Tag Archives: Europe

‘Travel Snaps’ ~ You’ve reached your destination…but you’re not going anywhere yet! A heated ‘cultural interchange’ of sorts :)

For previous tales of my adventures in Europe, please go to my ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 🙂 x

It was a relief to finally get off the bus after several hours traveling, however it wasn’t a simple disembarkation. The approach to the hotel involved a narrow circular space for coaches to park, however as our Scottish coach driver tried to skilfully manoeuvre his vehicle he was obstructed by a headstrong Italian coach driver who tried, and tried and tried again and again, unsuccessfully I might add, to park in a very narrow space at the side of the hotel, therefore obstructing any other vehicle, especially a large one, from getting past. A somewhat ‘interesting’ cultural interchange then took place with each driver getting down from their coaches to confront the other driver, complete with emphatic hand gestures from both parties. 

Some of the conversation could be heard, and a lot of the ‘conversation’ was easily played out before us through the body language of both of the men. I can only imagine that a very stereotypical conversation between them might have proceeded as follows:

Italian driver – raises his hands with exasperation and exclaims: “Mamma Mia!”

Scottish (Glaswegian) driver – steps forward towards his opponent, points to his head and sarcastically retorts: “Is there nuthin’ in yer heid? Yer no gonnae get in that space. Gonnae no dae that, ye Numpty!”. *

And so it went. However, once the other driver found that after a few more attempts he actually wasn’t going to get into that space, he aborted his mission, making way for our driver to park, let us off the bus, collect our suitcases and make our way into the hotel. And on disembarking from the coach, we were greeted by this very European looking fellow 😉

*Please note that no offence is meant, this is just a little light-hearted humour to describe what happened.

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‘Travel Snaps’ ~ First Glimpses of Prague

Please click on my ‘Travel’ tab in my main menu to find previous ‘episodes’ of my Travel Adventures.

The very act of traveling forces you to think about the demarcations of time, of journeys, of chapters, seasons and new beginnings. The several hours spent on the bus from Frankfurt to Prague afforded a time of ‘enforced rest’, and yet that brought with it its own sense of waiting and anticipation.

Eventually, as early evening approached, so too did the first glimpses of Prague, or at least a small part near to the Hotel Diplomat where we would be staying.

In my mind, I had imagined a city of spires, and old ornate buildings, history and bridges at every turn. These views would come the following day, however, my first glimpse of Prague outside of the main city was of long clean streets, trams, people strolling through the town and pretty houses.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words (whether or not that is true is a matter of perspective), so I hope you enjoy these pictures, and my first glimpse of Prague with me.

Travel Snaps ~ On the Road Again ~ Frankfurt to Prague

See my ‘Travel’ section on my main menu to catch up on previous ‘episodes’ of this travel adventure! 🙂

Wednesday 16th August 2017. 

An early morning continental buffet breakfast followed the overnight at the NH Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany. This meant getting packed, cases down ready to be loaded onto the bus and I only had time to grab a quick and light breakfast before making my way to the bus. However, from what I could see there was a huge spread of both hot and cold breakfast foods, and I personally enjoyed tasting new flavours of herbal tea – there was quite a range!

We were back on the bus by 8.15am, and the temperature in Frankfurt was 19 degrees C, comfortable but not too bright. By 11.35am it was 24 degrees C and the sun was shining brightly.

And so it was another few hours on the bus, anticipating our next destination of the capital city of the Czech Republic: Prague – the city of 100 spires.

Here are a couple of the travel snaps that I took en route while on the bus, and in case you’re wondering what I look like, there’s also a picture of me that I took in the NH Hotel. 😉

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Travel Snaps ~ Frankfurt ~ NH Hotel & New Friends…

Welcome!

If you would like to follow along with my travel series charting my adventures from last month’s journey across Europe, particularly Prague, Budapest & Vienna, then please click on the ‘Travel’ tab on my main menu, and you will find all of my travel related posts there! However, as these are ‘Travel Snaps’, you should be able to enjoy them as stand-alone entries too.

So to summarise, we were previously on the road by coach from Rotterdam to Frankfurt, with a brief stop at Moselle overlooking the Moselle River & Valley (en route to Prague), after which I stayed overnight on Tuesday 15th August 2017 at the NH Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany.

For anyone considering staying at this hotel, and  for anyone else who is simply interested, here are a few facts:

  • There appears to be 5 NH Hotels in Frankfurt, including one located at Frankfurt Airport, however there may be more that I am not aware of. I am not entirely sure which branch of the hotel I stayed at, however I would imagine that they are all fairly similar in style.
  • The Hotels rate themselves as between 4 and 4 and a half stars out of a 5 star ranking.
  • They are modern, clean, neat, ‘unfussy’, and offer guests the use of free Wi-Fi, and have all of the usual facilities that you would expect from a modern chain-hotel.
  • With regards to price, as my overnight at the NH Hotel was included in the price of a coach tour, I am not able to provide an exact amount, however, prices on the internet seem to range from between £53.00 to £100.00 (GBP) depending on location, with the average cost being around £68.00 (GBP).

My impressions of the hotel were that it was modern, neat, minimalist. I found the staff to be friendly and helpful, and at the evening meal had to request vegetarian food as the driver / tour guide for our coach hadn’t been notified by the travel company of my dietary requirements for some reason. However the staff obliged, and I had a nice healthy and tasty vegetarian option. I found the lobby to be a nice relaxing area, and there was a bar as well which was also quite modern and neat. The breakfast was buffet style with plenty of choice.  For one evening and morning in the hotel I didn’t have a lot of time to explore things that one might make use of during a longer stay such as the gym and other facilities, but for an overnight stop it was quite pleasant and very functional.

On a more personal note, at this stage of the coach tour with spending most of the time on the road with brief stops at service stations along the way, I still hadn’t had the opportunity to engage in more than just ‘small talk’ with the other people on the tour. I don’t mind this too much as I am just as happy to be in my own company most of the time as I am to be in good company with others.

So on arrival in the hotel, I unpacked the essentials, showered, got changed into some nice but not too formal evening clothes, and settled in during the hour or so before the evening meal. Being on my own, I was seated at one of the smaller tables for four guests, as opposed to the larger round tables that were there where most others in the group were directed to. I was met by a lovely couple who were semi-retired, but still quite young in their ways. They asked to sit with me, and I was quite happy to have their company. We talked and laughed about our many and varied travel adventures, shared stories about our families and our lives at home, and also chatted about our future travel goals, the films we liked (including a shared love of the Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson film, ‘The Bucket List’ that I watched on my Kindle Fire while on the bus) and other such things. We were joined by the bus driver shortly afterwards, who later turned out to be quite a character and a nice chap to have around, however my first impression of his company was not very pleasant due to the fact that he talked a lot about his friends’ experiences of getting the cane (being beaten) in school to the tune of a classical piece that he was playing to us on the bus. As some of you may know, I have Post Traumatic Stress from being bullied as a child, and the conversation got to the point where I had to mention it, however he continued, and with tears in my eyes I actually had to leave and take some time in the lobby. The couple I had been chatting to urged me to come back after I had a break, and I promised that I would.

I’m writing this, as well as anecdotally, to encourage anyone who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress, anxiety, panic attacks or other such conditions, who may fear traveling whether that be alone or with others. My advice is to just go ahead and do it. You will always find a way to manage, and sometimes you will be surprised at your own resilience and at the kindness of strangers who then become friends. Some of you may also know that I have a relationship with God, so while in the lobby drying my eyes and trying to calm my breathing and settle the ‘flashbacks’ (and at this point I noticed that the lobby was quite tastefully decorated in style with long couches and a black marble counter at reception, as an aside 😉 ) I prayed for God to comfort me, and a few seconds later a lady arrived and sat on the sofa opposite me with her tiny granddaughter, a beautiful baby who was at the stage where she was still too young to speak. Her grandmother spoke to her in German, but despite the language barrier, I was able to smile and wave to her and we made eye contact. It was a lovely moment, and a blessing. I did eventually rejoin the group, and as mentioned previously had a lovely vegetarian meal, with some kind of raspberry cream sorbet for desert.

I chatted with the couple I had met over a drink (a hot chocolate for me) after dinner at the bar, and the husband was inspired by some black and white prints of the Golden Gate Bridge on the walls to tell me about their road trips as a large family through the United States, including to San Fransisco. And so concluded my first night of the holiday on land (as opposed to the overnight on the ferry), and the beginning of some new friendships…

Here are a few pictures that I took of my hotel room while I was there:

 

Travel Snaps ~ Rotterdam to Frankfurt, via Moselle.

My journey really began on Monday 14th August and involved a taxi, bus and overnight ferry. However, fast-forwarding on from that the next stretch of travel is from arrival in Europort / Rotterdam and a coach journey to an overnight stop in Frankfurt en route to Prague.

As you may have guessed, this travel adventure involves an organised coach tour. As a single female solo traveller I find that it is a bit safer to do things this way, and considerably reduces the amount of things to worry about or organise such as being the sole person in charge of ensuring that all connections are met and not getting lost in an unfamiliar place! So, it works for me, however, I would like to branch out some day to a more ‘organic’ form of solo traveling when I’m less dependant on a tour company organising things for me.

En route to Frankfurt, one of the service stops was at Moselle, which afforded a beautiful view overlooking the Moselle river and valley, where the famous Moselle grapes are grown.

As a bit of background, Mosel or Moselle is one of 13 German wine regions (Weinbaugebiete) for quality wines and takes its name from the Mosel River (French: Moselle. Luxembourgish: Musel.). (Wikipedia).

I’ve included a link to a ‘Lonely Planet’ guide to The Moselle Valley should you wish to discover more about the area in greater detail, or perhaps plan a visit there: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/rhineland-palatinate/moselle-valley

So before we take to the road once again, here are some travel snaps from my brief stop at Moselle. Let me know what you think! 🙂

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The Traveller Returns…

Dear friends!

I have missed you. I haven’t posted for quite a while now, not because I have given up blogging, but because I have been on some adventures travelling through various cities in Europe including Frankfurt, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Delft!

I was ‘on the road’ for 12 days, but so much experience was packed into that short time, and I arrived back home last Friday, started work on Monday which also involved overcoming some anxiety issues, found out that I had a job interview two days later on the Wednesday and now my boss has gone on a three week holiday, so as the only other person in the team it will be ‘all hands on deck’ for the next while.

However, I’m looking forward to settling in and sharing some of my experiences with you, and of course catching up with some of yours…I hope I haven’t missed out on too much in the blogging world, it feels like an age ago that I was last here. The good news is though that I have plenty to share, and hopefully connect with fellow travellers who have been to some of the places I visited. I am still at the stage of tidying up and settling back in despite the fact that I left my flat spotless before I went on holiday, things just became chaotic again with my first week back at work and preparing for the interview. More on that later.

In the meantime, while I am still getting myself together, here are a few ‘snaps’ of the wonderful places I visited. Enjoy, and much love. x

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Text & Photography – copyright ‘Life as it happens to be’.

Vienna

Hi friends!

Now, if you haven’t read my last two blog posts on Budapest, Prague and Vienna, where have you been?! Only joking 🙂 Welcome, and I’m glad you have joined us. Check out my ‘Travel’ tab and you will find the posts there, with an explanation of this little ‘series’ of posts.

So onto today’s instalment! 🙂

Vienna:

Vienna is Austria’s capital city, and is also the country’s largest city. It is located on the east of Austria, along the Danube River.

Vienna has been known as both “The City of Music”, and “The City of Dreams”, due to its cultural legacy of composers and musicians (such as Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Bruckner, Haydn, Mahler and Strauss), but also because of the well known psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud who entered the University of Vienna at the age of 17 (although he was born in the Czech Republic).

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https://pixabay.com/en/vienna-violin-statue-1303429/

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https://pixabay.com/en/panorama-vienna-austria-city-view-427929/

As mentioned in my previous posts, I’d love to hear of your own experiences of any or all of these places, so do please feel free to share your recommendations or memories in the comments below.

Much love, xx