Less Than 7 Days Until Europe!

Posted by Mike Merritt in Travelogue on

I haven’t written much about this trip, here or on Facebook. In fact, I haven’t written about a trip here since the big Cross-Country train trip in 2015, even though I’ve been to San Diego (on business) and to Orlando and Canada (Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Montreal – for pleasure) since.

I’m heading to Europe for 16 days in just under a week from now. I’ll be getting back to the continent after 10 years away, the last trip there being to Greece in 2007. It’s going to be a bit of a whirlwind of a trip. Why? Because I’m my own worst enemy. What started out as a desire to travel to London and then east to Belgium and The Netherlands has since turned into a bit a monster of a trip that will see me travel in all four cardinal directions. I’ll again be going on a massive train ride that will take me to seven countries in this time period.

Europe Trip 2017 Train Route Map

The above map shows more or less the route I’ll be taking through Europe. Starting out in London for a couple days, I’ll continue on Eurostar to Ghent, Begium for a day, and then the intercity train to Amsterdam for a couple days.  I’ll continue into Germany, stopping in Cologne and Bonn for a couple days. Then I’ll have what I think will be the first big highlight of this trip with a ride along the Rhine River on my way to the little southern German city of Freiburg. I’ll be there for a couple days as well.

Part of what turned this trip into a monster is that, before deciding on much else, I got taken by the prospect of a trip through the Swiss Alps by train, which will be the second and probably prime highlight of the trip (I’m a sucker for a nice mountain range). After a night in Zurich, I’ll be taking the popular Bernina Express on that route, from Chur, Switzerland, to Tirano, Italy.

I’ll continue on to Turin via Milan, and stay there for about a day and a half. Afterward, I’ll take a TGV train to Paris, where I’ll explore for another couple days. Then I’ll grab a Eurostar back to London for another day and then head back home.

So definitely a lot going on in a relatively compact amount of time but it’s definitely going to be exciting.  I look forward to seeing a lot of cool architecture, some of it very old, as well as mountains, valleys, and the backyards of seven countries. It’ll also be my first time on a high-speed train (including our own “high-speed” Acela), so that’ll be very interesting to experience.

I’ll be missing three big events during my time in Europe, either by choice or by coincidence:

  • Queen Elizabeth’s birthday will be four days after I leave London for home.
  • The French Presidential election will be seven days after I leave Paris.
  • I thought about including Rome on this trip but there is no way I wanted to be near there close to or on Easter Sunday. I imagine it’ll be a madhouse as people go to The Vatican.

I hope to do some updates while I’m there. I’ll be spending a lot of time on trains, so surely there will be some time. We’ll see how it all goes, though. I’ll have at least something on Facebook.

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