What: Lots of summertime in Europe as well as some transition time to Fall
Where: Paris, UK (its own post here), Chamonix, Annecy, Grachen (Switzerland), Berlin, and Barcelona
When: A few days in July (Paris), then August 22-September 20th
Why: Why not? Biggest pull was to be in Chamonix for Matt’s CCC 100k race at the end of August, to be in Berlin for the Berlin Marathon in early September, and then we built around that depending on where it was cheap to fly in and out of Europe and where else we wanted to visit.
- We really like Europe and there’s still so much more to see. We repeated quite a bit this time with going to the same races, so in the future, we’d like to see some new places
- There is still so much to explore in Paris and we’d love to go back when Paavo can walk further distances and last longer than just a couple hours. So much cool stuff to see on foot.
- The last time we visited Paris was in late September/early October, and the weather was beautiful, with perfect temps in the 70s. It was a bit hot this time, in the 90s and above for July, so I’d likely go again when it’s cooler
- Chamonix and the whole Chamonix valley is just stunning. It’s still some of the prettiest scenery we’ve ever seen, and some of our favorite hiking trails. I don’t think I’d want to visit there every year, but going back every few years is fantastic.
- Annecy is a great trip after Chamonix because it’s still beautiful, but there’s a bit more to do and a bit bigger city. Lots of great walking both in the city and in the mountains around it, and great running along the lake.
- I’d love to spend more time in Geneva, but damn it’s expensive! When we went 2 years ago, we lucked out on lodging, but no luck this time, so we stayed in an airport hotel our one night there.
- Speaking of Switzerland, holy expensive. Like, everything. Restaurants, lodging, groceries, coffee…every purchase was questioned like, “Do we really need this right now?”
- While in Grachen, I’m really glad we made the trip to Zermatt. You can only get there by train, which was really easy to do, and honestly, half the excitement of the trip for Paavo, so it was great for us. We had a beautiful day and had clear views of the Matterhorn, we ate cheap(ish) from the grocery store, and found a great playground with nice moms and kids.
- Berlin will always be our favorite food place to visit because of all the vegan options, especially in the area we stayed, near the Friedrichshain neighborhood
- It was so cool seeing the world record broken in the marathon at the Berlin Marathon this year by Eliud Kipchoge. Matt ran the marathon and was obviously far behind, but it was cool for him to be in the same race, and cool for Julie to see the finish, as she was just a few hundred meters from the finish.
- The playgrounds were better in Chamonix, Annecy, Grachen, and Berlin, both in terms of quality and quantity. Anything that’s more kid friendly for us gets extra bonus points!!!
- Barcelona is huge. We had just a couple days there and barely saw anything, though we made sure to visit Park Guell, along with a few other parks and restaurants. We’d love to go back and explore more.
- We had lots of great friends visit us along the way, including Chamonix, Annecy, Grachen, and Berlin. It’s such a great way to share the experience!
- Lastly, the morning we arrived in Paris, Julie took a pregnancy test and found out we were pregnant with #2! We have a baby boy on the way with a due date of 3/29/19, so the moment we arrived in Europe, we knew we’d be back in the States soon. We tried to find pre-natal care in Europe but it proved difficult without local insurance – we either couldn’t afford the appointments (~$750 per appointment in Geneva) or doctors wouldn’t see us without insurance (Berlin), so that’s why our Europe time was cut a little short and we headed back to the States, eventually moving to Boulder, CO on 10/1!