Most travel stories are relatively boring. I honestly do want to hear about your trip, but give me the Reader’s Digest version. Just the highlight reel. What was the best thing you saw, ate, drank? I am going to go into a little more detail here because if I don’t, I’ll forget most of it in a few months. Those who are also afflicted with a horrible memory may also relate here; we don’t post on Instagram to brag. We post so we can look back a few months later and say, “oh yeah! I did that thing!”
Our itinerary, planned by my extremely organized husband, involved a lot of travel by train. Although he loves driving, the roads in rural Europe can get a little hairy. Not fun for anyone who gets motion sickness. Any who, with a train you just hop on, relax, listen to a podcast and enjoy the scenery. Except in our case we couldn’t find the train station, then couldn’t find our train, and hopped on with minutes to spare – more than once. Aside from the mild panic attacks, everything was smooth sailing!
Our first stop was Munich. Wolfe had visited a few years before and loved it. This was my first time in Germany and I loved it too! It’s rare that you visit a destination where all of the public bathrooms are so very clean. We stayed at The Royal Bavarian hotel. It was very trendy, in a great location, but the toilets in the hotel rooms were black and that freaked me out. Okay that’s enough bathroom talk. Our hotel was a five minute walk to the city center, Marienplatz. This is where you will find the famous Glockenspiel clock tower. The figurines in the clock tower play twice a day and even though we passed through here at least ten times during our visit, we always missed the show! The first night we went to dinner and walked around.
The next day we went sightseeing with Mike’s Bike Tours – which I would highly recommend! Definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip. We stopped for lunch at the Chinese Tower Biergarten which had the biggest pretzels I’ve ever seen. Also that herb butter situation with the fries was maybe one of the best things I’ve eaten EVER. Our tour guide was from Orange County because, of course he was.
That evening we walked around the Maxvorstadt neighborhood which has a ton of bars and restaurants. We ended up eating dinner outside at a little cafe where there was no menu, the owner just told us what the chef was making that night. We shared a salad and salmon and people watched! I wish I knew what that cafe was called, but it’s not on Google Maps. Did we dream it???
Day three we had planned to go to the Deutsches Museum. Our bike tour guide told us if you spent a minute at every exhibit you would be there for 19 days, or something kooky like that. However, we were not over our jetlag and ended up sleeping in until 12:30! We ended up going to Cafe Jasmin, which I found on Instagram. The food was great and it made me want to eat a salad with my eggs in the morning – how European.
After brunch toured the Munich Residenz. Luckily the weather was beautiful during our time in Germany. Most people opted to stay outside and enjoy the weather, so we had the Munich Residenz mostly to ourselves. The architecture was ornate and over-the-top.
Our next stop was an overnight in Innsbruck, Austria. This was a quaint town nestled in the Austrian Alps. It sounds contrived but it really was picturesque! We didn’t have much time there, but we did manage to relax by the river with some brews while the sun was out. I would love to go back in the late summer or fall, because there were a ton of beautiful hiking and biking trails nearby.The train to our next destination wasn’t until the afternoon, so we had time to check out the Palm Houses. Greenhouses are my happy place.
Next we ventured to Salzburg! We stayed at the Hotel Amadeus just outside of the old town. One block away was the most adorable coffee shop, Favorite Kamer. I’m not normally a pastry person but these were so…delightful?! I asked the owner if she made them and she said no, my boyfriend does. How sweet is that? It was a warm and cozy place where it seemed totally fine if you wanted to stay all day. We covered a lot of ground in Salzburg: we saw the house where Mozart grew up and the house he was born in. We took a speedy funicular up to an 11th century fortress. And visited two museums and a garden. Wow! We opted for the 48-hour Salzburg Card that gave us quick admission to everything we wanted to visit. A great idea and also a total deal.
We headed to Ireland to wrap up our trip. My in-laws live here part-time, which is convenient! After a few days outside of Cork, Wolfe and I took the train with his sister and niece up to Dublin for two nights. The highlight of Dublin was visiting Malahide Castle and Gardens. This was thirty minutes outside of the city and a great option if you’re traveling with kids. Their cafe was also top-notch!