A couple that witnessed the cultural depths and profundity of Europe’s Renaissance era. Read the captivating tale of Sabyasachi’s family trip to Europe that crisscrossed the continent to relish the finest contributions made in history by mankind. Their trip cost them a total of INR 2,32,000 which included their flights, lodging, transfers, sightseeing, and breakfast.
My wife being a lover of art, always desired to travel Europe to see the finest masterpieces created in the world. I considered it to be a wonderful opportunity to visit the picturesque destinations as well.
I discovered Fred and Fuzzys while searching for Europe tour packages on the internet. They offered me an option to create a customized itinerary, which was exactly what I was looking for. I submitted an inquiry with Fred and Fuzzys and received a call back from their representative.
Prabhakar (travel consultant) grasped my requirements for the trip and connected me to various agents that provided multiple offers for the same itinerary. I selected the best price quoted to me by ‘Duniya Safari’ agency. We had fulfilled all the criteria for our trip and the excitement to explore and enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe began to rise dramatically.
Paris: Wandering in Sparkling Lights
We boarded our flight from Kolkata in the morning and arrived in Paris at 6 pm. The driver was present to receive and take us to the hotel where we checked in at 9 pm. Since the hotel was just a short stroll away from the Eiffel Tower, we couldn’t resist the temptation to go there immediately. Having dinner with my wife as the Eiffel Tower was shimmering, made me pinch myself. The European adventure was certainly on, and it couldn’t get any more real than this.
We woke up the following day, had breakfast, and got ready for Paris sightseeing at 9 am. We wanted to explore all the places in Europe on our own. We used public transportation in Paris and obtained a Paris bus pass for the day to assist us in visiting all the places. We boarded the hop-on hop-off bus service and witnessed attractions like the Seine River, Louvre Museum, and Notre dame Museum.
We enjoyed a small bite to eat while journeying throughout the daytime, so as to avoid the need to stop for lunch. We disembarked from the bus at 2 pm outside the Louvre Museum. We explored the Museum for 4 hours where we witnessed the Mona Lisa. Subsequently, we returned to the hotel and dined. Following dinner, we departed for the Lido show at 10 pm. We were awestruck by one of the most renowned cabaret and burlesque shows in the world. The vibrant and unconventional presentation of entertainment captivated the entire audience. After the show, we took a taxi back to the hotel and rested for the night.
The following morning, we prepared ourselves to explore Versailles Palace. We arrived at Versailles after changing trains a few times. At 9 am, we entered the Versailles Palace. It was incredibly captivating to witness the royal palace which was constructed in the 17th century. The chateau is renowned for its magnificent paintings, spacious rooms, and lush green gardens. After lunch, we boarded the train back to Paris at 1 pm.
Next, we visited a wine cellar in Paris for wine sampling. In the end, we received a complimentary bottle of wine from the cellar. We returned to the hotel at 7 pm and proceeded to have dinner. Following dinner, we went to our room and called it a night.
On the final day in Paris, we decided to ascend to the summit of the Eiffel Tower in the morning. The view from the top was truly astounding. After descending from the Eiffel Tower, we checked out of the hotel and made our way to the airport. We boarded the 6 pm flight to Rome, and arrived at 10 pm. Upon our arrival, we took a taxi to our hotel in Rome.
When in Rome, adopt the customs of the Romans
The following morning we awoke to a stunning morning in Rome. Once again, we purchased a daily bus pass to explore the city independently. We boarded the Hop-on Hop-off bus at 10am and began by checking out Piazza Barberini, Trevi Fountain, and Roman Forum. The city was crowded with tourists from all over the world, more than I anticipated.
As evening approached, we walked to the picturesque Piazza Navona. We sat near the fountain and watched as the sky transformed into a rustic orange, giving us a glimpse of a natural light display. Just a few steps away from the Piazza, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant owned by a Bangladeshi. Later, we returned to the hotel at 10 pm and called it a night.
The following day, our entire day was dedicated to the Vatican. After breakfast, we arrived at the Vatican at 9 am. To start, we visited the sacred trio of St Peters Basilica, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Museum. It is within the walls of St Peter’s Basilica where my wife and I had the opportunity to admire the finest craftsmanship of Michelangelo’s lifetime.
The artwork on the walls and the intricate frescoes were a dream come true for us. We returned from the Vatican at 4 pm to our hotel in Rome. We didn’t do much that evening since we had to wake up early the next day for Florence.
The Artistic Splendor of Florence
We departed early from Rome at 5.30 am. The high-speed train to Florence that we took arrived in the city at 10 am. And just like that, we entered the city of Leonardo da Vinci. After checking into the hotel, we proceeded to visit the Florence Cathedral. Situated at the Piazza del Duomo, its dome is one of the most recognizable structures in Italy. The magnitude of the entire structure had my spouse and I gasping.
After lunch, we visited the Uffizi Art Gallery where we spent a few hours. For my spouse, this gallery was a paradise (and I could perceive it in her eyes). At 6 pm, we left the gallery to head towards the banks of the river Arno to enjoy the sunset. Later, we had dinner near Santa Novella and eventually returned to the hotel at 10 pm to rest for the night.
After a delightful breakfast, we prepared for a day trip to Siena and San Giovanni. The bus in which we were traveling first stopped at San Giovanni. A charming town renowned for its wine and medical research center, it truly felt like a picturesque weekend getaway in Italy.
Moving on, we visited the ancient city of Siena. Famous for its 12th-century architecture, cuisine, and enchanting city square, Siena felt like a city we arrived at not in a bus, but in a time capsule. We returned to Florence in the same bus and reached at 8 pm. The fatigue took over us, as we immediately fell asleep in the hotel after dinner.
Grand Canals of Venice
The following day, following breakfast, we departed Florence. We boarded the train and arrived in Venice at 11 am. After checking in at the hotel, we ventured out into the city to explore. We encountered yet another Bangladeshi gentleman with an incredibly inspiring tale. He had been residing in Venice for 16 years. When he arrived in the city as an immigrant, he worked as a fruit vendor. Now, he was a naturalized citizen who owned his own restaurant. It was one of those narratives that uplifted both of us and filled our hearts with positivity.
We opted to hire a gondola to explore Venice’s water canals. The gondola ride took us along the Grand Canal and also passed by the residence of Marco Polo. After the gondola tour, we returned to the hotel and went out for dinner. While dining, we were fortunate enough to witness a live orchestra playing Italian tunes.
A spectrum of colors in Innsbruck
The next day, we checked out of Venice and made our way to Austria. After changing trains at Verona, we arrived in Innsbruck at 1 pm. We were now surrounded by the Alps, the largest mountain range in Europe. While checking in at the hotel, we witnessed a splendid rainbow following a light rainfall.
In Innsbruck, we visited the crystal world and then explored the Alps. We were overjoyed when it started snowing during our journey to the mountain peak. Afterward, we returned to the city at 9 pm and rested for the rest of the night.
Palaces in Vienna
We woke up and prepared to head to our final destination, Vienna. After checking out from Innsbruck, we traveled by train to Vienna. The train journey between Innsbruck and Vienna is the most scenic ride I have ever experienced. The breathtaking scenery and gentle snowfall turned the journey into a spectacle to be remembered. We arrived in Vienna at noon and checked in at the hotel.
It didn’t take us long to observe how Vienna is a city of palaces. The sensation of aristocracy multiplied after we decided to take a ride on the horse carriages. The architecture in Vienna was intricate as all the houses were constructed like palaces. In the evening, we went to a Syrian restaurant for a delectable meal for dinner. We returned to the hotel at 9 pm and called it a night.
On our second-to-last day, we decided to visit the major palaces of Vienna. We kicked off the day with a visit to Hofburg Palace followed by Schonbrunn Palace. It was a memorable experience to witness such luxurious palaces which were such a central part of Austria’s history.
In the evening, we returned to the hotel and prepared ourselves for an opera show. The show was a brilliantly orchestrated performance which had a blend of pianos, singers, accordions, trumpets, chellos, and guitars. It was a live demonstration of pure talent that left my spouse and I captivated. At 10 pm, the show concluded and we made our way back to the hotel for the night.
The final day of our European adventure had arrived. The only thing left for us to do on this incredible trip was shopping. We visited the G3 shopping center in Vienna and did heaps of shopping. Post lunch, we returned to the hotel and checked out. The cab arrived at 7 pm, ready to take us to the airport. We bid farewell to Europe and boarded our 11 pm flight back to India.
Exploring the breadth and depth of Europe with my spouse was the most fantastic vacation of my life. A special token of gratitude to Fred and Fuzzys and Duniya Safari for allowing me to customize and modify the itinerary multiple times. If I were to reminisce, I would have a hundred different stories to share. Undoubtedly, traveling in this manner helped me mature as an individual.
- I could’ve chosen a superior hotel to stay in Florence.
Tips for Travelers:
- Plan your vacation with Fred and Fuzzys. They offer total flexibility in how you want to travel.
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