Like so many Americans, we get excited about a good castle. Sure, there's some in the U.S., but they're pretty different than what you can find in Europe, and they just don't feel like the real deal to me. When we visited Munich, a day trip to arguably the world's most famous castle was a priority for me - after all, it's not all that tricky to reach, and we'd certainly be in good company: 1.4 million people visit a year, so we pretty much just had to follow the crowds.
We began our two-week central European trip in Munich, Germany, and after spending time in Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia, we returned to Germany for a few days before flying back to Madrid. Aside from one day, which we spent celebrating our wedding anniversary (see more here!), we used the other two to take day trips out of the city.
Over Christmas and New Year's, we took two weeks off to travel around Europe, visiting some cities and countries we'd never been to before. We started by flying into Munich around dinnertime on Friday, December 22nd (we had school that morning!), taking the Lufthansa bus to the city center (I found that buying round-trip tickets for the bus was cheaper than taking the S-Bahn), checking into our hotel, bundling up, and heading straight for the Christmas markets.
Our second trip to Germany (our first was last Christmas - okay, right before, but just barely! - to Berlin, and we really enjoyed it. See more here if you like!) was our second of two extended layovers on our way to Madrid this past September. We didn't have quite as long in Frankfurt as we did in New York City, but that was okay. After all, it's not like we'd gotten a suite or anything on the plane the night before (this is a real thing! Singapore Airlines, who we flew from New York to Frankfurt, offers rooms with actual beds, seats, etc. for the bargain price of something like $23,000!!).
We left Brussels and headed to our next stop: Berlin, Germany. Berlin was unique in a couple of ways but for me especially because I had no idea what we were going to do there. Planning a three-week trip to five countries with less than a month’s notice is a little bit daunting, so when Danny asked how he could help, I suggested he could look up things to do in the cities we were visiting. He was willing to do more, though, and suggested that he could plan an entire stop on our trip.