Another epic summer holiday (with autumn undertones)

After our amazing roadtrip last year to Germany, Hungary and Austria, we decided for a similar experience this summer and packed up the car one early Thursday morning for the start of our European holiday. Once again, Andrew put together a brilliant itinerary that took us to seven cities in five countries, with a perfect mix of swimming, exploration, shopping, eating out, eating in, hotel buffet breakfasts and G&Ts. It’s been a weird “summer” with lots of rain and grey this side of Europe. To be honest, I’d take lightly grey miz weather over scorching-hot temperatures, but some consistent sunshine would have been a win.

And so, before heading to our longest stay in Croatia, we went to Bamberg (Germany), Salzburg (Austria) and Ljubljana (Slovenia), beautiful cities that we mostly explored under our umbrellas. We’re the type of travellers who love walking and discovering, and mostly go with a small list of things we’d like to see, and if we don’t get to them, that’s okay.

This was our third trip to Croatia, and it was as exceptional as always. It’s a magnificent country, and the beaches are sensational and perfect for someone who gets uncomfortable in sand, big waves and sea creatures (could I still be emotionally scarred from that blue bottle sting in Muizenberg circa 1988?). We stayed in an apartment a few minutes’ walk from one of the beaches, and it was a chilled, sunny, ice cream and sunshine-filled week. Running in the heat and on the hills were a shock to my system after jogging on flat roads for so long, so I walked a lot on my runs, took photos and looked for the downhills.

Our spot in Croatia was about an hour and a half drive from Trieste (Italy), so we headed there for a day for some pizza, coffee on a piazza and gelato.

I read a lot of romance books (I’ve battled to read heavy-topic books since Covid), and played about eleventy and twenty three games of rummy with Rebecca, before we moved onto about eighty tweenteen games of backgammon. She was a quick learner and has become an enthusiastic player.

After Croatia, we went to Vienna (Austria) for a few days and then Leipzig (Germany) to round off another brilliant European adventure. I’m still in awe that we easily get to drive from one borderless country to the next, discovering more of Europe while singing out of tune to our holiday playlist, and playing 20 questions A LOT.

It’s been good to get back into routine, run on the flat roads next to the Amstel River, welcome my big teen who came back after five weeks in South Africa, and try to lose the ice cream weight from holidays.

Until next time!


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