Over a dozen years ago, my Mum and I visited Reims as a day trip from Paris – our first sip of the fabled Champagne region. I can’t tell you how excited I was to visit Reims again as a guest of the Régionale du Tourisme Grand-Est but all thoughts are very much my own.
With train trips as quick as 45 minutes from Paris, Reims (or Rheims as the city is also known) is the perfect gateway to the rest of the Champagne region – and you don’t really need a car to explore the best of the city. As both my lovely friend and I are foodies, our plans consisted mostly of exploring the gastronomic offerings, with the occasional foray into the beautiful cultural history.
It isn’t often that you visit an incredibly popular tourist attraction and find an afternoon of peace. The Kinderdijk Windmills were designated a UNESCO world heritage site and I was visiting for the heritage – but what I hadn’t counted on was glorious sunshine and a quiet fishermans nook to spend an afternoon in.
Kinderdijk is situated in the Alblasserwaard polder at the coming together of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands.
When we picked this month’s travel linkup topic, about movies, books & TV series that have inspired travel or visiting set locations in a certain destination, I knew exactly where I wanted to write about.
Over the years we’ve been inspired and surprised by so many places – Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle), The Big Bang Theory set at Warner Brothers studios in Los Angeles, we found an unlikely Batman location near Heathrow Airport, obviously everything Harry Potter in London, oh, and I was an extra in a Lord of the Rings Movie. That’s my only claim to fame.
Forget snow-white steeds tossing their manes and knights in chain mail, baring swords. All the modern princess of today needs is a train ticket, a great friend with exquisite taste in music and a glass of bubbly in the sunshine. Disclaimer: we were guests of Hever Castle.
Leaving London quickly behind (it’s only a 40-minute train ride, the perfect day trip from London Bridge Station.)
My shortlist of nine amazing European City breaks was both incredibly hard to write and a lovely walk down memory lane – distilling all the sights and sounds over the years into just one list was tough.
Honestly, I could have made this a 42 destination long post, but ain’t nobody gots time for that, amiright? So, on with the (potentially controversial) shortlist of amazing European city breaks.