The Common Wanderer - Six Months On The Road
Each month, we, The Common Wanderer will provide a personal wrap up of our time on the road. No bullshit, just our honest thoughts.Month six of our adventures has been the most intense yet.
We changed our original plans of travelling through India and high tailed our backsides to Europe to spend the month traversing from London to Rome with Geckos Adventures. Our sixth month saw us travel over 13,505 km’s, visit nine countries and 12 cities, see all the sights and eat all the local food we could possibly fit in our rapidly expanding stomachs.
It was rad.
Where We Went
Europe, including London, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Krakow, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest, Lake Bled, Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome
Flying to London with Qatar Airways
After months of flying budget airlines (yes, we’re looking at you Jetstar and AirAsia), we finally boarded a full cost carrier, Qatar Airways, and it was bloody grand.
We lapped up the ridiculously good service. We had alcoholic drinks and proper meals. Mark even asked for a second meal. Our flight from Colombo to London was the most seamless we’ve ever had and at that point we vowed NEVER to fly low cost again. We subsequently booked Ryanair in Europe. The perils of a backpacker budget!
Travelling through Europe as a couple
We had Europe at the top of our combined bucket list, but to finally be there, enjoying it all as a couple was awesome. We enjoyed the romance of Paris and Venice, the ridiculously good food in, well, everywhere; the beer in Prague, the wine in Italy, the outdoors in Lake Bled and all the beautiful places Europe is so famous for. And we got to experience it together. Naw!
Eating all the waffles and chocolate in Bruges
For those who don’t know, Mim is a chocolate fiend. And a waffle fiend. So you could say that Bruges is kind of her spirit city - hence the first thing we did here was source out the best waffles in town. They were glorious. As was Bruges.
Going beer crazy in Prague
One word. BEER. After enjoying the Czech Beer and Tapas tour with Urban Adventures in Prague, we both agreed that the beer there is better than anywhere else in the world. We hung out in for the evening in bars that only locals know and enjoyed beers that were nothing short of perfect.
Stepping into a real life Disneyland in Cesky Krumlov
Cesky Krumlov, otherwise known as ‘mini Prague’, is a small town in the Czech countryside which looks like a real life Disneyland. It’s so beautiful that for two days we were in a constant state of awe. It was also the first opportunity to get out of a big city on our tour of Europe and the slower pace of life was perfect.
Getting out of the city in Lake Bled
Lake Bled, Slovenia, is a nature lover's paradise and considering we are nature lovers, our stop there was heaven. We spent our days hiking, cycling through the quaint towns and exploring the lake. It was just what we needed after a busy month exploring bustling cities!
Loving everything Italy has to offer
Perhaps due to a disappointing experience Mark had 10 years earlier, we weren’t that excited to visit Italy. How wrong we were!
Italy was by far the best part of our Europe trip, full of amazing history, culture and experiences. We’ve eaten enough brilliant food to make up for the weight we lost in Myanmar and we’ve now concluded Italy is our spirit country.
Don’t get us wrong, we loved Amsterdam. It’s beautiful, its progressive way of life is so appealing and cycling without a helmet is the best feeling ever. Yet the seedy side of it left a sour taste in our mouth.
Our overnight train ride to Krakow
We were so excited for our overnight train ride from Berlin to Krakow. After about an hour on the train our excitement turned to disgust as the smell of sewerage wafted down the cabin. It turns out the toilet was out of order, spewing a stench so foul we struggled to sleep at all on the 9 hour ride. Pure. Hell.
Understanding WW2 all over again
Seriously, after visiting the Topography of Terror in Berlin and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, we remembered how completely messed up Europe and indeed the world was just 70 years ago. It’s sobering, scary, and a real reminder to stay motivated to never let it happen again. We now appreciate our freedom more than ever, but still struggle to understand how any of these atrocities could have ever happened.
By the numbers
13,505 km’s travelled
12 cities or towns
25 Train rides
60 ice creams
4 ocean swims
Over 10,000 photos taken in Europe
Where To Next
The final stop of our Euro-trip in Rome, then Miranda goes to Riga to see family and Mark heads to Athens
Then we start our African adventures in Cape Town, South Africa!