If you’ve ever heard a travel story from an Aussie/Kiwi you will have heard about how long the flight was. It is hard for people not from this part of the world to realise just how far away from everything we really are. It was because of the long flight that we decided to make a stop on the way to Barcelona.
Barcelona was the planned first stop once we decided to include a cruise in the trip however by the time we made that decision we were already flying in/out of Paris. So we knew we’d have to travel Paris to Barcelona – which after 30 odd hours of travel time is a long way. So we found ourselves somewhere that was most of the way there but not too far, that place was Montpellier.
This pretty city had plenty of things to see but wasn’t hard work like a city would have been. We didn’t do a great deal here – rested, ate cheese and wandered around – but it was lovely. I don’t think we would go back but I definitely think having that stop in a place where its only job was to be a rest stop was nice.
Where did we stay
Montpellier was our first experience of airbnb. We stayed in this quaint little room with a bathroom, kitchen and a little courtyard. It was very sweet the only downside was that it wasn’t a private space, you shared the room with the hosts studio, which we weren’t expecting and made us feel a little awkward as doors needed to be left open so the owner had access.
The aqueduct was really cool, it was just so old and peaceful and I felt like it was our first insight into just what we’d signed up for.
Actually the real answer is probably the chocolate croissant I had for breakfast the first morning there – a croissant in France is just too perfect
One year ago today we were putting the final touches on our packing, making farewell calls to the family and getting ready to head off on an 8 week adventure in Europe. Sounded like a great excuse to share some of our travel stories with everyone, so over the next few weeks I’m going to have loads of stories to share with you. Figured I would start with some general stuff
Time of year we choose to travel
There were two key reasons we went October/November:
We much prefer cold weather than hot so were keen to experience a European autumn
This was the only time we could both get 2 months off of our work schedules to go
Not glamorous but sometimes you just gotta make decisions for practical reasons. I would one day love to go to Europe in the summer, maybe for our 5th wedding anniversary, but there was something lovely about giant scarves and snuggling in front of fires that made October/November the perfect time for us to travel there together.
We really did just chose to fly on the best deal we found online. Well, ok not just based on the best deal as that would have been Malaysian Airlines and I am not that adventurous but mostly it was money. This meant that in the end we flew:
Qantas – always a great airline, good food/staff/seats
Air France – which was a fine airline but not as nice as the Qantas plane
China Southern – we flew the whole way home with China Southern, via Guangzhou, and I was really impressed by them (not just because they had noodles as a food option)
Why did we choose the places we chose
There are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo my options when travelling to Europe and given how far away it is we Aussies/Kiwi’s try to cram as much in as humanly possible. Mixed with that is how much of the trip you actually want to spend on a train/plane getting to your next destination. We decided early on in the planning that we wanted to spend time in the places we went so that limited the number of days we had to travel. There were some places that we both really wanted to go to and others that if I am honest was more me (looking at you Copenhagen). So we put together our list of places, had a rough idea of how long we wanted to spend in the places and then looked at trains. All of these things combined helped us pull together an itinerary.
Flying in and out of Paris
We knew most of our trip was going to be on mainland Europe so we knew we wanted our flight hub to be there. We were pretty determined that the only planes we’d get on were into and out of Europe, that the rest of the time we’d use trains so Paris seemed the most obvious choice. It actually worked out really well for us using Paris as a base, its such a fabulous city and one of those dream destinations so having that as our last memory was pretty wonderful. Berlin would have also worked for us but we ended up with Paris.
Stick with us throughout October and November for lots more about our time in Europe.
I’ve started to notice that 2016 planners are going on sale and I got so excited by all the options that I wanted to share some of them with you. I find it so, so hard to decide on what planner I want each year and struggle to not order all of them! Here are my six favourite options so far
Three years ago I had the privilege of marrying Richard. Today we are celebrating the occasion by staying in a hotel in the city and being together away from the stuff that makes up life.
Marriage is work … but its not all work! The best part of everyday is seeing Richard. Whether that be when he gets up in the morning (99.9% of the time I am first up) or when he arrives home from work. After nine years when I see Richard’s name in my inbox saying hello I am reminded that I am not alone, that I am part of a team, and I giggle like a school girl who’s crush looks her way.
Never think that Richard and I are perfect – we can be terrible communicators sometimes, we are both stupidly stubborn sometimes, he makes terrible jokes and I can rant sometimes without taking breath – but my goodness are we perfect for each other. No one has ever put up with my rants the way my darling husband does, in fact I think he finds them a tiny bit adorable. If I am honest I kind of find his terrible jokes adorable too.
Happy anniversary my love – here’s to another in a long line of happy years together