my eurotrip in a nutshell

It was a whirlwind vacation if you are going to ask me. Two weeks will never be enough to squeeze-in all my “must visits” which I have been planning and dreaming to see in the last two decades.

So I had to plan correctly and wisely to at least cover some of the places that I have been itching to visit. I scrapped several destinations and it breaks my heart to put it aside for the next trip. Like Prague for example. Dad once told me that it was a city with most beautiful people he have seen in a 200 feet perimeter, like there were “porn stars everywhere.” These people are genetically blessed and I had to save it for next time–Really sad.

The moment I checked-in that flight to Paris, mayhem started. Looking back, I can only remember moments of stimulated adrenalin flashing in breakneck speed, and here is a quick preview:


Paris. The top of the list of most people who are dreaming to see Europe. Why? Because of the simple obvious reason that this one proud city is the pinnacle of haut monde traveling, the quintessential european escapade and the one single city with an iconic and unmistakable skyline where every people dreamt of walking on its cobbled pavement and trot in the tune of Edith Piaf hits in the background.

That’s what I thought too, until I saw what is underneath the city’s crust… The reality that it is not all pretty, picturesque and perfect hit me like a wall of ice, it started when I first took the metro. Just like anywhere in the world, there is an ugly side of Paris hiding behind the quilts of century-old pop culture portrayal. In retrospect, what is imprinted in my head is not the glitzy sparkly glamour that inspired Woody Allen and Lauren Weisberger, but the ugly side that I never saw coming and did not expect to see in the city known as La Ville-Lumière.

How ugly? Like Isetan Recto underpass ugly! Imagine that then put blonde hair on everyone!


Lucern in one word? Expensive. Say a McDonalds’ meal is equivalent to an average of completing the whole line of minion happy meal toys. A single train ride costs like a low cost plane ticket to Phuket. Which made me not wonder why little Heidi fled to the mountains and lived in poverty for the rest of her life. But the sparkling potable river water, rolling green meadows, imposing snow capped Alps, cowbells ringing and people double and a half my age who can easily trek the Alps are something I do not see everyday. Making it my short, sweet and unique Swiss experience.


Munich. In need of a summer break? There is no better way to escape everything but to be in a city of perpetual spring break. I am not referring to beach parties and juvenile civil violations—But the non-stop beer drinking anytime of the day.

In the past couple of years, I tried veering away from beer drinking as I wanted to transcend to a more mature traveling lifestyle. But this Bavarian city pulled me back and rekindled the fire that gravitates me to kiss the bottle once again. With beer cheaper than water, drinking culture that tolerates beer bellies, and varieties of beer that tastes better than ever and anywhere in the world—I bet you will not resist!


Salzburg. The best was saved for last. After 1965, the name of this old unassuming medieval town echoed across the globe when Rodgers and Hammerstein staged the arguably most successful film of all time. Ask anyone now what they know about Salzburg and they will start bursting with a falsetto singing “Theeeeeeee hills are alive—–”

I grew up watching this every Christmas eve back-to-back with the live telecast of the Annual Rose Parade in Pasadena. So when I saw the “To Salzburg” sign on the highway, I was so excited as it drew me back to my childhood. I tried containing my giggles like a girl who accidentally sat on a vibrating phone. I honestly almost felt like passing out.

To complete the Maria Von Trapp experience, I decided to stay in an abbey. Complete with prim and proper nuns, quaint courtyard, choir singing in the morning, church bells, apple strudels, schnitzels with noodles and all that shit.


The whole trip was drizzled here and there with castles, centuries-old restaurants, train rides, funny and not so funny tourist stories that only the first timers in Europe can eagerly and candidly tell.