Boy was I glad it was time for holidays. My husband came to visit me in Europe and we traveled to Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Saarbrücken, all in the span of around 1.5 weeks. My husband got sick in London, and I caught it from him in Amsterdam, so a lot of our trip was spent sleeping and coughing, but it was still great fun.
In retrospect, I might have done a few things differently about the trip. First of all, I wouldn’t go to London over December 24-26th. It is utterly pointless– everything is completely closed down, even the tube, so you can’t travel or do anything at all. Second of all, I’d probably focus on two cities for the whole time, and then if there were time maybe come home for a short while too, so that our schedule would be a little calmer. Finally, I think the holidays are better with family, so I think next year I will try to make it back to the US instead. Still, the trip was awesome, so I really have no complaints. These are just things to keep in mind for the future.
By the way, apart from looking at pretty buildings, we ate a shit ton of amazing food for pretty cheap during our travels. In Paris, we liked Les fous de l’Ile, Bistrot des Campagnes, La Crèmerie and Du Pain et Des Idées. In London, Al Arez gave us a stupid amount of Lebanese food for crazy cheap, and it was delicious. In Frankfurt, we had some of the best pho I’ve ever had at Vipho.
On New Year’s Eve, we were back in Saarbrücken, so we spent the time partying with some friends, which was really great. New Year’s Eve is a big deal here, so we got to experience the fireworks display on the bridge. This was completely batshit crazy. You know how in the US, most cities have a municipal fireworks show, where you sit safely 100 meters away and music plays as the fireworks explode in the air?
Apparently things are a bit more relaxed in Saarbrücken (or maybe Germany or maybe even Europe?), but I have never seen such chaos before. We stood on the bridge, and on all sides around us, people were shooting store bought rockets out of spent wine and beer bottles into the air. At one point, people started shooting them off literally 1 meter away, and of course, some of them started to go crooked. It was a crazy spectacle, but also quite dangerous, so we decided to head out a bit early.
On our way home, there were people throwing ground fireworks into storefronts to scare their friends, there were loud bangs of rockets from side streets nearby, and cops were on the way with fire extinguishers to kill a street fire. If I didn’t know any better, I might have thought it was a riot. But nope. Just New Year’s Eve!
I splurged and didn’t keep careful track (probably a bad idea). Most of the money went on food for the both of us (he paid for travel), and I think it came out to around €600 (i.e. €25 per person per day).