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.
Visiting Varaždin was never on our itinerary, in fact, I'd never even heard of it until the day before we went. We stopped at the tourist information office inside of the bus station after we arrived in Zagreb and asked for advice on easy day trips from the city, and we were given a great little softcover book full of ideas. My initial thought had been Trakošćan Castle, but after finding out that it was indeed pretty tricky to reach via public transit (I'd heard similar things online, which is why I wanted to check in person), we looked into other options like Plitvice Lakes National Park but nixed that after seeing how limited and pricey transport options were.
Maybe not too unlike yourself, I find myself on the internet for one reason or another...basically all the time. Maybe I'm getting on for one thing, say searching for a particular recipe, but before I know it, I find that I'm reading about North Korea. Or I could be opening up a new tab to start working out in the morning, and remember that I 'need' to check on this, that, or the other, and before you know it, I'm reading about the royals. So here I am to share the latest and greatest I've stumbled upon in the past few weeks - some funny, some interesting, and no politics (although no promises for future posts). ;)
Hallstatt was one of the places that I'd seen photos of online but never really thought we'd ever make it to. It's not a big town by any stretch of the imagination (less than 1,000 people, I think), meaning it wouldn't be a destination for us in and of itself, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's a popular day trip from Salzburg. Thus, when we decided to spend time in Salzburg over Christmas, we built in some time for checking out this tourist mecca.
When I was researching things to see and do in Salzburg, I came across Untersberg mountain and the cable car that carries visitors to the top of it for most of the year. I was almost finished with our itinerary, and it was pretty museum, cathedral, and Christmas market-heavy, so I jumped at the chance to ascend a peak with snowy trails, views, and a restaurant at the top, especially since it was so close to Salzburg.
In November, Danny and I took a (long) walk to another one of Madrid's museums after I read about the Museo del Romanticismo's particularly nice cafe. Perhaps I was feeling inspired by a recent tea-and-treats meeting with a friend at a beautiful pastry shop, but I was hoping to find something not too different from the stunning places to eat at the Victoria & Albert in London, or the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, just on a slightly lower level.