Our second day in Switzerland somehow magically fell on the same exact day as an Alpine Cheese Festival (Alpkäsefest) on the top of the Grosse Scheidegg mountain in Grindewald, Switzerland. It was surrounded by blue skies and lazy cows grazing the hilly green grass. My dreams were literally coming true.
With our combined parental leave we decided to do a 23 day road trip through Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia & Austria.
Yes, a 23 day road trip with a 3 month old.
You have no idea how many times people told us “you are so BRAVE for traveling with an infant!”, and I am here to tell you… this was the BEST time to travel with a baby!
Obviously traveling with a baby will never be as easy as traveling before having one, but that should never stop you from continuing to travel and experiencing the world!
Here are some pros & cons to road tripping through Europe with a baby!
While most people think of Tapas for Spanish traditional cuisine, in the Basque region of Northern Spain, Pintxos (pronounced peen-chos) are their claim to fame.
Pintxos were traditionally a slice of baguette bread stacked with any type of food. To hold it in place, a cocktail stick or 'pintxo' was used. Now, Pintxos are open to much more than just that - and some are like little works of art.
After our stay in Le Croisic, we took our tiny little rental car and drove down to Saint-Émilion. It took just about 4 hours, which was the longest stretch during our week road trip through France & Spain. Saint-Émilion is just outside of Bordeaux, and some would say even more beautiful than Bordeaux! It is also a famed wine town known for its Grand Cru wine.
We actually only had less than 24 hours in this beautiful little town, as it was a quick stop on our way to Biarritz. So we tried to fit in as much as possible!
Two weeks. Two completely different locations. Varying temperatures. All in one carryon duffle bag.
Some would get stressed at the thought of this, but for me - I honestly enjoyed it. It was a challenge. We would be spending 1 week on a safari in and around the Serengeti, and 1 week on the island, Zanzibar.
I will admit, I probably spent much too much time googling 'what to wear on a safari', as well as too much time shopping for 'safari outfits' - but I don't care! During the weeks leading up to this trip, it was all I could think about!
So I wanted to share my learnings, personal experiences (why did I pack so many nice sandals?? so not necessary!), and actual list of what went into that very packed red duffel bag.
Whenever we visit a new country or culture, our favorite 'experience' is joining a cooking class. We have taken a "French Market Cooking Class" in Paris, a "Cambodian Cooking Class" in Siem Reap and now... a Moroccan Cooking Class in Marrakech.
I find the best way to get to know a new culture is through food. What people eat explains a lot about their society, landscape, environment and rituals.
Living in the US, we have the option of almost EVERYTHING, and there are new restaurants, and interesting takes on cuisines constantly popping up. But when we travel somewhere remote... we find that there are usually one or two specialties that the area is known for... and most likely, its exactly the same as what they were eating 1000 years ago.
And in Morocco... that is Tajine & Couscous.
The maze like streets of Marrakech are filled to the brim with wonderful little hidden apartments called riads. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace built around an interior garden or courtyard. Many of these have now been converted into boutique accommodations. The most spectacular feeling about a riad is - after spending a full day on the chaotic streets of the souks... walking into this calming hidden oasis you call home.
We decided on Dar Les Cigognes. For three reasons...