Travel Frenzy: Why we visited 5 countries in just 9 days

It was a whim. It was a good ticket price. It was a chance to see an old friend. It was a desire to see my cousin. All of these were factors into our travel frenzy at the beginning of July. 

Berlin, Germany

After spending nearly 3 weeks in Sweden, Martin and I flew to Berlin, Germany. It was the cheapest last minute destination from Sweden we could find. We couch surfed with a super kind and fun Brazilian and saw many of the major sites despite only spending one full day in the city. 

Brandenburg Gate

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Berlin Cathedral

East Side Gallery, Berlin

My favorite part of Berlin was discovering a neighborhood I dubbed “The Vegan Mecca.” It was several blocks of restaurants, many of them only vegan and most of them super vegan friendly. It included not one but TWO vegan ice cream shops and an grocery store with only vegan foods. I’m not vegan, but I love vegan food and ever since dairy declared war on my body, I find it really relaxing to eat vegan dishes. Martin loves it too so we ate three meals here! 

Poland

After Berlin, our Polish friend graciously hosted us at his house in Poland. He lives in a small town just a couple hours from Berlin (in Poland) and we loved getting to spend time with him and his family. The last time Martin had seen him was 20 years ago! I love it when traveling helps us connect with old friends. 

Christ the King, Swiebodzin, Poland

This is the tallest Jesus statue in the world at 108 feet (33 meters) tall. It’s a pretty impressive site. 

Top of the castle in Lagow, Poland

Unfortunately, at the end of our stay with our friend, I caught a nasty bug and was out of commission for a couple of days. I was very thankful for a comfortable and welcoming place to rest and get better.

Budapest, Hungary

Our travel frenzy continued because I wanted to go to Budapest. So we drove from Poland back to Berlin to fly to Budapest. It is seriously one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen. 

Buda is on the left and Pest is on the right of the river.

I loved how quirky the city was!

We took a river cruise that showed us the major sites in a relaxing way (I was still recovering from being sick) and hung out on Margaret Island enjoying the beautiful flowers. We couch surfed with a Hungarian who had the friendliest dog. However, not all the dogs we encountered in Budapest were friendly. We saw one dog in the train station with a muzzle on (thankfully) repeatedly attack (jump on and bark and growl at) train passengers as they walked to and from their trains. Security did nothing. 

Then it was time to go to Sofia, Bulgaria, to see my cousin, her husband and their daughter. They live in the US but his family lives in Bulgaria so they visit regularly. 

Instead of flying I wanted to take a train. We took a night train from Budapest to Belgrade, Serbia. It was loud due to nine boys from the Czech Republic trying to recreate The Hangover movie next to me. Not a lot of sleep was had. Then we took an all day train from Belgrade to Sofia. It was painfully slow and hot. We didn’t bring nearly enough water. I lost track of how long the actual ride was… Serbia is a beautiful country but super long. 

More on our travels in Bulgaria in the next post!

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