Clearing the Bucket List, Part 7

After checking out Paris and Brussels,  it was time to head back to Germany.  On the way back home,  we encountered a routine border check.  Oddly enough with all the countries that we had driven through,  this was the first time that we were pulled over.  Definitely a change versus traveling through the US and Canadian border.

Before heading out to Oktoberfest, we decided to grab some Turkish food in the heart of downtown Wittlich.  The small shop offered some decisions Turkish pizza, as well as some Pommes Doner.

image

Our trip to Germany wouldn’t be complete without having a genuine Oktoberfest experience.

image

Although this wasn’t the official Oktoberfest,  it was still amazing.  We were greeted by the locals dancing on tables with beer steins in hand.

image

Along with German songs being played by the band,  we were also treated to classics from Journey,  Backstreet Boys, and Take That.

image

Overall,  the trip to Europe was simply amazing.  Having seen the sights and sounds of Europe,  I can definitely see myself working abroad to take in the full experience.  That’s it for my Bucket List of items for 2015. On to my traveling plans for 2016, and a chance to further trim down my Bucket List. 

Advertisements

Clearing the Bucket List, Part 5

image

Moving along to the next part of our journey,  we decided to stop by the City of Lights,  Paris! Paris is a city that I’ve always dreamt of visiting and had to include on my Bucket List.

Taking the scenic route via our Opel van,  we drove through the countryside of Germany, eventually driving through the beautiful country of Luxembourg.  When arriving the Paris metro area,  we opted to park at Disney Paris,  and then take the metro into the city.  Finding the parking garage was the easy part,  but fitting in the garage was another.  The ramps and entry points were clearly built for Mini Coopers,  not for any other type of vehicle. 

After finally getting the van into the garage and finding a parking spot,  we finally started our adventure into Paris.  Knowing a little bit of French helped save us from going the wrong way.  Our first stop in the city was Notre Dame.

image

The view around the area was amazing and exactly what I expected when visiting Paris.  On the downside,  the streets lacked traffic lanes, which was one scary sight.

After scoping out Notre Dame,  we want out to taste the local eateries.  We stumbled upon a local Vietnamese eatery,  so pho and vermicelli were a must.

image

While the food was definitely not worth the money,  the area was picture perfect.  The architecture was fresh out of a social studies book, and there were bakeries galore. 

Moving on from grabbing lunch,  we ventured out to the Arc De Triomphe and The Louvre.  The attraction made the visit well worth the wait.

image

Simply amazing when you take into account the history behind the Arc,  as well as the crazy 10 lane round about that circles the Arc.

image

Next on the attraction on list,  The Eiffel Tower!

image

When you think of Paris,  there’s no other attraction that comes to mind more than The Eiffel Tower.  The views were stunning,  and the lights around the city were priceless. 

image

Compared to the rest of the city,  the area around The Eiffel Tower was relatively calm and safe.  Outside of the people constantly trying to hassle tourists with beer,  wine,  and souvenirs; it was a nice area.

After a long day it was time to head home.  Although along the way,  plans changed,  leading us to our next stop.  Beautiful Brussels,  Belgium!

Phone Carrier for American Travelers

During my recent journey to Europe,  I really had a chance to appreciate the phone carrier that is current my phone carrier at home.  My current carrier is T-Mobile.  As an American,  I truly believe this is the best carrier for all Americans traveling abroad.

My reason for saying that T-Mobile is the best carrier for travelers is because it simply just works.  By working,  I mean that you’re guaranteed connection in over 150 countries without being charged for roaming.  Traveling abroad,  I was able to check Facebook,  text my family and friends,  and still have the ability to use data as needed.

However with the many great options that T-Mobile provides to travelers,  there are some drawbacks. Notably,  you’re unable to make calls while roaming abroad without being charged for roaming.  Along with not being able to call,  all data is not given the same LTE treatment as you’re given when back in the states.  The data speed I’d limited to 3G.

Overall,  T-Mobile provided me with an amazing world experience.  Sure,  it would be great to have LTE and make calls.  However if I’m sight seeing and miles away from home,  I can live with slow data speeds and the ability to text.  While this might not work for everyone,  it definitely works for me and I’ll continue to use T-Mobile for all future trips.

Clearing the Bucket List, Part 1


Yes,  yes… I like many others was inspired by the movie The Bucket List.  Outside of making a big move to Austin just recently,  I really wanted to get started on my bucket list of items to check off.  Having a brother in-law based in Germany,  I took the chance to fly out to Germany and check out our neighbors across the pond.

The flight to Germany was second to none.  Major shout out to Delta Airlines.  I was so concerned about what I would do for the 8 hour flight, but the in-flight experience made me feel like I was honestly just at home for the duration of the flight.  I had the chance to watch an unlimited amount of movies, great food, and free drinks!

Upon landing in Germany,  I was amazed as to how wrong I was about Germany. Technology wise,  Germany was further ahead than the US on many fronts, and their customs process was more of a relief than a struggle as I’ve grown to experience when crossing our very own US border.

wpid-wp-1443619850301.jpg

Moving on with the rest of my day in the Frankfurt area,  I had the opportunity to attend a wine and sausage festival.  The experience on the way there and at the festival itself was very unique and refreshing.  The autobahn,  highway to Americans,  was clean and not limited by unnecessary speed limits at most stretches.  Instead of driving through war torn villages like seen in Saving Private Ryan,  we drove through beautiful green mountains and caught some breath taking views.  While at the festival,  the people were extremely friendly,  willing to speak English with us,  and provided top notch customer service.

wpid-wp-1443619904002.jpg

 Having only seen war movies about Germany until just recently,  I realized there was a whole other side of Germany that I was missing.

wpid-wp-1443619961909.jpg

On to the next stop on our trip.. London!