As the end of our year in Europe came closer, we knew we wanted to try to squeeze in a few more trips to places on our bucket list. Austria was a given based on the amount of hikes, gorgeous views, and 1 hour flight from southern Holland. We also knew that we NEEDED to see the sun soon or we were going to become vampires, so we wanted to plan our final adventure for somewhere warm, full of beaches, hikes, and lots of adventures. Kayak Explore had become our trusted advisor for finding cheap flights during flexible dates, and Corsica kept popping up whenever we started to search for flights to places. We didn't really know anything about it (seriously, we didn't really even know it was a place), but a nice couple we met in Chamonix had recommended going there at the beginning of our stay, so when we saw 50 euro round trip tickets that fit our dates perfectly, we said WHY NOT. We planned the trip for July 1st - 5th, with a few days back in Delft to say a final goodbye to our favorite town before heading back to America. So when the end of June finally came, we packed up our little apartment, said goodbye to our life in Holland, and hopped on a plane to sunny Corsica. We had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be one of our absolutely favorite trips of the entire year and our new favorite happy place on earth. We'll post more about details and what we did, but for now, I hope this video portrays how amazing this beautiful country is.
After spending a week packing up our life in Holland, we were READY for our Corisca adventure. We had a super early flight - as in 6:30am departure early - which was an adventure in itself trying to get to the airport that early (buses and trains and lots of walking). But we made it on time, and after passing out on the plane we woke up just as we were beginning our descent. I immediately looked out the window expecting to see something to get my bearings and all I saw was a cruise ship perfectly framed by the tiny airplane window cruising along through the bright blue Mediterranean. We were in the Mediterranean, that was for sure.
I'm SO excited to have finally finished our Austria video! It's taken a while to get through all the footage while adjusting to our live back in the states, but it's been so much fun to relive our travels, especially right now since we're really missing Holland and our European adventures. Austria feels like a dream - it was such a quick trip and fell in love with the country immediately, and we can't wait to go back and see the rest of it!
Travel days can be tough, especially when it is the last day of a fun trip and you're getting a bit stressed about heading home. There are a ton of logistics to worry about - returning the rental car, remembering to put gas in the rental car, hoping there are no surprise scratches on your rental car, getting through security at the airport, repacking your carryon to fit some of those last minute souvenirs... the list goes on. With this mumbo jumbo in mind, Anna and I have made a habit of booking afternoon flights and sneaking one last side adventure into our travel days before the chaos at the airport begins. We usually pull this off by driving to within 30 minutes of the airport with a while to spare before check-in and then finding a random country road to explore. Driving aimlessly is the best especially since this part of the trip is completely unplanned and anything you find is totally unexpected. We did this in Portugal where we found some amazing landscapes in the Algarves just off the main road back to Lisbon. In Scotland, we found the perfect loch-side spot for scarfing the last of our snacks that we weren't going to pack. In Austria, we gave this strategy another go by arriving in Innsbruck with about an hour to kill. Anna pulled up a map and saw some cool roads winding up a nearby hillside overlooking the city. We started our detour with the goal of finding a place to grab a coffee with a view. Fifteen minutes later we were at a beautiful roadside hotel, sipping kaffee looking out over the Inn valley. This place wasn't a spot that we would normally plan to visit but still it stands out now as a favorite memory from the trip. With that in mind, we're chalking this one up to another win for intentional travel day detours.
After our hike above Alpbach, the weather turned a bit nasty which was fine because we were driving for about an hour to get to Mayrhofen. This drive led us up the Ziller Valley which was huge compared to where we had been. After checking in at our Inn, we drove up to Ginzling, which is way up in a much narrower, high alpine valley. The sun broke through and for a bit it was shorts-and-T-shirt weather. Having already hiked a few hours that day, we opted for a windshield tour of our new surroundings. Again, waterfalls galore. Ended up driving to nearby Finkenberg and Tux in the Tuxer Tal valley. The latter is definitely more of a ski destination but man was it still gorgeous in the summer.
We left Holland on a Friday around 1400 (we think we're cool because we use military time now) and landed in Innsbruck a short hour and a half later. The plane's descent was epic – we flew over Munich, came over the alps and then up the valley following the Inn River upstream with steep mountains on each side. When we stepped off the plane, walked out on the runway, turned around and had to look up a few thousand feet to see the peaks surrounding us. A few gliders cruised above close to the valley walls. Everything was lush and green, the sky was perfectly blue and there were a few waterfalls that we could already see in the distance. This place was unreal. We were both in awe and we hadn’t even left the airport…. or runway for that matter.
One of my favorite things about the Spring so far has been how warm and LIGHT it's been out at night. It doesn't get dark until around 10:45pm, which is a very big change from the 3:30pm sunsets during the winter. It's literally life changing. Instead of watching movies and falling asleep at 9pm like the in the winter, we've been spending the evenings post-dinner taking walks, riding around town, and drinking beers with the rest of Delft in the outdoor square.
Our last visitors of the year were the Hogans - to - be, Jack's brother Tyler & his fiance Carleigh! We met them in Amsterdam and wandered the city a bit, exploring fun neighborhoods like Joordan and Nine Streets. And we had pie at Winkle, because duh.
The next day they came down to Delft and we showed them our some of our dutch favorites - sandwiches from Leo van Vliet, bike riding out to Delftse Hout, windmill selfies, lunch at Cafe Du Midi, wandering around Delft streets, a climb to the top of the windmill (!) , dinner at Pelicaan, sunset selfies at the Markt, and beers at 't Klooster. After having so many visitors the past few months, I have to say that we've nailed down the perfect Delft day.
The next day the boys climbed to the top of the New Church for some awesome views while Carleigh & I drank tea and caught up at one of the cafes in the square. I've always pegged them to be super touristy, but it was actually an awesome view and pretty nice. We then decided to rent a boat for an hour and wander the delft canals by water, and it. was. awesome. We stuck to the main inner canals but it was so much fun to see our favorite views in a new way. It was (almost) the perfect day, until Jack magically dropped his phone in the water as he was jumping out of the boat. It was one of those drops that you couldn't do if you tried (the phone dropped RIGHT between the boat and the dock), and for a second we were all shocked at what had happened. Everyone thought the phone was a gonner, but Jack ran home to grab goggled and a swim suit, and dove right in to try to find it. Everyone was staring and snapping photos - tourist and locals alike- and after 20 minutes of pulling up rusted beer cans and sludge, he gave up. He did one last "feel", and somehow emerged with PHONE IN HAND. It was a dutch miracle.
Unforuntately, the phone was definitely water logged and completely broken, but we're still hoping insurance will cover it/ we can exchange it somehow.
BUT, besides the phone mishaps, it was a pretty epic weekend and so much fun to spend time with C&T in Delft.
Welcome to our blog, a space to document our year abroad in Holland. Check out our "Where We've Been" page to view our recent travels and city guides and our "Stories" posts for tidbits from our travels.