My 20 Days of Summer in Europe

For the longest time, Europe had always been on my dream travel list, and this year, I finally made it happen! With a weekend backpack, and a 30L compact trolley, I set on a 3-week trip to five countries across Europe, hitting the Western, Central and Southern parts, right in the middle of summer. My friend Ann and I were traveling from the Philippines, and Cherry, another friend from the US joined us on the first week. We had booked our interregional flights and train tickets a few weeks ahead, and contacted our apartment hosts about two weeks before the trip. I picked most of the apartments, and my choices were based on budget, neighborhood, host’s profile and amenities, in that order. While I knew we wanted to be accessible to major attractions, I particularly wanted to be in a local neighborhood, not an excessively tourist area.

 Postcard-perfect Amsterdam canal bridgecopyFirst stop was Amsterdam, the capital city of Netherlands. An apartment in the Jordaan Quarter was going to be our home for the first 5 days of our trip.   Formerly a working class neighborhood, Jordaan is now home to young professionals and small businesses, with charming little shops, art galleries and brown cafes.  Continue reading