Prague, Czech Republic and Makarska, Croatia: July 17 - July 23
While lamenting back in May/June that summer was never going to come to London and we'd never have hot weather again (boy were we wrong!), we decided to book a trip to spend 3 days in Prague and 3 days in Makarska. We had absolutely gorgeous weather during our stay in both cities, and had an amazing time visiting these places.
The City of 1000 Spires definitely lives up to its name and this can be best seen from the top of the bell tower of St. Vitus Cathedral located within Prague Castle.
Prague is a beautiful city with a number of 'must sees' including Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock and Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, and the Old Jewish Cemetery. Typical Czech food included Pork, Bread Dumplings, Sauerkraut and Beer. I wasn't particularly keen to try it, but I must admit, I've never tasted Sauerkraut that was so deliciously sweet before. If they could make it that way back home, I would actually try to incorporate it into my diet!
We flew into a town called Split in Croatia, and took a 2 hour bus ride down the coast to Makarska. The Dalmatian region is in essence contained within a 2 mile wide stretch running all the way down the coast, nestled between the sea and mountains.
Paris, France and Zurich, Switzerland: August 16 - August 19
We were excited to have Ryan's family come visit us in August, and of course we took the opportunity to do a bit of travelling with them while they were here. After they spent a few days in London, we all traveled to Paris together via the Eurostar train. That was a pretty neat experience in itself, as the train travels at incredible speeds to get you from London to Paris in just 2 hours. We spent two days in Paris, and it was especially neat for Ryan and I to see the city again after both having visited in high school. As you might expect, not much had changed, but it was interesting to see just how much we remembered!
From Paris, we took another train into Zurich, Switzerland, which took about 4 hours. Since we arrived on a Sunday, many of the local businesses were closed, but we enjoyed walking around the town. On Monday, we rented a car - Ryan did a GREAT job driving a manual transmission (look out, Amazing Race contestants) - and drove to Grindelwald. We took a cable car the majority of the way up the mountains and hiked the last of it to get some amazing views of the Swiss Alps. One of the unexpected but unforgettable parts was listening to the chorus of cow bells that filled the air on our way up.
Pembrokeshire, Wales: August 24 - 26
Fortunately for us, the U.K.'s August 'Bank Holiday' falls very close to our anniversary! We took the opportunity to drive to Wales for the weekend. Pembrokeshire is a county in Southwest Wales, and it is home to a very large national park with over 26 miles of walking trails. It was an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place. We enjoyed staying in Bed and Breakfasts and hiking along the coast.