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We went to Europe – The Short Version

We went to Europe – The Short Version

Since we were gone for two weeks and went to 3 different countries, the blog posts are long. Add pics in and they get longer. If you don’t feel like reading through the posts and just want to skim the pics, this is your post!

Kelly’s Trip Summary:

JFK was a nightmare coming and going! But the flight to Zurich turned out to not be so bad. Zurich wasn’t my fave. There were tons of fancy cars but they were also loud, and we heard revving engines well into the night. I worried 24 hours in Zurich wouldn’t be enough but I thought it was more than enough.

Lucerne was amazing! It was such a pretty city. I like that it was situated right on the river. Lucerne in the sun was a totally different city than Lucerne with clouds. The mountain views were all around and I loved that! I’m really glad we went to Mt Pilatus! It was a really cool experience and probably the only mountain I will ever climb.

Paris was okay! I really thought I would like it more. I guess my expectations were a little high. I don’t think it helped the park was blocked off. I had visions of drinking champagne in the park under a twinkly Eiffel Tower but that was hard since it didn’t get dark till so late. We only saw the Eiffel Tower lit up once and that was from a cab at 1am. The city itself was pretty and the food was amazing. I think 4 days in Paris was a day too long though.

London was short and sweet! It was great seeing E&T and just hanging out.

Devon was amazing! I would put it at the top of my favorite places (Lucerne was probably 1st). It was just beautiful! And relaxing. It was also great to see the fam.

Reigate was good! We went there for family and we spent tons of time with everyone so that was nice.

All in all, the trip was amazing! I kind of worried that we weren’t spending enough time in places but honestly, I think the time we spent in each place was just right. Since we were gone for two weeks, it was nice to be on the move. It was also a lot though. I was glad to be home!

Also, I read 5 books on the trip and I took over 1500 pictures!  I’ve tried to narrow that down quite a bit!  They also have not been edited at all so… yeah.

Matt’s Trip Summary:

Considering that we’d planned this trip for so long it really seemed to sneak up on us. We got the flights, hotels, and travel booked so far ahead of time we kind of “forgot” about the trip. Wasn’t really until about a week out that it really hit me that it was time to go!

Trip started of very smoothly and got derailed rather quickly once we got to JFK. I didn’t really mind the delay so much, as the plane was broken, but just not being told anything was rather quite annoying. I was thinking to myself that it was a good thing we decided to spend the night in Zurich and didn’t have other travel arrangements that we’d have to change. Once we got underway the flight over was uneventful.

Zurich was a nice way to ease into the trip. I’m glad we got to check it out but I wouldn’t spend anymore than a day there. It would probably be a good home base to do a few day trips to some other places in Switzerland.

Lucerne was beautiful! Glad that we got some nice weather so that Kelly could see just how magical Switzerland is. I kept telling her that it just doesn’t look real and I’m glad that she got to see that. Really do wish that we had better weather when we went up Mt Pilatus so that we could see the mountains. Next time we go I think we’ll head more into the Alps.

I really enjoy the way of life in Paris. Good food. Good wine. Enjoying life. Hard to beat sitting outside at a brasserie and enjoying a nice meal as the world goes by. Was nice to see some of the sights again and to see some new once. Was disappointed that the Champ de Mars was closed for the Euro Fan Zone as it’s one of my favorite places in Paris.

England was really nice. Seeing lots of family and getting to explore some new places was great. I still cannot believe the house Devon. The pictures that we took there really don’t do it justice. Hard to believe that we were in England! It always feels nice and familiar to be in England and it was a nice way to end the trip.

I enjoyed the pace of the trip. Spending a few days somewhere and then moving on to the next place. One little adventure after another. I think we spent just about the right amount of time in each place. Never felt like we didn’t get a chance to do something and never felt bored.

Of course we got to bookend the trip with another travel disaster in JFK. In all of my travels I’ve never had issues like this before. Hopefully we’ve paid our dues and won’t have to experience anything like this again any time soon.
Quick links to each location:

We’re going to Europe!






Road to Reigate


Lucerne Switzerland

Lucerne Switzerland

Sunday June 26 – We arrived in Lucerne a little after lunch on Sunday.  The train station was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel, the Boutique Hotel Zum Weisses Kruez, so we dropped our bags off and set out in town.

The first place we decided to go was the Lucerne Lion Monument.  On the way, we stopped and grabbed some lunch and dessert.  The Lion Monument was craved in stone as a memorial to fallen soldiers at the Tuilerires in 1792.  There were quite a few tourists when we arrived but we managed to find a little spot off to the side to have our lunch.  I tried to get Matt to take a selfie but he thought it was disrespectful so we didn’t (though there were tons of others doing it.)

Our room
We could hear them playing from our room. We didn’t know where it was coming from until we walked out behind the hotel.
There were water fountains all around town. I told Matt no way! The old fountains constantly run water from underground glaciers.
Matt filling up our first water bottle! We drank city water our entire time there!




Church door.


Stairs up to the city wall. There were a LOT of stairs.
On top of the city wall.



After we ate lunch, we headed back for town.  As we were walking we noticed a church on a hill so we walked up to check it out. It was very pretty inside.  We then headed over to the City Wall to check that out.  After a  LOT of stairs, we reached the wall.  You could walk up to the top and then walk across the wall.  The views from the top of the wall were amazing!  Had it not been kind of cloudy it would have been even better.

We got to the other side and walked back down, this put us on the back side of the wall so we followed the path down to the road.  We (at least I) had no clue where we would end up, but as we followed the road we found ourselves just on the other side of the river from our hotel.  One cool thing about Lucerne are the wooden walking bridges that cross the river.  Once we crossed back over we decided to stop at one of the hotel bars for a drink overlooking the river.

This is probably my favorite door from the whole trip.



This is also at the top of my fave pic list!
Fave pic list!

After walking back to the room for a nap, we set out to find dinner.  Around trip around the city center ended with us back at the hotel  restaurant, where I had a wonderful lasagna.   When dinner was finished we decided to walk down the river on the other side and check it out.  Since it didn’t get dark till close to 10 pm we were able to enjoy the sights around us for a while.

Monday June 27 – The other thing we had planned for Lucerne was Mount Piltaus.  There were several options on how to get up and down the mountain and Matt choose the Silver Ticket for us.  This included a cogwheel up and a cable car down to a bus. It was about a 30 minute train ride to reach to the cogwheel station.  Once at the station, we piled into a little train car thing with 6 other people and set off up the mountain.  As we were going, the conductor informed us this was the steepest cogwheel in the world and that it was built in the 1800’s.  :O  I had a seat by the window so I could take pics and OMG, it was breathtakingly beautiful!  And also very, very steep!  I was facing up, and I think I’m glad about that!  You couldn’t quite tell exactly how steep it was from that angle.  (I’m pretty sure there is no way in hell I would have gone back down the cogwheel!)


This shows the angle we were at going up.







After trudging up the mountain for about 30 minutes, we finally reached the summit.  Unfortunately, it was clouded in but Matt and I walked around to check things out.  We ended up going to the smaller summit before deciding if we wanted to try to largest one.  In the end, we decided not to since the top was completely cloudy.

Since the clouds weren’t breaking we hopped on a cable car down to Pilatus Kulm.  Situated about half way down the mountain, there was an adventure park that included rope walks, zip lines, and a toboggan run.  We grabbed a coffee, enjoyed the views and watched people on the adventure courses.  When we decided we were ready, we grabbed  a smaller cable car for the decent down.  This was definitely the way to go down!  Stunning views of the treetops and city, it was a different view from the mountains on the way up.








Once we were down and back to town, we decided to walk back around the city since it was sunny and looked completely different.  Now I have pics of cloudy Lucerne and sunny Lucerne!  😉  That night we went to a place called Jill’s Burgers for dinner.  The food was good ( and the menu in English – most places had menus in Italian, German and Japanese).  While we were eating dinner the Euro 2016 was going on between Italy and Spain.  As soon as the game was over and Italy had won, we started hearing car horns!  This continued on for a quite a while so Matt and I walked up to the main street to see a line of traffic and people lining the streets celebrating the win!  It was actually really cool to see!


Fave pic list!





We went back to the room and watched England lose to Iceland.

The next morning, we were woken up at about 5:30 am to the loud as crap sound of the street sweeper!  This continued for a good 15 minutes.  We had an early train to catch on our way to Paris and the street sweeper didn’t really make my day!