“Our European honeymoon started in London where our sightseeing included taking in the famous sights of Big Ben and the Tower of London from the top of a double-decker tour bus. Our next stop was Paris via the Eurostar, a great way to travel. Paris was definitely a highlight for us: a very beautiful city with so much to see. One of the highlights was visiting the Eiffel Tower early one morning. The views from the top were something that everyone who visits Paris would enjoy and it was fun taking the stairs inside one of the legs of the tower on the way down.
Next stop was Le Quesnoy, a small town on the Belgian border and the scene of a famous event in WW1 when it was liberated by New Zealand soldiers. My great-grandfather was one of the soldiers involved so it was very special to see the memorial honouring the New Zealand troops. The town of Ghent in northwest Belgium was a stunning town to visit. We thought it was going to be a bit of a wild card but it turned out to be another highlight of our trip, with lovely medieval architecture and cathedrals and canals to explore.
Next was Amsterdam in the Netherlands where we explored the city centre by bicycle during the day and walked beside the canals at night. Then we flew to Copenhagen where we quickly fell in love with the city. The waterfront areas were great to wander around, and you shouldn’t forget to see the statue of the Little Mermaid, which is so small that we almost missed her!
Berlin was next, where we met an old school friend who took us to very popular entertainment area and park. Berlin is full of history, and we found the remains of the Berlin Wall and the nearby WWIIera exhibitions particularly moving.
We then criss-crossed Germany using the fantastic train system, first south to Dresden then across to Hannover (where another friend lives), and on to Munich, the starting place for our Cosmos bus tour. The tour took us through the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria with a lovely tour guide and a tour party a bit older than us (average age 60-ish), but young at heart and very friendly. We especially loved the gorgeous city of Budapest with its lovely bridges and beautiful Fishermen’s Bastion, and Salzburg with its stunning castle on the hill above the quaint Old Town. The hotels and tour extras on the Cosmos tour were all wonderful, especially as almost all of the hotels had a bath. Great after a long day of walking around!
We left the tour a day early in Salzburg and caught a train to Lake Bled in Slovenia, a very beautiful rural area with a spectacular lake and castle. We took a bike ride through the countryside and along a lovely river to Radovljica, a small historic town where we went to a lovely wine and cheese tasting place. This area was another highlight.
Venice is like nothing else you will see. We loved the crazy maze of streets and the tucked-away restaurants. Try and get off the beaten track here!
On to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, where we went to a wonderful night market for dinner with the locals, and walked up to the castle overlooking the city. It was another special place for us. From here we rented a car for an excursion to northern Croatia, only a 90-minute journey away. We stayed first in Momjan, a tiny hilltop village that overlooks the Istrian countryside with views out to the Adriatic Sea. We had wonderful Airbnb hosts who looked after us and gave us great information and advice on what to do. We carefully explored the village’s crumbling 13th-century castle and sampled delicious local grapes and truffles. Further south we visited a cheese festival held inside the local castle in Sveti Lovrec: cheese + castle = awesome!
Pula, at the southern end of the Istrian Peninsula, is a great little seafront city with its own mini version of the Coliseum. On the way we stopped off at Rovinj, a fishing village on the western coast of Istria whose streets are famous for their picturesque houses. After dropping the car back in Ljubljana we had a lovely train ride to Venice via Austria the next day.
From Venice we travelled by train to Florence, then on to Cinque Terre where we stayed in the village of Vernazza. It’s a busy place during the day but most of the tourists are gone by 5pm. Early one morning we walked to Monterosso al Mare on the famous walking trail where we had an amazing platter for lunch.
Next was Rome where we used the hop on-hop off bus tour which was a great way of seeing a lot in a short amount of time. A prearranged bus tour to Naples and Pompeii was another highlight. Pompeii was much larger than we had imagined but so interesting and what an amazing history!
From Rome we flew in a small aircraft to Dubrovnik in southern Croatia, a really amazing place to spend our last few days in Europe. We loved the old town and stayed in a cute apartment overlooking the sea and village. Walking the old town walls was awesome, even though it rained. We also went to Lokrum, a pretty island just 15 minutes by water taxi from the port of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Then it was back to London, with a two-night stopover in Singapore on the way home which was a great way to break up the long journey. Thanks to Liz for helping us to plan and create an amazing honeymoon with memories that will last us a lifetime.”
Where did you go for your Honeymoon? Let us know in the comments below.