After Travelling around Europe on a Coach, I Realised That I Have left My Heart In So Many Places.
My last Great American Road Trip had fulfilled my list of travel bucket list across American States but wait, there is another great destination to continue ticking of my bucket list and that is Europe. Europe is certainly made for coach journeys. Yes, travelling around on coach tours was a great introduction to Europe.
Choosing Trafalgar for my coach-travel around Europe had various valid reasons. Though they cater for different age bracket depending on your budget but I choose a more expensive budget where there is no teenagers, you stay in nice range of comfortable accommodations throughout your trip and all meals are inclusive. I find it more relaxing and less hassle throughout your trip.
My journey began on a domestic flight from Cairns to Brisbane airport and onto Brisbane international airport for my first-leg of my international flight. After few hours of waiting and going through immigration process, finally I was boarding my flight to Heathrow airport, London to begin my European tour on a coach with Trafalgar. The flight from Brisbane to London, Heathrow airpot was almost 24 hours flight with a short stop-over in Bangkok to refill, disembark and embark. Every continuing passengers had to disembark before boarding again to continue out last-leg of the flight to London. After another long flight, we finally arrived at London’s Heathrow international airport in the early hours of the morning. Been familiar with London, I knew exactly my direction of where and how to take my route as if I had switched on my GPS in my brain for London public transport services. As soon as, I stepped out of the arrival lounge, I quickly made my way to purchase a “The London Pass” card. So what do you get with The London Pass? The London Pass is the ultimate sightseeing package that has been tailor-made, especially for visitors to the city. It gives holders the ability to make the most of your trip visiting top sights and attractions in London whilst saving time, money and stress.
Jumped onto Heathrow Express train to London Paddington station, where I caught another underground tube to Kensington station. The hotel where I was staying was about 15 mins walk from the station. With a journey time of 15 minutes between the airport and London Paddington which departs every 15 minutes, Heathrow Express offers the fastest journey time and is one of the most popular and efficient ways to travel.
Disembarking from the ferry from Dove, we jumped onto our waiting coach for a long road trip to Amsterdam. This is where we spent our first night of the tour and introduction to the flavours to Europe. What are great way to start the tour. Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, and this country is located in North-West Europe between Germany in the east, Belgium in the south, and the North Sea in the north and west. Amsterdam is a city where you think twice why everything happens there. This is where I experienced the smoking of certain drugs are legally tolerated in Amsterdam. This is where you can freely buy and smoke up to 5 grams of hash, weed, pot, cannabis and marijuana in special hash bars, know as ‘coffee shops. Smoking of cannabis opening in the streets in Amsterdam is acceptable. This is certainly, heaven on earth for drug cartels. Another eye-opener for me was walking through De Wallen, which is the medieval city centre, the infamous red light district in Amsterdam. It consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. Women from all over the world sit behind windows, lit by red lights. Amsterdam is famous for its canals, beautiful houses, so-called coffee shops and Red Light District, but there’s plenty more to this liberal city than most visitors realise.
After spending unforgettable cruise and shopping in this vibrant and liberal city, it was time to cross over to Innsbruck. Innsbruck is capital of Austria’s western state of Tyrol and is a city in the Alps that’s long been a destination for winter sports. This city is also known for its Imperial and modern architecture. Spending time on this was very different because it was totally freezing for me. After living in tropical climate most of my life, this climate changes created it very unpleasant for me. After this cold weather, we then continued our road trip to Venice, a capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. It is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs. Here, we jumped on a water taxi that took us across to St Mark Square, where most of us took time to visiting the area and taking time ride on Gondolas to exploring this city with no roads.
Still in Italy, we continued to Rome after leaving Venice. Rome is Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes. This is a city where history keeps you mesmerising. Without any hesitation, my two priority attractions to tick it off my bucket-list in Rome was to tour the Vatican city and visit the Colosseum. The Colosseum or Coliseum also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum.You can hardly find a city as inspiring as Rome. You can hardly find a place in Rome as inspiring as the Colosseum.Not only this is a major attraction for any tourists but Rome offers variety of historical cultural tours to Hiking and river cruises. To explore this city with limited time is impossible. There is so much to see and do. To finish of the night, we headed to an exclusive restaurant for dinner before heading off to Lucerne in Switzerland. In Lucerne, one of the major tourist draw card is Mt Pilatus. There is nothing more exciting to me than actually seeing and standing on top of Mt Pilatus in person. It was beyond my dreams. This natural landmark is nothing compared to man-made towers like Eiffel Tower in Paris and Empire State Building Tower in New York.
After enjoying this beautiful small river-side town of Lucerne, which kept me speechless, we then headed to Paris, our last city of European tour. Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. There was so much to see and do from modern fashion style to history learning. Whilst there, I took time to attend the Moulin Rouge stage show, this was an action-packed theatre where cameras are totally banned and confiscated. The next day, we were taken on a tour of the city before we headed to see the Paris’s famous iconic building – Eiffel Tower. I have seen Eiffel Tower on television million times, travel books or magazines etc but actually standing on top of the Eiffel tower brought me speechless and stunning views of Paris from above was just breath-taking. The whole scene didn’t seems so real to me. I must: (1) I couldn’t stop taking pictures. (2) I couldn’t stop staring. (3) I was just totally flat
After our memorable moments spent in Paris, we then continued our last coach trip back to London via crossing the ferry again from France to Port of Dover where we departed in our own direction. I decided to spent a week in London before I headed home.
There’s no doubt that taking this European tour, took me across to some of the most popular destinations and world’s iconic sites in the world. Whether you’re visiting Buckingham Palace in London, walking through the Red-light District in Amsterdam, Cruising on the Rhine-River or touring Cologne cathedral in Germany, marvelling St Mark’s Square in Venice, visiting the Colosseum and Vatican city in Rome, relaxing on top of Mt Pilatus in Switzerland or having a breath-taking view on top of Eiffel town in Paris and this list goes on and on just proves why Trafalgar coach tour was my ultimate choice. The Trafalgar coach tours have been designed to unlock the cities and sites to its’ customers and offer some great things to do and at the same time, saving time and money.
From personal perspective: Certainly, for me, this was one of the greatest ways of experiencing the culture and history of each country by going on a coach tour. We had time to stop at some of the most amazing iconic monuments .The route that Trafalgar offers has taken us to some of the best iconic sites and restaurants in various cities along the way. We had time to ourselves by day or night, where we had a chance to speak to the locals and learn about what each country truly has to offer you.