Europe Itinerary

Europe Itinerary – Lalani

It’s important to note, that we used points for almost all of these hotels and booked them at the first possible moment. Many of them would have been much too expensive without the points, however, it speaks to the value that points bring when planning a trip of this magnitude. I also stayed in nicer hotels in large cites and then stayed in more economy hotels in places that weren’t quite so iconic.

Paris, France (2 nights)

Hotel:
– Prince de Galles (SPG points)
This hotel was beautiful and located in the heart of Paris. We were just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Our room was on the small side but very beautiful. I would definitely recommend this hotel, but only if you use points. It’s pricey.

What we did:
– Blue Fox Travel; Blue Bike Tour (4 Hours). We saw everything, Notre Dame, the Louve, the Eiffel Tower, The Siene. It was amazing. We probably bikes 10 miles throughout the city and my boys loved it. Definitely recommend.
– The Louve; Awesome, Amazing. We saw Mona Lisa and so much more. We were there about 3 hours. It was all my boys could handle.
– Walked. We walked a lot. And it was so much fun.
– Opening match of the Euro. This only happens every 4 years. But if you are a soccer fan, it is completely worth it.

Where we ate:
Sadly we didn’t do great on eating in Paris. We were so tired from our flight, that we slept half of the first day and missed dinner so we ordered very expensive but delicious cheese burgers from room service. Then we spent so much time at the game that we missed dinner again the next night. We did go to Laduree and tried a lot of pastries, all of which were amazing. We also had amazing gelato from Amorino. However, we failed Paris when it came to food.

Adelboden, Switzerland (2 nights)

We left Paris and drove about 6 hours thru the French country side to Adelboden, Switzerland.

It was so beautiful. We stopped in and bought cheese from a little cheese shop in the Comte region before crossing over into Switzerland.

Hotel:
– The Cambrian Adelboden (SPG points) this hotel was so beautiful and modern. Adelboden is the most charming Swiss mountain town. This hotel was a great mix of modern and mountain. Our room had a main room as well as a loft with twin beds which was perfect for my boys. Our room looked out onto the most beautiful waterfall.

What we did:
– Switzerland is all about the Mountains. If you visit, spend as much time in them as you can.
– We attended church in Interlaken. It was amazing and all in German.

– Hiking; We hiked up into the Jungenfrau region, but there are so many awesome hiking trails, you really can’t go wrong.
– Lauterbrunnen; This valley was amazing and next time we are in Switerland, we will definitely spend more time here.
– Funky Chocolate Club; chocolate making class. Super fun for everyone. This is a must do.

Where we ate:
– Funky chocolate Club
– Two little bakeries, one that had the most amazing peach and apple kutchen.
– Restaurant Schonbuhl in Adelboden. This was very traditional Swiss. It was good.

Nuremberg, Germany (2 nights)

We chose Nuremberg because it’s close to Bavaria and the Romantic Road region of Germany. I knew that I really wanted to spend time in those small towns. We also took a detour on our way to Germany through Liechtenstein which was really cool.

Hotel:
– Sheraton Carlton Hotel Nuremberg (SPG Points), this hotel was fine. It was clean and comfortable but was very sterile. I probably would not stay here again.

What we did:
– Romantic Road. This is a road that stretched from north to south thru the old medieval towns of Bavaria. We were on it for about 70 miles and stopped multiple times in Dinkelsbuhl and Augsberg.
– Schloss Baldern tour; we toured the residential palace and grounds. It was an approx 2 hour tour. My boys loved it mostly because the weapons room was so big and they got to touch a lot of it.
– Historic Nuremberg; we spent one evening in the walled city of Nuremberg. It’s very well preserved and historic.
– Dachau; we did the tour of the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau. My grandfather helped to liberate this camp during WWII and. Was really important to go there. It was very sobering but my boys did really well with it.
– Bayern Munich Stadium; clearly we are huge soccer fans. We were able to walk around the stadium and go to the fan store. Major Highlight for my 10 year old.

Where we ate:
– Heilig Geist Spital; Authentic German in the old city. Really good food, great ambiance.
– We ate at a bunch of bakeries that we sawed we were driving. The sandwiches in Germany were so good.

Salzburg, Austria (2 nights)

Hotel:
– Sheraton Salzburg Hotel (SPG points) This was Nate’s favorite hotel of the trip. It was very clean and comfortable and felt very Austrian. Our room was huge, which was great for the boys. The also had a really great breakfast for SPG members.

What we did:
– Mozart Dinner Concert: This was held at the Stiftskellar St Peter, which was built in the 1200’s. It is located in the old walled city of Salzburg. At one time Mozart played in that concert hall. The performers were trained at the Mozart school in Salzburg. It was amazing. They served a traditional 3 course dinner which was so good. After the first course my boys were bored to tears;)
– Hallstatt Salt Mines: After the Mozart concert, I let my boys picked. I wanted to do Sound of Music, they picked the Salt Mines. It was super fun and different. Plus the town of Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Where we ate:
– We had dinner at the Mozart dinner and breakfast at the hotel both days.
– We had the best apple strudel in Hallstatt at Backerei Maislinger Barbara
– I loved the Mozart chocolates and Sacher Torte

Rome, Italy (3 Days)

To get to Rome from Salzburg via car takes about 12 hours. We drove through Slovenia to get there and it was so so beautiful.

Hotel:
– St Regis Rome (SPG Points) This is a beautiful, grand, old hotel. Our room was very small, very Italian and would have been very expensive if we would not have used points. It was in a great location and the service was fantastic.

What we did:
– City Wonders Vatican Breakfast Tour (4 hours); this tour starts at 6:50am and it’s totally worth it. You get to the Vatican before it opens to the public and you eat breakfast in the gardens. Then you get into the museum before it gets too crowded or hot. You also get to spend a little more time in the Raphael rooms and the Sistine Chapel. This is history and art overload but so worth it,
– City Wonders Colosseum Underground Tour with Arena Floor, 3rd Ring, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This tour was why we came to Rome. It was SO good. The underground portion made it all worth it. I would do it again and again.
– Church in Rome; we attended an Italian Branch in Rome, it was amazing.
– Visiting the LDS Temple. It was so cool to see the temple being built.
– Fountains and architecture of Rome; we visited Trevi Fountain and walked around the city for hours looking at everything we could find.

Where we ate:
– The best pizza that we ate in Italy was actually on the Slovenian border in a town called Tarvisio at Pizzeria da Giannino
– Gelato; we ate a ton of gelato, it was all good.
– We ate the best meal at this little restaurant across the street from the St Regis. It had the most amazing pasta carbonara but I can not remember it’s name.

Cinque Terre (1 night)

This was a must do for me. We actually didn’t stay in the Cinque Terre although we should have. We stayed in Genoa. Next time we go, I will spend 2 nights in one of the villages. They are so beautiful.

Hotel:
– AC Hotel Genova (Marriott points); gross. Don’t stay here.

What we did:
Took the train from La Spezia to Corneglia. Then we walked through Corneglia and got on the trail. Make sure you pay and have your tickets at the train station in La Spezia or else you can’t hike. The trail is so so beautiful. It was abt 4 miles to Vernazza where you can get back on the train or else keep going on to Monterosso.

What we ate:
– Amazing Gelato in Corneglia at Alberto Gelateria
– best Italian lemon soda
– Il Masetto; super yummy hamburgers. Made from scratch and so good.

Barcelona, Spain (3 Nights)

We are obsessed with Spain. My husband lived here for two years before we were married while serving a mission for our church.

Hotel:
The Cotton House (Marriott Points) This hotel was so beautiful and peaceful. It was in a perfect location. I still dream about this one. Definitely stay here, we will be back.

What we did:
– Camp Nuo tour; This is the home of FC Barcelona. The tour was amazing, my son Samuel was beside himself with excitement and joy. The tour takes about an hour. We were here for 4.
– La Boqueria Market; It is so amazing. So much food, such a great place to go.
– La Segrada Familia; we went and saw Gaudi’s masterpiece. It is unbelievable.
– La Rambla; we spent hours walking through Barcelona. We really just can’t get enough of it.

What we ate:
– Cafe Alfonso; traditional Catalan. So, so good
– Granja la Pallaresa; Churros and Chocolate…no words, it’s so good.
– Aleut Cafe; we ate here twice. Once for breakfast and once for dinner. Both times, it was so good. The ricotta pancakes with dulce de leche were amazing!!

St Etienne (1 day)

We actually didn’t stay in St Etienne, it’s just where the soccer game was. We stayed in Chonas -l’Amballan which is in the Rhône river valley.

Hotel:
Domaine de Clairfontaine; charming inn in the country with a Michelin Star restaurant. It was comfortable, very old and very French

What we did:
– we drove down the river to Vienne and had dinner and walked along the river
– Went to the Poland/Swiss game in St Etienne
– Drove back to Paris

Where we ate:
– We ate in Vienne at a little cafe. The food was ok, it was super smokey
– Breakfast at our hotel. It was amazing. The pastries were unbelievable. I highly recommend it.

Paris, France

We stayed at the Sheraton in the airport. We didn’t get there until midnight and our flight was at 8am. The hotel was just ok. I would not choose to stay there again.