Paris will be a trip to buy her a warm jacket for Switzerland. Here is a pic of her in her lovely jacket Will bought her. Yes, it still fits at almost one (despite being sized for 0-3 months). It isn’t going to fit by Switzerland though 🙁