This trip was someone else’s trip. A trip that I gracefully tacked myself onto the end of as part of a ‘why didn’t I think of that before?’ moment.
Mum and Dad were heading to Europe – six weeks of travelling through England, Ireland, Paris and Amsterdam, and finishing with a short stint in Poland – the country of origin of my father’s side of the family. My parents have been to Poland only once before, about seven years ago, my father actually having been born in Tehran, which I’ll tell you about later.
All of a sudden, it dawned on me that Dad was getting older and that if I should travel anywhere this year, it should be to Poland with him.
But given the length of their trip, they were only going to be in Poland for a short time, about a week and I couldn’t justify flying all that way for just a week, so I scrounged around my Intrepid Tour brochures, hoarded for just such an occasion, and came up with a nice nine-day jaunt through Central Europe. The dates aligned perfectly, as if it was meant to be, and the trip was born.
As soon as I was aware that I may possibly ever want to travel anywhere, or really anywhere outside Asia, I knew it would be central/eastern Europe. I’m not sure I can exactly pinpoint why – whether it was the more gothic inspired architecture that called to me or whether because, really, deep down inside – it’s kinda my hood.
Despite the tour starting in Munich, there’s not actually any tour time scheduled here, which is quite usual on an Intrepid tour, apart from a group meeting dinner in a few days time. So I’ve arrived early to spend a few days looking around myself to make the most of my time here and hopefully shake off any jetlag.
I have never been so glad for having organised a private transfer. Although I slept on the plane, it was that bitsy, horrible napping that only vertical sleeping can provide and my back aches even more than it did before, though it’s now probably a little worse cause I can also feel bruised bits from last nights ‘massage’. About 45 minutes later though, I was all checked into the hotel and standing under a hot shower counting the seconds until I could put my head down on the pillow. I know you are supposed to get straight into the routine of the place you arrive in after a long flight, but I am too tired to care. I force myself to go downstairs for a little breakfast (which is quite an incredible spread for such a little place) and then its lights out for a few hours.
When I awake it’s edging mid-morning so I freshen up and head on out to check out the city. My aim is really to try and see where I need to get to in order to join my day tour tomorrow morning, but I wander around snapping photos and enjoying the scenery and fresh air. I head to the main street, Neuhauser Street. The architecture is quite stunning.
There are little fresh fruit stalls dotted throughout the mall.
For lunch I sit at a little outside café and order a grilled vegetable salad with a nice glass of prosseco. The streets of the city, although crowded, don’t seem to be loud or pushy or too much. Strolling back towards the hotel I can’t resist stopping by one of the little fresh fruit stalls to buy some beautiful looking strawberries and seedless green grapes. Back in my room I crack open a bottle of French wine and a handful of the strawberries – so beautifully sweet and tasty. Perfect to settle in with to enjoy an episode of Bold & Beautiful – in German of course.