Friday, August 3, 2012

Help! I'm so unfortunate to have to go to Europe and I can't figure out what I want to see and do while I'm there.

Listen, I am not trying to be show-offy or anything. This is an honest cry for help. And, a last minute cry for help at that. Here's the deal.

Some of our very best friends are getting married very soon in Germany. John is in the wedding, and we are so so excited to go. We are going to do some sightseeing for a few days before and after the wedding. First, we are going to Prague. Sounds amazing right?

Then, we take an overnight train from Prague to Stuttgart, Germany for a few days. The wedding is here, and we have been to Germany, but not this city. So, two new cities to explore in a very short time. Surely I can make us a list of some things to see or do while we are there for just 6 days, right?

Well, no. I have known about this trip for over a year and have had so much time to plan it. I have planned several big trips before. John, my parents and I went to Europe in 2007. Then, my parents and I went to Alaska in 2008 to name a couple. I spent countless hours planning both of these trips and had our schedules perfected before we ever stepped off of the plane for those trips. I don't like being OVERscheduled for trips, but I have a reason that I like to at least have some ideas of things to do before I go. I took a trip to Europe for spring break in high school and during our free time one afternoon, my friends and I could not make up our minds about what we wanted to see in the city of PARIS and so we eventually decided on some torcher device museum or something (don't ask), took subways and trains across the city to get there only to see the line was ridiculously long and we'd never get in before they closed and basically we wasted our only non-scheduled time in Paris because I didn't do any research about anything before we went. Still makes me angry to this day to think about it. Wasted time! In Paris! Ahhh!

Basically, I just like to have a list of things to choose from if we should happen upon some free time, so I don't have to spend my time scrambling and googling to find stuff for us to do. This trip is very short so I would be so angry to waste any of it. This is not a cheap trip for us! We must take advantage of every waking second!

Yet, every time I sit down to make a list of things to see or do, I come up with next to nothing. For Prague, I have more ideas than I do for Stuttgart, but it still isn't much. I know we'll see the St. Charles Bridge and Old Town Square, but what else? HALP!

Photos of Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti), Prague
This photo of Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti) is courtesy of TripAdvisor

And Stuttgart, the bride grew up here and sent me a list of things we could see or do. Two of the things were the Mercedes and the Porsche museums, and frankly, I'm not into museums OR cars, and since I'M planning this and not my two traveling mates (husband and male BFF), I get to choose and I'm not choosing those. There were some castles and things on the list too, but, I just can't seem to narrow it down and pick one.

And, this is the part where you will for sure roll your eyes at me. But hear me out...

Every time I think I find something I'd like to see or do, I discount it in my head because I feel like I've already done that. For example, one of the castles the bride suggested to me looks just like Versailles in Paris. And I've done that, twice. So, do I want to go to a look alike castle again?

Photos of Ludwigsburg Palace (Residenzschloss), Ludwigsburg
This photo of Ludwigsburg Palace (Residenzschloss) is courtesy of TripAdvisor 
 Or, there is a very tall TV Tower thing to climb in Stuttgart that has amazing views of the city. But then I think, well, I've climbed the Eiffel Tower and lighthouses and such, and sure it's really cool, but is one overhead view any better than the others? Why am I so non-inspired by any of this stuff? I feel like such a snob, and it's ridiculous because even though I have traveled some it's not like I'm well-traveled or anything. I just don't understand me.

So please, internetty friends. Help me plan this trip. Have you ever been to these places? If not, do you want to do some googling for me to find some really awesome things to do? I'm not into museums or organized tours (for the most part), but love to see stuff I've never seen before. I think part of the problem is that neither of these places are places with obvious tourist attractions, such as Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, or Mt. McKinley. So, whatcha got?


Diana said...

For someone who loves bridges and castles, I would see as many as possible, but if they all seem similar to you, then no sense in wasting time. What about just strolling through the cities and people watching? Maybe you'll find somewhere to go just from walking around? (And the only countries I have been to are Aruba and Canada, so I am no help)

MillerMama said...

TripAdvisor is my go-to for finding stuff to see. I looked up that Scotchguard city ;) and a lot of the reviews were in German...but...this seems decent: Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Garden. And shopping (I'm sure the boys will be thrilled) at this place: Koenigstrasse?

You're out of luck because apparently they have a rockin' Oktoberfest in late September, and a cool Christmas market. Tell them to reschedule the wedding.

Erica said...

Maybe a bike tour... Germany is big on biking. I say relax a bit and let adventure find you!