Our family visiting Stonehenge, England
This summer we were privileged to take a month long trip of Europe and Canada. It was sort-of-last minute planning, but ended up creating amazing family memories along the way. I am planning to write a separate post about each of our destinations to highlight everything in more detail; this is just to provide an outline of our trip for a big picture. This trip was pretty intense, even for us, traveling with 3 kids. I have to make a disclaimer though, that our kids are really good travelers, and experienced ones, having visited 18-19 countries each already, but this kind of itinerary seemed pretty tight even to them at times 🙂 This trip, however, gave all of us a great taste for the places we might want to re-visit someday and spend more time in.
Our trip itinerary:
Day 1: left Montana and drove to Seattle
Day 2: appointment at the passport agency in Seattle (two of our kids’ passports were expiring, and even though we applied 9 weeks before this time, the passports were still not ready in time for our trip. We ended up needing to pay expedited fee and picking them up in person in at the passport agency in Seattle). Thankfully, the passports were ready for pick up right away and we ended up having most of the day free for other pursuits. We drove to Vancouver, Canada, where we spent our afternoon in a beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens, then took evening sunset ferry over to Victoria, BC.
Day 3-Day 7: time in Victoria, BC. We did quite a bit of sightseeing and enjoyed beautiful weather there, while Stan had a conference to attend and customer labs to visit.
Day 8: ferry back to Vancouver, from where we flew to London directly.
Day 9: arrived in London, rented a car, then drove for a few hours to a small medieval town of Salisbury, England, where we visited the famous Salisbury Cathedral and admired one of the 4 remaining originals of Magna Carta. After that we drove to Stonehenge and Woodhenge.
Day 10: Visited ancient town of St. Albans (north of London) with Roman ruins and beautiful cathedral, then caught a flight to Vilnius, Lithuania.
Day 11-16: time in Vilnius, Lithuania. We enjoyed sightseeing, while Stan was there for work.
Day 17: flight to Prague, Czech Republic. We had a 5-hour long layover in Vienna, Austria, so we took advantage of that by taking a train into the city and quickly walking around some of the main sights.
Day 18-19: time exploring Prague, Czech Republic. Day 19 was actually Connor’s (my middle child’s) birthday, so he got to spend it in two different countries, as in the evening of that day we flew to Munich, Germany.
Day 20-21: Munich, Germany. Stan was there for a trade show, and we spent time exploring the old town and enormous Deutsches Museum.
Day 22: rented a car, and drove on the German Autobahn to Cologne for close to 8 hours. It was a rainy, kind of miserable sort of day 🙂
Day 23: explored Cologne, the kids really loved visiting the gorgeous Cologne Cathedral. In the afternoon we drove to Dortmund to see my high school geography teacher who lives there now for a few hours.
Day 24: Dusseldorf, Germany. We actually (without knowing it in advance) ended up visiting there just as the Tour De France was starting, so the whole town was in a celebratory mood, despite the rain and somewhat gloomy weather that day. In the evening we flew to Dublin, Ireland.
Day 25-26 : exploring sights and sounds (and tastes, of course!) of Dublin.
Day 27: super-long, never-ending day of our flights back to North America from Dublin. We had a layover in Toronto, where we missed a connection due to our flight out of Dublin being severely delayed, but we got on one of the later flights and still made it back to Vancouver same day. After re-claiming our car from long-term parking, we drove to Seattle and were back on the US soil.
Day 28: our scheduled-way-in-advance appointment at the Russian embassy was on that day, so we got all of the passport issues settled then started back on our way to Montana.
Day 29: late at night (or rather very early in the morning of day 29) we finally got back home!
Which of these destinations would you be most interested hearing about first? Please leave your suggestions in the comments 🙂