So many of you have asked for a post on my family trip to Europe this summer, so alas! Many of you are thinking of going and wanted tips, etc. I hope I can give you a snippit into my trip, my favorite stops, details, and more. If you have the chance to take a river cruise on the Rhine, I highly recommend it! We went to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, and it was so nice to have our family together as I don’t get to see my brother and his wife too often.
My brother and sister-in-law had heard great things about Viking Cruises so that’s who we cruised with down the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basil. We flew in early to enjoy a bit more of Amsterdam before cruising .
It was an absolute blast! Here are a few of my highlights from the trip! I could truly write out a different post for each stop but for the quick review here we go…
We stopped in Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we learned all about windmills, see the inside of one where families lived (it was crazy), and enjoy a day on the boat (there was a putting green so my husband was quite pleased).
In Koblenz, Germany, we toured the 700-year-old Marksburg Castle. It was absolutely amazing! That evening, we wandered through Rüdesheim which was a small charming river town. I loved all the colorful buildings and outdoor restaurants!
The canals and flowers were such a lovely combo in almost every stop we made along the Rhine! I truly felt like I was in a fairy tale and it’s easy to see why so many were inspired by the Rhine region. It’s gorgeous!
This was my first time on a small cruise ship (just a large one for a college spring break in the Bahamas) so I was unsure if you would feel the “rocking” of the boat. Not at all. It was so lovely, especially when you open your door to see swans!
This shot (below) of the colorful buildings is in Cologne, Germany! We loved wandering around and trying Kölsch, their locally brewed beer. I was more of a fan of popping into every chocolate shop or bakery I found along the way, however. It was a blast!
We basically ate our way through Europe and that included lots of sweets! Here are a few more shots of some of the foods and drinks we enjoyed. My absolute favorite thing we ate were stroopwafels, and now I’m milking the one bag we brought home. I have heard they can be found at Trader Joes or potentially the food section of HomeGoods! We also indulged in schnitzel, more wine that you can imagine, fries and mayo in Amsterdam, the most amazing cappuccinos, and bread. Lots of bread.
My two favorite stops along the trip were Amsterdam and Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg was just the perfect size town to walk through, shop, eat gelato, visit Heidelberg Castle (MUST SEE) and genuinely have the best time. If you have the chance to go, jump on it. Here are a few pictures from Amsterdam!
Above is a view of Heidelberg and a shot of the castle. A note to say that those shoes above were my saving grace for walking miles upon miles every single day! I also have them in blush pink! They have these crazy reversible soles (one side is smooth and one is like a walking massage). Both are from Amazon!
We stopped in the Black Forest to watch artisans make cuckoo clocks, and we also learned how to make authentic black forest cake! I’ll have to do a post with the recipe they gave us, it was delish! Here is a shot of the Black Forest region, it absolutely felt like a fairytale.
Here are a few of my other favorite shots from the trip!
Here was the camera I used for my trip!
I didn’t want to haul my Canon 5D DSLR with me as it’s heavy and doesn’t have wifi, so after a lot of research, I bought the Sony A6000. It was a dream camera; small, lightweight, wifi for instant sharing to my phone, gorgeous photos! I often used the lens it comes with (16-50), but on occasion, I switched to the Sony 50mm/1.8 which was perfect for food shots! I highly recommend this camera!
If you have ANY questions, please leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them! All in all, I highly recommend river cruising in Europe. It was a wonderful way to see so many places within a week, and it didn’t hurt that our ship (we were on the Viking Lofn) had a fabulous bar (hello banana daiquiris) and cookies 24/7.