Czech Republic, check! We bailed on our Brno appartment in the ghetto, and stumbled upon a gem!

We arrived in Brno around 7pm after our lovely day at Devin Castle. We’d had notification from the accommodation that due to roadworks there was no car access to the hotel secure car park, but that we could find street parking nearby. I looked on my trusty google map and found street parking right next to the hotel on a side street. That’ll do, I thought.

On arriving to the street in Brno, we found that that while stretch up street was dug up, so there wasn’t even access to the side street – not from the direction, anyway. So we figured we’d make our way round the other side. Which looked straightforward… But wasn’t. A mix of one way roads and further road works took us quite a long way round to said side street. Which turned out to be the Brno ghetto! It was really quite scary driving through with yelling yobs and shady characters lurking around. I felt very uneasy about leaving the car there overnight with all our stuff in it. So decided to hop out to find out if there was any way to get to the parking. On opening my door I found we’d parked on broken glass – safety glass like from a car window. Gulp. 

To cut a long story short, I bartered with the receptionist who called her manager multiple times. They’d give us a €5 discount for not being able to use the parking. This really wasn’t satisfactory! So after discussing with Mike (who was sat in our car in the ghetto with our kids!), I went back and asked if they’d waive the cancellation fee. Although they had notified us the day before about not being able to park there, we weren’t to know until arriving what a rough area it was! My case was proven by the three drunks sat on a wall opposite the reception enterance! After more to-ing and fro-ing they agreed to waive the cancellation fee, and we drove off into the night! 

Both feeling quite energetic, for a change, we decided to head further north to cut down our traveling time to Wroclaw. We even considered driving all the way there! We felt free again for a little while, but arriving at 1:30am probably wouldn’t have been ideal!  So I found somewhere on booking.com that was literally on route, an Inn about 40 mins north or Brno. Unfortunately, once we got there it was all locked up and not a soul in sight. It said it opened until 10pm on the door, but it was only 9:40pm! Rude. So we continued on our way. I found somewhere else even further north and and it looked really nice, so I booked it and we arrived at 11pm. They were really helpful, which was great – they could have been looking at us like weirdos for booking at 10pm and turning up at 11pm with two small kiddies! But they couldn’t do enough to help. We all got to sleep nicely, Pip on the floor because their child ‘bed’ was a travel cot (they gave us a good discount!). 

It was a great hotel! We enjoyed a scrum my breakfast and there was a play park and some animals (an eagle owl and a South American coati!) out in the yard! All for less than the Brno ghetto appartment would have been. We enjoyed a mooch round the grounds and then headed off for the main event – Wroclaw, Poland, for my cousins wedding! 

5 Week Europe Road Trip… With a 4 yr old coeliac and a potty training 2 year old!

 On the 26th July our family will be departing on an amazing adventure round Europe! We’ll be in our trusty Ford Kuga with a roof box, with our 4 year old coeliac and potty training 2 year old… What could go wrong?!

I was itching to travel again now the kids are a bit older (4 and 2 years), and the opportunity arose when we were invited to my cousins wedding in Poland at the end of August. “Let’s make a trip of it!” I said… And somehow my husband agreed! We’ve managed to get 5 weeks off work, so we’re actually properly really off!

Places we are either going or interested in going. google maps app screenshot.

It’s been really really exciting planning the route… I’m a geography geek, especially when it comes to maps and GIS. So using google earth and google maps app for something so real to us has been great!

 

Trip planning spreadsheet! I’ve been in my element making this! Great overview of the trip, accommodation and costs, kilometerage, and ideas of things to do. Really helped make sure we’re not cramming too much in.

I also love a good spreadsheet, so have one set up to help make sure we have a balanced trip regarding number of stops and travel time etc. It’s even colour coded by region!

I really have been in my element! 😂 It’s saved on Microsoft One Drive too, so I can play with it on the MacBook or my iPhone, meaning it can come with us – ahhhhh, tech geek bliss.

I’m usually more of a spontaneous traveller. Pre children, we had a couple of trips (UK and France), where we just followed the road and found somewhere to stay on the day. But with two small children in tow, we don’t want to run the risk of not finding anywhere, or ending up somewhere awful. So we’ve got most of the trip booked.

I’ve been using the Booking.com app for the majority of our accommodation. Another tech dream, as it automatically adds the accommodation and dates to google maps and I can easily save them to Apple wallet.

So… Here’s where we’re going!

Night 1: Ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam

Night 2: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Night 3: Bacharach, Germany

Night 4: Baden-Baden (Black Forest), Germany

Night 5-7: Black Forest (central), Germany

Night 8-9: Innsbrük, Austria

Night 10-14: Lake Garda, Italy

Night 15: Venice, Italy

Night 16: Ljubljana, Slovenia (how is Ljubljana pronounced?!)

Night 19: Lake Balaton, Hungary

Night 20-25: Budapest, Hungary (Sziget Festival – Hungary’s Glasto, and visiting relatives!)

Night 26-27: Undecided (probably a route through Bratilslava and eastern Czech Reublic to Wroclaw.)

Night 28-32: Wroclaw, Poland (Wedding!)

Night 33-34: Berlin, Germany

Night 35: Lübeck, Germany

Night 36: Bremen, Germany

Night 37-38: Somewhere near Efteling Fantasie Park, Netherlands

Night 39: Ferry back from Amsterdam to Newcastle

Yes, we’re a bit mad! We’re aware there will be many challenges. But I think we’re prepared! (Ha!)

We don’t have many set plans for each place, so any hints and tips would be most welcome!

I’ll be blogging throughout the trip, so I’ll leave it at that for now, and update soon!

M x