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100 Days in Europe: From Iceland to Hungary

It’s been less than two weeks since we left Europe for Asia, and yet it feels like a lifetime ago. That could possibly be because we’re in Varanasi, India which is a whole world different than Europe. Having had enough of the sensory overload from the city, we’re hiding in a café drinking coffee (made with filtered water) and reflecting on our 100 days in Europe. Continue reading

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A Night at the Opera in Vienna

Maybe it’s due to the fact we had just watched ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” where there is a lengthy action scene shot in the Vienna State Opera House (ranked as one of the best action scenes in the Mission Impossible series) or that it is one most famous Opera Houses in the world as proclaimed by National Geographic and Fodors to name a few, but we decided we wanted to spend a night at the opera in Vienna. We found a blog where we learned we could get standing seats for only €3! Click here for the how-to guide we followed. Continue reading

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24 Hours in Berlin

Berlin is one of those cities everyone has heard of; it’s full of culture and history with its own unique edge. We had just under 24 hours in Berlin and had considered all the possibilities for what could be accomplished in this time. We thought we could cram a fair bit into our day as long as we checked in right away and got started. And then our train arrived in Berlin, and it was freezing cold and raining. I think I could have dealt with the cold (with my recently purchased jacket and hat) but rain, really? We started by finding our hostel which turned out to be the strangest place ever and I would definitely not recommend staying there during the winter. Continue reading

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Lübeck: Family, Marzipan & the Baltic Sea

Old men are stubborn. This saying is notoriously true, and was a prominent part of our trip to Lübeck. We stayed with Richard Wolf, who was my grandmother’s neighbour before her and her family left Germany in 1952. Richard turned 90 this year! His wife of over 60 years, Barbara, who I met last time I visited Lübeck in 2008, passed away three years ago. Richard’s English is minimal at best and thus we were thankful that Brigitte, Richard’s current partner, was around to help translate, although sometimes things get lost in translation. Continue reading

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The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague

The Netherlands far exceeded our expectations and is, according to Dan, his favourite country in Europe and the “only one he could live in.” The country is simultaneously modern and historical, while being extremely organized and efficient. And it’s not just one city; the whole country is like that. My only dislike of the infrastructure design would be the insane crosswalks throughout the country: crosswalks often consist of two or three portions crossing bike lanes (which are everywhere, not surprisingly, and mopeds are allowed to use them!!), tram lines, and car lanes. Continue reading

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Oktoberfest in Munich

We booked a flight from Athens to Munich on October 2nd for one reason: be there for the last weekend of Oktoberfest. It’s one of those things you just need to experience, especially if you’re on an around the world trip and happen to be in Europe in the fall. And that minor detail – that it’s fall, not summer – didn’t hit us until we landed in Munich and it was about 20 degrees Celsius colder than everywhere else we had been (Greece and Croatia had been unseasonably hot). It might have had something to do with landing first thing in the morning barely after the sun rose; but at least that gave us time to get settled into our Airbnb room with plenty of time left in the day. (Another reason we love Airbnb: early check-ins are much more likely than with a hotel or hostel). Continue reading

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Athens, Greece

In 1987 Dan’s parents left Poland claiming they were going on vacation to Greece but actually planning on leaving Poland permanently. They drove to Greece and lived just outside of Athens for just over two years before little Henryk Daniel Palyska was born in Athens, Greece. In 1991, once their immigration papers passed, the family of three picked up and moved countries again – this time to Canada – and Dan has since never been back to his birthplace. Therefore, when planning our around the world trip, Athens was a must-see place. Continue reading