I had no idea that we would be this
tired exhausted coming home from our 8850 km and month long European road trip (not even sleep helps!), so I’ll start with a summary of the hole trip, telling you all the good, the bad and the ugly truths.
Sorting and uploading all the photos from all those countries will take too long time and I know some of you are very curious of how our very long road trip went, so better to start with this summery with conclusion in the end.
10 Countries were visited by us during this Europe road trip: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria. We have now been to at least 30 countries together since 2004.
I’ll start with the good things, so if you don’t want to know the bad and the ugly, you can skip the middle part and jump directly to the end of this post and click on the link to see our photos so far.
The Good with the European road trip
Except from the useful travel experience, which always are great to have, and lots of great times here and there, I’ll list the absolute highlights of our European road trip below, not in any particular order.
1. Meeting a lot of friends were one of the main reasons for us to go on this trip from the beginning, a meetup once again in the French Riviera at Claudie and Pierre’s house with the Norwegian blog friends, but also to meetup with several other online friends along the way. Many of them which we never had met before, but that was no problem – very pleasant meetings all of them!
2. To visit the Champagne district and especially Moet Chandon wine cellars & gorgeous vineyards is of course a must when going to France for us Dom Perignon Champagne lovers and it did not let us down as a terrific travel experience.
3. The Netherlands lovely countryside at first and then the west coast with long, gorgeous beaches and actually 2 different blogger friends meetups turning out really good despite quite windy weather conditions.
4. The French Grand Canyon recreation area with it’s marvelous Emerald green lake which we definitely will go back to some day to stay for several days or a week. Also the fantastic French Alp views is really worth exploring more even in the summertime I tell you!
5. The Austrian Alps, gorgeous even in the summertime, but maybe we will even go back there some time in the wintertime even though I normally don’t like the winter. It’s very special with the Alp tops and the people. I did miss any yodeling though… ha ha…
6. The International Sandsculpture festival with incredible sculptures, quite big ones, but actually not as many as we thought there would be, but still worth visiting. Fantastic artists involved from many countries.
7. Certain hotel’s or B&B’s we had booked were surprising us with being even better than we had thought they would be. You never know until you see them in real life!
8. Trying different beer or wines that are not even available in our home country. Every day was a party!
I’ll come back in later travel blog posts, to write more about the different highlights in separate posts and divide the different places into separate photo folders too, making it easier for you to have a look at the special travel experiences.
The Bad with the European road trip
There was too little time and a too small wallet. We spent too much time on the roads, some of the hotels did not match their description or our expectations, some places were not really worth spending time within (like the Rhine Valley in my opinion).
The promised WiFi at too many of the hotels were not working well – if at all, making us unable to keep in contact with people as well as unable to upload photos even from the iPhone many times. That was something we did not like at all and worth thinking of if going on a trip.
The food creation around Europe is in bad shape, it’s really too much french fries to every dish with very little variation, too little vegetables served in the meals, not creative enough if you go to normal restaurants and not the real gourmet or classy ones. I can’t call them budget restaurants since they’ve not really budget prices nowadays.
We had packed two big suitcases which really didn’t fit for the too many steep stairs in the hotels we had booked (or our disk problems), so we had to rearrange a bit, taking out clothes in advance and put in smaller bags to be able to cope during the driving around. It was quite a puzzle sometimes, ha ha!
We had not really great summer weather on this trip, making it very difficult to take photos. It was either unusually cold and gray or way too hot to be outdoors, nothing in between until we did reach Denmark in the end. (We were unusually white this summer actually…)
Both lucky and unlucky: in the end of our trip, when reaching the south of Sweden again, hubby suddenly got ill with dizziness which forced me to do some heavy things I shouldn’t which made my back crack again, which created severe problems when continuing up in Sweden.
We stopped to sleep half ways home in hubby’s childhoods summer home and went home from there the day after that, despite that we had plans to continue our journey within Sweden. It was not meant to be obviously – it has been unsteady weather since.
The Ugly at the European road trip
The highways in Switzerland were the most boring part of our road trip and I think from all our earlier road trips too. I have never seen such a boring motorway ever. I don’t know if it were the fact that we had been on the roads for so long, but the highway never seemed to end…
Our look after being exhausted made me not wanna be on the photos… ha ha… We were looking so darn worn out both of us, like 10 years older suddenly. Our photos and videos, ugly ones I tell you!
Surprisingly enough, we had hard time finding interesting things or beautiful views to capture. We do have lots of interesting photos, but also uninteresting ones and too many deleted ones to be honest. Normally we always find so many things to photograph, but not at all as many as usual on this trip, strange enough.
Conclusion of European roadtrip
If going on such a long road trip, you need at least to double the time (and your wallet!) to get a more satisfying experience. We did know this before we went, but we had no choice, this was what we could manage at this time, so we had to take it or leave it.
We’re satisfied with our experiences as we thought about it as a tour to look around and get a quick view over a lot of countries, to know where we want to go back again in the nearest future. We now know that we want to go back to The Netherlands, The French and the Austrian Alps for sure.
I would not recommend going to the French Riviera in August when it use to be too hot and crowdy and we would never have gone there at this time, if it were not for the fact that our hosts had vacation then and the meetup there with our friends from Norway.
Since all Europe’s holiday period occurs in August, there use to be lots and lots of holiday people out on the roads normally, but we were lucky this year: no severe traffic jams in the directions where we went – only in the opposite directions all the time. Maybe also the economic crises has left some traces, making people staying home more.
Continue to keep an eye on Lifecruiser Europe roadtrip 2012 Flickr Photos, there will be new photos uploaded there now and then until I’m done with them all.
©Lifecruiser Love European Roadtrips
Earlier posts about Lifecruiser Europe Trip 2012:
Ending a long Europe road-trip
Europe roadtrip: in the Alps
Europe trip: leaving the Champagne district to go to Provence
Europe Road short update
Europe Road: leaving Bruges
Europe trip: blogger meet in Wijk aan Zee and IJMuiden, The Netherlands
Europe Road Trip Day 2-3 Goodbye Germany Hello The Netherlands
Europe Road Trip Day 1-2
Europe 7500 km roadtrip start!