Europe

Our travels have taken us through most of Western and Central Europe, and a recently increasing amount of Eastern Europe. Since our trips have turned into family trips, we particularly find European road trips a great option, with superb facilities and family-friendly attitudes almost everywhere we go.


Countries We've Seen

Fabulous indoor – and outdoor – playground in Siauliai, Lithuania

With kids aged 3 and 5, it was very important for us to find a playground for the kids to burn off energy in – especially on driving heavy days. From Augustow, Poland to Riga, Latvia was a long haul – so we were very happy when after hours of googling, we found enough info
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The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania is one of the most fascinating pilgrimage sites we’ve ever seen.  It is 12km outside Siauliai, and on this small hill lies 100,000 crosses.  It is the most memorable symbol of Lithuanian catholicism, and every attempt to remove it has been met by sha
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Wieliczka Salt Mine – Krakow – avoid with young kids or on hot days!

UPDATE: A counterpoint – someone who had a great time at the salt mine with kids – / . Maybe we just got unlucky and got dissuaded by the huge summer crowds and crazy heat.…
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Rynek Underground Museum in Krakow, a great place to cool off with the kids

Right underneath the old central square is the Rynek Główny Rynek Underground museum. Although originally designed to showcase some of the ruins of Old Krakow found underneath the main square, it became much more than that.…
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Beautiful Norway – a scenic tour

We began our trip to Norway with a visit to our friends Dan and Heidi, in Oslo. We then flew north to Tromso where we boarded the Nordnorge, the ship that took us south down the coast to Bergen.…
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A quick tour of Denmark

We took the night train from Oslo to Copenhagen through Sweden, going over the very newly opened bridge from Malmo. From Copenhagen we did a day trip west to Roskilde, and then traveled south down to Aeroskobing.…
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Hotel Amba, Munich – A Good Place to Land in Munich

We  booked our first 3 nights on our trip at the Hotel Amba in Munich.  We had hoped that with a late August arrival in Munich, we wouldn’t have to be too worried about finding a room a month in advance – but we were very wrong.  …
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Getting Ready to Travel With Kids to Austria and Slovakia (and a slice of Germany and Liechtenstein)

So, we’ve been planning.  For hours.  Days.  Weeks, actually.  It seems ridiculous.  We can’t remember it ever being this hard to figure out our route before.  After FIFTY-FOUR countries, you’d think we’d have this down…but apparently not.  …
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Back on the road again: Austria here we come!

Kids ready to travel! Waiting for our flight to Toronto to board.Ever since baby #2 came along, our travel has taken a serious hit.  A great sleeper early on, he quickly seemed to forget how. …
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Our First Trip – Italy

Waiting to board our flight to Rome.In May, 1995, Ian and I set out on our first big adventure together.  We had a month to explore Europe and planned to visit 5 countries.  First up – our Italy tour.  We started in Rome, and then worked our way south down the Ama
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We were on TV, on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

While in Paris, we ate dinner at a terrible vegetarian restaurant where they happened to be filming Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Here’s a clip of us from the show.…
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Revisiting our Favourite Spots in Paris and Accidentally Winding up on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Eiffel Tower lit up at night. We took a flight to Paris yesterday afternoon.  It’s an 11 hour flight and a 9 hour time difference so you don’t actually “lose” that much time. …
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Dining in Reykjavik

Out for dinner at Thrir Frakkar Hja Ulfari. (That was a mouthful). So was this puffin. We went out for 2 meals in Reykjavik. The first meal was at Thrir Frakkar Hja Ulfari (Address: Baldursgotu 14, Telephone: 552 3939 ).…
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Sights of Reykjavik: Hallgrimskirkja cathedral, National Gallery of Iceland, Open-Air Folk Museum, Laugardalur public swimming pool, Golden Circle Tour (including Thingvellir and Gullfoss), The Blue Lagoon

We had two days to see everything we could in Iceland. We were exhausted from our flight, but were determined to resist taking a ‘short’ nap. We made our way to the tourist bureau, where we got a 24 hour visitor’s pass, which got us free buses and admission to a
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Reykjavik

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Reykjavik, Iceland on the way to London, from San Francisco. We were there in July. It was a worthwhile stopover to get a small "taste" of Iceland.…
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Lisbon: Mosterio Dos Jeronimos, Torre De Belem, Museu Nacional de Arte Antigua, The Castelo de Sao Jorge, Alfama district, Park of Nations, Hell’s Kitchen

Praca De Restaudores, a central square downtown. And the only one not under major construction when we were there. The weather was terrible, and we didn’t enjoy ourselves much. Maybe we were just blase after we had seen so many beautiful things in Spain and France, but nothing a
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Evora: Museum, Roman Temple, Igreja de Sao Jao Evangelista, Temple of Bones

Designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations, Evora is known as the "Museum City". Despite the billing,it didn't do much for us, and We moved on pretty quickly. Our next stop was Evora.…
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FARO

We stopped in Faro overnight. It's the capital city of the Algarve, Portugal's southern coast. This is the harbour. Faro is mainly a jumping-off point for the Algarve coast. There isn’t much to see or do there, and we’re glad we didn’t stay that long.…
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Portugal: Getting There

We spent 5 days in Portugal in April 2001. Our visit was part of a 3 week vacation in Spain and Morocco. We are very ‘focused’ travelers, arriving in each city with a list of places to see, and we’ll move along fast if something doesn’t grab us.…
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Barcelona: Barri Gotic, Las Ramblas, Casa Mila, Parc Guell, Palau Guell, Museu Picasso, Sagrada Familia

We visited Barcelona in March 2001 for 3 days. It is the most interesting and captivating city we saw in Spain. (sorry, Madrid!) Getting there This is the monument to Columbus at the other end of Las Ramblas.…
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Lest We Forget, Day 2 – The Memorial de Caen, Juno and Gold Beach

Sunday we visited the Memorial de Caen. It’s a museum which relates the events which lead up to the D-Day landing, and has a memorial to the Canadian and American soldiers in the gardens behind it.…
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Lest We Forget – Omaha Beach, Pointe Du Hoc and the American Cemetery

Memorial to the parachutists.For Remembrance Day/Armistice Day/Veteran’s Day (November 11th), we spent the weekend visiting the D-Day Beaches in Normandy.  We started at a memorial to the parachutists who landed near Sainte Mere-Eglise.…
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