before i get into each day and city of our trip, i’d like to present road trip: europe – the movie. pieced together from video clips and photos from our journey, this quick film also includes little maps that help make our trip a bit clearer. i have much more experience with photography than shooting video, but i hope you enjoy this glimpse into our adventures, and i welcome your feedback – i recommend viewing in full screen mode.
our eight-day, eight-country european extravaganza began around 6pm on friday night, after packing up our rental car, grabbing bottled water and snacks, and driving out of budapest. while it was exciting to wake up in prague the next morning with a few hours to explore, it was a little bit disappointing to drive through slovakia in the dark, with no time to stop. i’m still counting it as one of our eight countries, but it’s the one we saw the least of – the highway was crowded with hundreds of massive 18-wheelers, making the beginning of our journey pretty confusing. we still don’t know why so many trucks were parked along the shoulder of the freeway, and it made for a few stressful driving situations.
however! we arrived safely in our hotel in prague, tired but excited about our coming adventures. none of the colorful buildings are terribly high, but our hotel room was on the top floor and the roof allowed access for beautiful views and some quick photographs. in spite of the rainy weather, we got a few hours of sleep, then wandered out through the streets to find breakfast and briefly enjoy the city.
prague is beautiful. it of course has a similar eastern european ambiance as budapest or vienna, yet still feels like a completely unique place. every few blocks we seemed to stumble into another city square, filled with market stalls and fresh produce, souvenirs and artists. huge churches and sculptures tower over the smaller buildings surrounding them, and the cobblestone streets and musicians make for a quaint, delightful experience.
with only a few hours to enjoy a beautiful breakfast and get a fleeting impression of the city, we tried to stop in as many small shops and markets as possible. i love chatting with local artists and food producers, hearing their stories and admiring their work. we saw some beautiful pieces and even got to try our beloved cinnamon bread, a treat that can also be found in budapest markets.
we were able to load up the car just before the rain started, and fought with our gps for a few minutes before driving back through the city and across germany, driving almost 10 hours and seeing some of the beautiful french countryside before arriving at our hotel outside of paris…
…which will have to get its own entry. suffice to say that the paris airport is huge and terrifying to american drivers who don’t speak french. and the sheraton is very difficult to get to, but lovely once you’re finally (finally!) inside…