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Our Euro Trip

Be it the muse of artists, a paradise for chocolate-lovers or the city of freedom, if I had to summarize my Euro Trip in one word, I would be rendered speechless- maybe, for the lack of better vocabulary or an inability to cover it within such restricted lines.

Europe has so much to offer to everyone- the artist looking for an inspiration, a nomad on the road, an academician on an educational tour, a man of its own origin- you just can’t get enough of it when you’re there, and you just can’t cover it in words, when you’re not.

One word? I don’t know, how I will be able to summarize it at all! What do I start with?

The cultural encounter that proved all typical stereotypes people have about these places, wrong? Everything, from the cobblestone streets to the quaint villages; cities built on the history of their ruins to the ones creating a history of their own? A man in Netherlands can walk by the same road each day and still discover something new. I am still, a passing traveller.

Nevertheless, I’ll make an attempt to do so. Perhaps, finding myself taking reroutes often but doing my best to cover my experiences into a written account. So, here goes my version.

THE BEGINNING:

My wife and I had always had the Euro Trip on our to-do list but due to all possible circumstances related to working middle-class millennials, this trip stayed prisoned on the list for the longest time. Finally, being touched by a nomadic inspiration, an internal push to discover the unknown, a thrill to learn about the world through its open book and well, an year-end bonus and some free time- we ultimately decided, if not now, then really when?

After all, you don’t make out time for travelling but rather you make out time for work, classes, duties and responsibilities- travelling is the life you live in-between all that.

We had initially planned on marking London as our first go-to spot in the Euro Trip but due to certain circumstances, the ongoing World Cup being one of them, we thought we’d stick to Netherlands, Belgium and France.

Putting the Indian spirit to test, we managed to get an amazing deal on MakeMyTrip, one that cost us ₹66,000 (both ways) for the flights along with a ₹20,000 cashback. Our Visa also arrived in 3 days.

We had planned our itinerary in such a way that we landed in Paris first and then immediately travelled to Amsterdam, coming back to the City of Love at the ending cycle of the trip. We were fuelled by the perception that Paris would be the ultimate shopping stop for the trip and a great pack-up of the whole experience, and even though, Paris did manage to surprise us wonderfully in many ways- shopping didn’t make it to the list.

STOP 1:

NETHERLANDS

Our first encounter with the “City of Love- Paris” was unapologetically brief before we reached our first destination of the trip via the thalys- Amsterdam.

  1. AMSTERDAM: A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Amsterdam isn’t a place of one origin, it speaks of its history, its culture and its artistic heritage through world-famous museums, beautiful canals and the work its people left behind.

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That’s the first thing you notice about the city. It’s tendency to adapt to the “new” while staying in touch with the “old”- Amsterdam is a tale of two cities- a cultural and contemporary one.

There’s a lot to do and many