I decided I wanted to go to Ljubljana and Lake Bled after hearing a podcast interview about a writer who spent his honeymoon biking around the area. It seemed intriguing and the more I learned about the area and saw pictures, the more I wanted to go.
Ljubljana (pronounced loo·bee·ah·nuh) is the capital of Slovenia. It took us about 6 hours on a train from Munich to arrive at the train terminal. We traveled through Germany, Austria, and the north part of Slovenia before arriving in the capital city. It was a beautiful ride. The train from Austria into Slovenia seemed very old, but was still comfortable. It's the first train I've ever been on with 3 seats across in each compartment.
We visited Salzburg, Austria and did a Sound of Music bike tour!
I have wanted to do a Sound of Music tour since I found out it was possible to see where the movie was filmed. The Sound of Music is very important to my family-it was the first movie my dad ever saw in theaters, it's is his favorite movie, and he and I danced to "Edelweiss" for our father/daughter dance at our wedding. The von Trapp family has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.
We took a train from Munich to Salzburg. It was about an hour and a half journey and very easy (especially using a Bavarian train ticket). We arrived in Salzburg, walked to the meeting point, and chose our bikes. Our tour had 8 people-2 couples from the Netherlands, an Indian couple, and us. The tour guide said this is highly unusual-80% of her tours or more are people from the United States!
The Sound of Music was and is not popular in Austria-many people have never seen the movie or just know about it because of the tours. The movie was mainly popular in the USA, UK, Netherlands, and Australia. People in Germany and Austria don't have nearly the fondness for this classic as I do!
We left New York on July 21 and boarded a KLM flight to Amsterdam, where we would have a layover before continuing on to Munich, Germany. While we've flown to Europe several times in the last year, we have never flown in Premium Economy. This seat is similar to a first class seat on a domestic flight and was great for our quick 6 hour flight.
Brennan watched a few movies (and didn't sleep at all!) and I watched a few shows before sleeping for an hour or two. We landed in Amsterdam and spent the layover fighting off jet lag. Once our second flight landed in Munich, we were greeted with sunshine and easily made it to our hotel. We both decided to take a quick nap, then I went to check out the pool and Brennan ran 17 miles for his training session to prepare for his marathon. I still don't know how he did it-I almost fell asleep again reading a book!
A lot has happened since my last blog post! I'm really excited about what we've done and to share it here.
I wish I had a great reason why I stopped blogging in March. If I think back over everything from that time, I think it was a symphony of anxiety, frustration, missing my family, and being too overwhelmed to move forward. Updating this blog was pushed to the back and I never picked it back up.
I love writing and sharing pictures from the things we've done. I love looking back at the old pictures and remembering all the small details that made the trip memorable. I want to continue to do that here.
So, here's the update!
I was so excited to spend the two days in Brisbane between cruises!
We disembarked from the cruise on Friday morning and spent most of the day catching up on some work at our hotel in downtown Brisbane. We found a really cool Mexican place for dinner. I'm not sure if Brisbane has a lot of restaurants that serve Tex-Mex food, but we ended up at two of them!
We were scheduled to fly to Brisbane from Sydney. Unfortunately, we missed our flight. I wasn't feeling great this day and when we got to the airport in Sydney, the agent who checked in our luggage handed our boarding passes to Brennan at 2:30. We had talked about the flight being at 4:40 all day, so we thought we had plenty of time to get lunch and then head to our gate.
When we finished up lunch around 3:20 and went to go find our gate, it said the gate was closed! We were shocked and had to look over and over again at the boarding passes. Our flight was actually at 3:40. Neither of us could believe we missed it!
Thankfully, it was very easy to rebook our flight for the next one that left about an hour and a half later. We made it to Brisbane easily. Learn from our mistake-always double check the boarding time!
We arrived back in Sydney after our time in rural Mudgee late Thursday night. We were both ready to be back in a city with lots of options of things to do.
Everyone we talked to emphasized that we had to see the beaches in Sydney. We are both beach people and the Sydney beaches are world famous for a reason. We spent Friday on Bondi Beach. The beach has sugary sand and the bluest water. You can see from the picture that the beach was busy, but we found a piece of sand easily and spread out the beach blanket we bought.
We flew from Auckland to Sydney and arrived late in the evening. The next morning, we woke up and ventured out to see if we could get a good view of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. We found the Royal Botanic Garden and walked through, admiring the flowers and trees. But the real excitement was getting to the edge of the water and looking out over the harbor. I've hoped to see Sydney for myself since I was a kid and the view was just as good as I had hoped!
After spending a little over a week on the South Island of New Zealand, we flew up to Auckland. We arrived after the devastating floods that closed the airport and caused a lot of damage throughout the city. We stayed in a central area and Brennan took advantage of this by doing some running through the parks. Auckland is much hillier than I was expecting, so I was extra impressed by his dedication to running!
We left Lake Tekapo and drove west, heading to Queenstown. It was a 3 hour drive, but a lot of the road was between mountains so it was very winding. We were able to stop off for a nice viewing area, called "Roaring Meg" just before getting into the Queenstown area.
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.