Life As Bad Yogi Travel

How to Road Trip Through Europe

There are many times where people hear about what we do for work and say, “Wow, you’re so lucky! That must be so much fun!”

It’s true that many times our work is totally fun! I’d say at least half the time we’re having fun, and then the other half is less fun but necessary. “Work” for us is not doing yoga or posting on social media all day; it’s much, much more and most of it is behind the scenes, so it’s tough to describe how much we really do on a daily basis. While we 100% love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything else, that amount of work, little sleep, stress, and long to-do lists will wear on you over time and you MUST be disciplined enough to carve out some down time… which we generally suck at, haha.

So this trip was meant to be a mental decompression and we were actually successful! We kept it 100%  stress-free and only worked minimally most days. It was the perfect little break.

I shared a few pictures on social but I know a lot of you wanted to know more. So here it is: where we ate and where we went– only the most crucial info 😉 I just included the best stuff, but it’s still quite long. Props if you read the whole thing, haha!

This is our adventure. 11 Days & 9 Cities. 

Rule #1: No over-thinking. Just let things happen.

1) L’Isle sur la Sorgue.

The Good: This was such an incredibly charming little town! It’s actually a massive hub for antique shopping which I’m generally not into at all, but this changed my mind. So many beautiful finds for every budget. Definitely worth a stop!

The meh: We only stayed for a couple hours to hang out and have lunch (at a place that wasn’t worth mentioning).

2) Lyon, France.

The Good: Close your eyes and picture what France looks like in your head. Lyon is the kind of city that looks exactly like THAT. Plus, there is SO. MUCH. GOOD. FOOD! Just don’t go in the middle of August because every top-notch restaurant closes for vacation, so our choices were more limited. We had a nice meal at Fiston which I’d totally go back to. Eat upstairs, it’s cozy 🙂 Also, whatever you do, do NOT miss ice cream at Terre Adelice. Insanely wonderful flavor, massive variety, and it’s organic. The lines are long, so get there early. We also did a super short river boat ride (pictured above, 1 hour, 8 euros!) which was a cool way to get to know the city since we were short on time.


Go to the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere. Look up. Then go outside and see Lyon from the highest, most beautiful view point.
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The meh: If you’re sensitive to cream and dairy, be cautious: cream and creme fraiche are highly prevalent in almost EVERYTHING in Lyonnais cooking.

3) Geneva, Switzerland.

The Good: This city is so quiet and so clean which I personally LOVE. The old town is gorgeous and great for lounging in a cafe in the shade with a book. Go to the top of St. Pierre’s Cathedral. It’s about 4 euros and you can walk through this incredible ancient staircase to the top where you can go outside and get panoramic views of the city which is pictured above. AMAZING.
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If you see a place to rent a little boat and cruise along Lake Geneva, JUST DO IT. This was a trip highlight for sure and was surprisingly affordable at about 35 euros for a half hour. The nightlife is equally awesome. We had a delicious dinner at Le Grill that was a bit overpriced but still delicious, and even though Geneva is an expensive city, there’s no shortage of cheap places AND Michelin star experiences to go around.
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The meh: Basically nothing! We loved it here!

4) Bern, Switzerland.

The Good: While we only spent a few hours here, it didn’t take long to see that this was a gorgeous city. Incredible views and architecture and charm and we only heard of all the awesome stuff to do after we left! Apparently there’s a Bear Sanctuary (!!!), some awesome ice cream and incredible trails around here, but we didn’t have the time to experience any of that. We definitely want to come back!

The meh: It’s pretty full of tourists and incredibly hot in the summer. We ended up eating a meal that was positively BLAH because we forgot to ask for recommendations in time, so do your research before sitting down to eat!

5) Lucern, Switzerland.

The Good: How gorgeous is this place? When we first got here, it seriously took my breath away. There’s something about how fast this water moves and how it contrasts with the colors of the buildings which blend into the mountains… it’s GORGEOUS.
We also had one of the best meals in the entire trip in a place called Stern Luzerne and not only was it incredibly delicious and inventive without being ridiculous, it was actually quite affordable! And “affordable” is not an adjective you can usually use in Switzerland, so that’s something 😉
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The meh: I don’t think I have words to communicate how many tourists were in this city. I grew up going to Disney World in Orlando on Summer vacation, around the holidays, and everywhere in between, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a place so packed with tourists as Lucern was. To be honest with you, our first day was just OK because it was so suffocating. There were BUSES of people being dropped off all over the place and it was really overwhelming. Our meal was a highlight, the beauty was unforgettable, and the next morning was nice and quiet because we got up early to enjoy the city. But def visit this place in an off season!

6) Zurich, Switzerland.
We only planned a few hours here because we thought this would be the least interesting place we visited. We were SO WRONG.
The Good: There’s SO many incredible places to see, to eat, and things to do, it was awesome. It’s gorgeous, the people are nice, you can SWIM in the river (!!!), there’s free & clean public restrooms everywhere, and we loved it. We ate lunch in AuGust Bistro which was delicious! It was in a cute neighborhood and was indoor/outdoor with a great vibe.
In the summer you can swim in the river which looked super clean, and The Frenchman said it was refreshing 🙂 Also, do not ask questions. Do not pass Go. Walk directly to Spruengli for macarons and chocolate and then live with the satisfaction of knowing you’ve just experienced pure Nirvana. (<– I am not dramatic AT ALL.)
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Visiting Switzerland? Here’s a super handy list of 100 Best Things to do in Switzerland.

7) Innsbruck, Austria.
The Good: EVERYTHING. There’s nothing meh here and we spent 5 days in this gorgeous place, so let’s skate right through the highlights: everything here is SO inexpensive, from little trinkets to top-notch meals. The scenery is drop dead GORGEOUS, the people are kind and warm, there’s lots of great shops to bring stuff back, and it’s a great city to be in if you want to travel around the Austrian countryside.

Go immediately to Cafe Central and order yourself an Apfel Strudel mit Vanilla Sauce and wash it down with a tea that came like this! We got a coffee, a fancy tea, and 2 desserts and it only cost 10 euros TOTAL! Everything pictured on the right was for ONE person, too, so the servings are generous.
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Either hike up to Hefekelekar on Nordkette or take the the funicular up there for the most breath taking panoramic view of the Alps and good, solid nature time. You’ll definitely breathe a little deeper up here.
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We reluctantly went up to the Swarovski museum which was totally “meh” but inexpensive so the experience was salvaged by our incredible experience walking through their garden. It was INSANE! Totally worth it just for this.
We ate TWO standout, delicious meals while we were here: the first at a rustic non-fancy but slightly trendy place called die Wilderin and I don’t have pictures but it was BOMB. Real Austrian food with a “nose to tail” philosophy on all their meat and fantastic local wine and beer to compliment everything. A definite must-do. The second place was about 30 minutes away in a small town called Seefeld at a fellow Bad Yogi’s family restaurant: Dorfkrug. I took this picture from their website– isn’t it gorgeous?! My pics came out terribly because it was darker when we ate, but they were friendly and wonderful and the food was awesome.
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8) Lake Como, Italy.
Alright, honestly? This whole place was MEH, to us. It was pretty enough, sure, but it didn’t blow us away. There wasn’t much to do, it was expensive and kinda fell flat from our expectations. We’ll just scrap it for now and maybe make it back for a different experience next time 🙂 If you’re thinking about going to Lake Como, skip it and come to the French Riviera! Similar landscape but WAY more impressive and beautiful, tons more to do, and more affordable.

9) Turin, Italy.
Now THIS place blew us away! We wanted more time here! We only spent a couple days which wasn’t nearly enough time. The architecture will leave you speechless. The entire city looks like a scene from a movie or a video game, and it’s just pure eye candy on every single corner. I’m not even exaggerating.
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Then there’s the gelato. We only got to try two places and I highly recommend both. With equal enthusiasm. Two scoops worth. We went to Grom and Piu di un Gelato. You just absolutely must go to both. It’s your duty as a wanderer of the world! It’s only 2 euros per cone like this! How can you not?!

This was our last stop before leaving and it was a bittersweet homecoming. We were looking forward to getting back to our normal routine, but will so miss the pace and adventure of exploring new places. Now I’m already plotting how we can escape back to Austria at some point in the winter 😉

Over to you! What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been to? And how about the most disappointing? Any highlights or travel tips you absolutely MUST share?

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  1. Megan Reddix

    Megan Reddix

    August 26, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Okay, so now I MUST visit Europe! All of them look so gorgeous, but I’m going to have to start in Turin. Gelato has my heart. Zach and I went to Jamaica a couple of months ago for our anniversary. Everything about it was amazing. From the resort we stayed at to the excursions we went on. If you get car sick, Jamaica may not be the best place for you. The roads are tight and very windy and the drives (although total experts) may seem a little insane. They drive incredibly fast but are total driving pros. We recommend any river/waterfall hike. They are amazing. The water is so clear and refreshing and the guides give you way more than you’d expect.We learned so much about natural Jamaica as our guide pulled herbs, berries, and natural soaps from the surrounding fields and trees. He even cooked for us even though that wasn’t part of the excursion offer! Everyone there is so friendly and generous even if they have very little. Definitely going back!

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    August 27, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Erin, May and October are two really nice months to visit Lucerne. It’s been 10 years since my last trip ( we had a sales office outside of Basel) but we stayed the The Palace in Lucerne and their restaurant, Jaspers, was pretty incredible.

    Your trip looked wonderful!

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      Erin Motz

      August 27, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Oh I’m sure October is beautiful in that area!

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    August 27, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Your trip looked and sounded brilliant. I live in UK and never been to any of these places.

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      Erin Motz

      August 27, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Too funny! I went to Europe before I drove to Key West which was only 3 hours from my home in Florida. Funny how we forget to explore our own back yards!

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    August 27, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Sadly I have not yet made it to Europe, but on a fall Vermont/New Hampshire tour I had some brie and applewood smoked bacon stuffed chicken with a balsamic cream sauce. It was one of the most delicious things I have eaten.

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      Erin Motz

      August 27, 2016 at 10:30 am

      mmm, applewood smoked bacon sounds amazing right now!

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      Andrea Cote

      August 27, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      I’ve lived in Vermont all my life and I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve done leaf peeping is when put of state guests come to visit! But love me some bacon and cider, and doughnuts and maple syrup!

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    Beth Henningsen

    August 27, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I haven’t been to Europe since my twenties, but we have taken our kids extensively through the US. One of my favorite ways to eat out to save a few bucks is to eat in. We do this in towns where the dining looks meh or it’s been a really long driving day and we’re all tired. We hit a local supermarket, pick up some nice cheese and crackers or a baguette, some fresh veggies and dip, some fresh fruit, and a bottle of wine and we let the kids watch a movie on a computer and we picnic in our hotel room or in a city park.

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      Erin Motz

      August 27, 2016 at 10:27 am

      I love that! We do the same thing! Especially for breakfast… Plus, I love going into grocery stores in cities we visit because it gives you a wonderful variety of new things to try 🙂

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    August 27, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Wow! Great write-up!

    No mention of where you stayed. What types of places did you stay in and were any noteworthy?

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      Erin Motz

      August 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

      We stayed in hotels and definitely had pleasant experiences! I guess I thought this post was too long already, haha 😉 Our absolute favorite was Hotel Innsbruck in Innsbruck, Austria. Amazing staff, beautiful rooms, AWESOME & delicious included breakfast, impeccably clean (also included) saunas and wellness area and right in the middle of everything.

      We also loved our hotel in Lyon which I think was the Mercure Beaux Arts and in Turin which was an NH hotel. In Turin the parking was included and very clean & secure. The breakfast was also incredible and included 🙂 Only complaint in this trip was the Hotel Metropole Suisse in Lake Como. SO disappointing! Really rundown, the internet didn’t work at all, nothing was included, the paint on the walls was peeling off, there were spiders on the ceiling, and we could literally hear the people next door talking and sneezing.

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    August 27, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I am a german girl, living in Berne for a few month, and I am TOTALLY in love with this little pretty city! I do not even notice the mass of tourists you told about… But honestly: the most incredible thing is to hop into the river, and you forget the heat while floating through the city!
    And do you notice why there are bears? It’s because “Bern” as they spell it in Switzerland sounds like the German word for bear (Bären).
    What a pity you didn’t took more time….!

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      Erin Motz

      August 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

      I agree with you! It’s a beautiful place and we’d definitely go back to experience more 🙂

  8. Kaitlin Moran

    Kaitlin Moran

    August 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Ummm hey! Major FOMO/jealousy/stuck-in-the-US feeling over here right now! What a lovely trip and your pictures came out beautifully. I’m definitely adding some of these places to my wanderlust list! Would also love to hear about an American road-tripping through Europe. I know you have the lovely Frenchman, and, as an American, is driving through many countries intimidating (language, laws, road culture).

    There are two coolest places I’ve ever been to Berlin and Brussels. I absolutely loved the history of Berlin and its embrace and questioning of that history. There was also great food and really wonderful people. My other favorite place was Brussels- oh my food! You can get waffles, and chocolate, and beer and feel totally great about your life. It is so small that it doesn’t take a great deal of time and if you wanted to, you could totally feel like you walked around and got a decent handle on the city in one day. Finally, if you’re in Europe and looking to understand giant cities you MUST do: It’s the best tours I have ever done and they take you to all the major sites and they know SO much. Plus the guides work only for the tips (the tour is free) and so it is totally wonderful in every way!

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    Erin MacDonald

    August 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

    After two years living and travelling in Europe – Budapest was the most amazing – architecture, nightlife (hit up the ruin bars) and the Turkish outside thermal baths were amazing and cured all things afterwards of travelling and too many wines!

    Most disappointing for me was Germany. I went to four different cities on two separate occasions (Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt & Wiesbaden) and it was meh! Especially after being told how amazing Munich and Berlin were; it was quite disappointing. Personal opinion of course!

    Travel tip – don’t just do the major sights! Walk, wander and wallow! You’ll find more interesting people, architecture, shops, culture, photo stops ahhh the list goes on!

    The words I live by:

    To travel is to breathe
    To breathe is to live
    Therefore travel is my life

  10. Amanda


    August 27, 2016 at 9:41 am

    What a great trip! I’m based in South America and doing most of my traveling in this part of the world now (just got back from Guatemala last night!) and I haven’t been to Europe in six years….this makes me itch to go back! I’ve found that pretty much every place in the world has something to offer, something that makes it memorable. My most “meh” destination ever was probably Milan. But even there, the Duomo was impressive.

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    August 27, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I’ve been to many cool places around the world but my favorite, the place I love to go back to again and again is only 300 miles from me. The town of Grand Marais, MN on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Great restaurants, wonderful people, nature bursting out everywhere, little shops and incredibly peaceful. We go back in 4 weeks.

    Regarding the most disappointing, for me it was the Dominican Republic. Driving was SCARY! Unbeknownst to us, our 1st night we stayed in a seaside city known for sex tourism…broke my heart, plus it was just gross. The prostitutes were relentless. The DR is beautiful but the government (no enforcement of traffic laws, promoting sex tourism) has made it a place I don’t care to return.

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    August 27, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing your vacation.

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    August 27, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Great places you visited. Many thanks for all the nice pictures. Torino is s city I discovered last year. This place managed well a reconversion from industry (Fiat) to a high tech service industry. A place to visit not far from Nice is Genova, a two hours drive.

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    August 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Geneva will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the place where my husband and I met, and our first trip together was to the Nice and then Lyon. All your pictures served as a good flashback to that wonderful time of our lives!
    While travelling, the only meal we normally make plans for is dinner, and always play it by bear when it comes to lunch; usually by picking some produce, a baguette and cheese at a local supermarket, and we are golden, ha!
    I really enjoyed this post, and it was definitely not long enough! ?

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      August 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Oops, I meant to say play it by EAR, haha!

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    August 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Your trip looks amazing! I’ve been to Lyon, and I agree with everything you said – I would LOVE to go back someday!
    I lived in Ireland for a year and a half so I’m a little biased, but Galway is absolutely my favorite place in the world. It’s a great base city to explore the west side of the island. The Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Connemara – all of those are easily accessible from Galway. I was most underwhelmed with Brussels. The Grand Plaza was beautiful and the chocolate was of course wonderful, but there were so many more beautiful places in Belgium that made me feel like Brussels wasn’t worth the time we spent there.

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    August 27, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I so totally understand you, I moved to Innsbruck, Austria 14 years ago to study and I’m stuck here in Tyrol… just don’t want to leave this beautiful place (and I come from Reykjavík, Iceland – other place to visit ;-)) There are so many beautiful places in Europe, I just don’t like the big big cities, the small cozy ones are so much nicer 😀 When I think about it, my favourite cities would be Luxembourg and Pisa.

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    August 27, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    We visited Bern in the winter and found it very charming, and not very crowded. My favorite place of all time is Florence, Italy! Aside from the David at the art academy, one can’t skip the baptistry just outside the front entrance to the main cathedral. Then look up – the whole ceiling is a gorgeous mosaic that made me just stand there and cry for the beauty!

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    Andrea Cote

    August 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    There was a little hole in the wall on the corner near the trevii fountain when I traveled around Europe with my sister. It was amazing! I always recommend staying in hostels in Europe because if you get one with your own bathroom it’s more like a hotel in the states then a hostel. Can’t wait for Hawaii next year with the Hubs to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.

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    August 27, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    What an awesome trip! You have made me homesick with the pictures of Switzerland. And yes, as you’ve experienced it’s packed with tourists especially during vacation. One of our biggest incomes 🙂

    Next time I’m on the continent I’ll have to got to some of the places you’ve been.

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    Marie Christine

    August 27, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Well, you can travel to various places for various reasons. I also enjoyed Lyon very much and we have friends over there so we had guides to show us around and we ate amazing homecooked meals 🙂 France is amazing to visit for many reasons. The food, the wine, the architecture, etc..I also loved Australia for the great outdoors activities (hello great barrier reef, tropical forest and so on !). Also, the ppl were really nice and welcoming. And l also love to travel inside my own country, Canada, which is so big, I haven’t seen seen that much ! But we enjoyed a great trip to BC and Banff. I also welcome all of you to visit the great province of Quebec where you can find a great mix of diffirent cultures and beautiful nature also. And we are super nice 🙂

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    August 27, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing your vacation! Loved reading it all. I’ve never visited Europe so you definitely shared a lot of smaller things for all of these cities. 🙂

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    August 28, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I’m so glad I read the entire thing, Erin, thanks for sharing all these places to eat! My sister is spending the weekend in Zurich, and I told her you recommended the AuGust – she and her boyfriend went there for breakfast this morning and absolutely loved it. They said it was also pretty affordable for Zurich (yesterday she had a simple salad for €25!). Thanks again for sharing and lots of love from Germany <3

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    August 28, 2016 at 11:36 am

    yay you went to the Stern in Lucerne, really glad you didn’t get caught in one of the tourist traps. I’m from Lucerne and it’s become a real issue here about the busses with tourists and if tourists write that there are so many tourists… but I’m super happy about you enjoying Switzerland!

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    August 28, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I stayed in Milano in June and made a 1 day trip to Lake Como (Varenna and Bellagio) and I have to say it was a highlight of my trip to North Italy, really.
    I strongly recommend Granada in Spain. Such a breathtakingly beautiful city, so much to do and see.
    Then Toledo as well 🙂

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    August 29, 2016 at 2:44 am

    Loved your post about European cities 🙂 just added some more cities to my ‘To visit’ list. I’m from Belgium and absolutely adore France. If you ever get the chance to visit Strasbourg and Colmar and the freaking adorable villages that surround those two cities, just do it ! We had one of our best trips to Riquewhir where we did some wine tasting that litterally blew us away : we ended up drunk at 9 PM looking for a restaurant that would still serve us, haha… Such sweet memories.

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    August 29, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Nice post about Switzerland which is the country I live. Next time you’ll come here tell me. I’ll take you to others places like my city Neuchâtel and around it. You must also visit Spain which is the country where I was born. I’d like all my American friends come to visit me. As I came back to Europ 3 years ago after living 4 in the US I sometime miss my nice Virginia. Such sweet memories too.

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    August 29, 2016 at 9:11 am

    The meh? I have not heard that expression but know what you meant. It is so funny and surprising for me because in La Paz, Southern Baja California (Mexico) there is a similar expression -meh- that can apply for a lot of situations including this.
    About the travelling, I absolutelly adore Italy but now I am more in the idea of going to the -not so known- places of Europe, like Poland where I live now and Ucraine where I will be next week =p

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    Amber Worden

    August 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

    This really makes me want to travel abroad!!! I’ve never left the US, except for the Bahamas for my first honeymoon. So far I think the most interesting travel I’ve ever done was driving to Las Vegas and back – beautiful scenery! 🙂

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    August 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Loved reading about your European holiday! Coolest places I’ve been to: Iceland (literally and figuratively) and Croatia!

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    Joanne Farringer

    August 31, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your trip! I think your stay in Austria is my favorite – I may be a bit partial as my Aunt was born there, but has lived in the US for years. She is the warmest person I know.
    The coolest place I’ve ever been is the Greek Island of Santorini and second favorite Hydra where there is no electricity or vehicles – you will walk from the port to your hotel and your luggage arrives by donkey!

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    Joanne Farringer

    August 31, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Ha Ha – Well of course there is electricity – just no electrical wires overhead – cables are all underground /p

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    Abby Lacey

    August 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing Erin – what a lovely trip and some great recommendations x

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    lynne moore

    September 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Your trip looked so interesting – love to wander towns like that.

    My father-in-law took my husband and our son to a tour of Italy for a boys-only trip for a few weeks one summer. My son was about 13-14 years old. They used gelato tastings as the rating system for every stop.

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    September 6, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Erin, thank you so much for taking the time and care to share the highlights and the lowlights of your trip! Am looking forward to checking out some of those restaurant recommendations. When you return to Switzerland, let me know as I can give you and the Frenchman loads of tips on places not to miss especially Zurich and surroundings!

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    Sierra Thomas

    March 6, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Hey Erin,

    Great post about your road trip in Europe. Can’t wait to get a vacation leave and be in these places. Love the photos, by the way.
    Recently, we wrote something similar:

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