1. Basic necessities
SIM Card in every country. This is important, it makes my phone a walking encyclopedia. It costs approximately 10-20 Euro for every country, but it is money well spent. It gives me the option to use Google maps, and all my TripAdvisor apps, and I can surf to TripAdvisor to look for things I’d like to do. I’ve bought a total of 7 SIM Cards, totaling Euro 90. 200MB of data is usually more than sufficient for 3 nights. So buy the cheapest. And we brought along a Lonely Planet Europe with us, it’s a huge book, and it’s heavy, but it’s the best thing we brought along, besides our smartphone.
AirBNB and Cruise
– we’ve decided against staying in 5 star hotels, as we barely needed any facilities. We only needed a clean and comfortable place to rest at night. We chose AirBNB, and usually stay within walking distance to a good form of public transport (metro/tram/bus) stations. However, in Paris, we stayed only less than 200m walk away from Champs Elysees.
– Mostly buses/trams/metros/Hop On Hop Off
– Budget Air: Vueling from Amsterdam to Rome, RyanAir from Rome to Brussels
Flew into Amsterdam on MH16 on 5th July 2014. (MH17 shot down on 17th, and 3 crews on our plane were on it, so sad…
– Den Haag
– Vatican City
22 Nights Mediterranean Cruise on Holland America Noordam
-Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
-Kerkira, Corfu, Greece
-Venice, Italy (Overnight)
-Piraeus (Athens), Greece
-Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey
-Thira (Santorini), Greece
-Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
During the 22 nights, we slept and dined like Royals. Fine dining every night, Las Vegas style shows every night. We sleep on super comfy plush mattress/pillows while we travel to the next destination.
Beaches around all the ports were so beautiful, white sands, blue water. Crystal clear. Would make all Malaysian beaches look like a big mess.
We did mostly Hop On Hop Off buses. They average around 10-15 Euros for a day pass, and they bring you to every single landmark that you could think of. They give you a pair of headset, you listen to their narrative. We purchased tickets into attractions that needed us to, especially all the ancient ruins in Greece/Italy (including Pompeii). They’re not cheap, they cost 50-80 Euros per pax, but we did manage to get in.
Back in Rome
2 more night in Rome
– Segway tour around Rome
Flew into Brussels, went straight to Bruges.
Spent 2 nights in Bruges, 3 nights in Ghent, 3 nights in Brussels.
During those 8 days in Belgium, we were there during the Bruges party fest, where they have 7 different stages for dancing. It’s one of the best experience we’ve ever had. Better than any rave party we’ve ever been to. We covered Ieper, Tyne Cot, etc. And we purposely make it for the “Flower Carpet” ceremony at Brussels’ Grand Place. Look it up on Google, this year was a Turkish theme, with fireworks, etc. Very beautiful.
Paris (2 nights)
– we stayed in one of the AirBNB apartment, just 3 minutes way away from Champs Elysees’ Renault showroom. Very small apartment, but very clean and comfortable. Wife went shopping for handbags, I went to Parc Asterix. 2nd day, wife did more shopping, I went shopping for watches.
After 51 tiring days, we were supposed to fly back from Amsterdam, but after the MH17 thing happened, we decided to fly back from Paris on Airbus A380.
It was probably one of the best RM42k (RM21k each) we’ve spent. And not to mention, the watches I bought back to sell made me RM12k in total. (PAM 5, 111, 112 and Master 2 GMT Blue Black). Free points on credit cards too, 5x for spending abroad.