A European road trip and back to the hustle

There’s a lot of joy to be had in closing our front door and hitting the road while it’s still dark and early (despite “only” having had two cups of coffee) and driving to Dresden in Germany for the first stage of our summer holiday. We decided to do something a little different this holiday and head to Zamardi Hungary via Germany, and back home via Vienna and then Heidelberg. It was also a big bonus that we got to skip the queues of the chaotic-at-the-time Schipol (my son had left for his holiday in South Africa a few days earlier and we were at the airport about 4.5 hours before his flight).

It’s still quite surreal that we can slip from country to country with no border controls, with the only evidence of this transition the change of terrain and a notification on our cellphones that we’re in the network range of that country.

The holiday was a mix of see-as-much-as-you-can-with-a-small-child-in-a-city, and swimming and relaxation. It was really hot most of the day, and the big cities (Budapest and Vienna) were brimming with tourists (yes yes, I realise I was one too). It was the perfect blend of busy and busy doing not much, which really made for such a wonderful holiday.

Highlights included boat rides along the Danube in Budapest, “famous” sacher torte in Vienna (which we queued for), a horse carriage ride through Vienna, the synagogue in Budapest (the largest in Europe), swims in the lake that was so shallow we could stand, the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, hours spent colouring in with my daughter (can there be a better mindless and relaxing creative activity) and a run across the Heidelberg bridges. It was perfection despite the lump of a “pillow” at our one AirBnB and the huge Max-shaped hole in my heart.

We are now back to the grind and some really busy weeks – getting into the school/life routine again, kids’ birthdays, Max’s barmitzvah and having guests from all four corners of the world (literally) and starting a new job next month. And so the holiday now feels like a distaaaaaaaaaant memory, with hopefully more great ones round our autumnal corner.

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