Second Chances and Finishing Strong

Day 19 – Switzerland

After leaving Chamonix we made a quick visit to Lucerne in Switzerland to meet some friends from Stockholm. Unfortunately, we were only able to spend a few hours there. We still had a lot of distance to cover before finishing this amazing summer road trip back in Sweden. Switzerland is definitely somewhere I’d love to go back to, it was so pretty. Lucerne in particular. I kept thinking that I’d walked into a town straight out of a fairytale.

Lucerne

After a great time catching up with our friends it was time to get back in the car. Our only plan for the afternoon was to drive towards Germany and find somewhere to spend the night. We took the scenic road via Liechtenstein and Austria so we could add a few more countries to our tally. Even with a few stops along the way we made really good time to Germany. We didn’t have any accommodation booked and were feeling pretty good so we decided to keep driving towards the Czech Republic. We kept driving until we got tired and then booked a hotel online. This turned out to be our second biggest day in the car, and by 10pm we had made it to the Czech Republic and were settling into a hotel in a town called Pilsen. Which is where Pilsner beer is from.

Day 20, 21 & 22 – The czech republic

For the first time since we left Sweden it was raining when we woke up. So instead of exploring Pilsen we ate breakfast at the hotel and then drove straight to Prague where we had an airbnb booked for the next couple of nights. We still had some time before we needed to be at the accommodation so we set off to explore a little bit of Prague. Our first stop was for coffee. The coffee turned out to be great and we enjoyed some amazing donuts as well!

We spent the next two days wandering around Prague checking out some of the main sights. We saw the Old Town Square, the Charles Bridge and even went to the Prague Zoo. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy Prague as much as I had some of the other cities that we’d been to so far. For some reason it was just really different from what I was expecting.

The two highlights for me were watching a man spreading bubbles around for the tourists (I could watch bubbles for hours) and the National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydich Terror. Which sounds really depressing, but I found it really moving. We walked past it by chance and decided to go in. I learnt a lot during the visit and was quite overcome with emotion just being in the space. If you are ever in Prague I definitely recommend having a look if you can.

Day 23, 24 & 25 – Finishing Strong in Berlin

The last few days of our summer road trip were spent in Berlin. I’d been to Berlin briefly before and didn’t really like it. So I was a little apprehensive about finishing this amazing summer adventure there. I didn’t want our last stop to be disappointing. But I needn’t have worried, it ended up being quite the opposite. It was the best way to finish our trip and it’s safe to say that I now have a new favourite city! Either I was too quick to judge the first time around or it was because I was travelling on my own. But I’m certainly glad I gave Berlin a second chance.

We arrived at about dinner time and found a cute little pub on a quiet suburban street. I had the best Schnitzel of the trip and enjoyed some local beer. The owner came to sit with us and share some schnapps and a chat. It was a really nice, relaxed way to spend the evening.

We booked a guided walking tour for the next day. I’m not usually a fan of sightseeing that way, but it seems it was meant to be. Even if it didn’t start so smoothly. The tour started at 10am on the other side of the city and for some reason we woke up at 9:30! After a mad rush, a train and a run through the streets we got to the meeting spot 5 minutes too late. We found a tour guide who was willing to let us join another group if we paid again and we decided that after all our efforts we may as well do it.

It was meant to be

Our new guide grew up in Berlin when the wall was still up and had moved away with his family, before returning many years later after the wall had come down. His sister was with him on this day and it was her first time back to Berlin. So he asked if we were willing to stay with him for an extra couple of hours so that he could show his sister around. Half the group decided to leave, but we decided to stay. It ended up being an amazing day. Hearing about the local history from someone who had grown up through it was amazing and I ended up in tears a few of times throughout the day.

In fact, we were having such a good time in Berlin that we decided to stay an extra night. We had one extra night up our sleeves, just in case we got delayed anywhere along the way. At this point we were so close to the end that we decided to use it now. So we could spend some more time in this amazing city. The next day we revisited a few of our favourite places from the day before and a few new ones. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to get to everything we wanted to whilst we were in Berlin. So I guess that means I’ll just have to head back again one day.

But for now, it was time to get back in the car for the last part of our summer. Stay tuned for the last instalment of this crazy adventure πŸ™‚

Cheers, Jess