In order to maximize time off, we decided to do a Memorial Day trip to Europe this year to do our big trip for the year. While we weren’t able to take (quite) as much time off as we wanted, it was still a great way to get away for nearly two weeks while only having to use only ~6 days of PTO. Capitalizing on a late Friday departure and a return stateside the Tuesday after Memorial Day, we were able to achieve a 12 day vacation and hit three total destinations that were of huge interest to us: Switzerland, Italy, and the Netherlands.
We departed late on a Friday (4/19), flying from Atlanta, Georgia to Zurich, Switzerland (ATL>ZUR). The cheapest option to get us across the Atlantic was to fly into Zurich, and we didn’t mind since it was a destination we had always been interested in. We ended up paying 40k Skymiles apiece for a one-way Delta Comfort Plus fare (not First Class, but more room than Economy), which we found to be fair.
The flight from ATL>ZUR was an overnight flight for us, meaning we took off in the evening on 4/19 (Atlanta time) and landed in Switzerland in the morning on 4/20 local time. We had a wonderful time in Zurich, and wish we had more time to explore and enjoy the culture. Given we only had a short time away, though, we were interested to get to Italy as quick as possible, so we only opted for one night in Zurich.
Sunday, around noon, we departed on a train from Zurich to Florence, Italy. The train through the Swiss Alps proved to be quite the preferable option, not only because we got great views of the Alps (and Lake Como), but even more so because it runs you around the same amount of time as it would to fly. As an added benefit, it was actually significantly cheaper to head South via train as well, which was a plus for us. Intra-Europe travel via train couldn’t be easier either. More to come on that at a later date!
In Florence, we spent 3+ days touring around and generally enjoying ourselves. We even opted for a private chauffeur to take us on a day excursion to Tuscany, and ended up finding a lot of wonderful places, including several vineyards. We stopped in San Gimignano, which was a recommendation from Katy’s parents, and then continued onward to three vineyards, our favorite of which was ….
From Florence, we took another train Northwest to Santa Margherita, a quaint beach town where to locals go to vacation, near Portofino and Cinque Terre. We hiked around quite a bit and relaxed quite a bit, exploring the surrounding beach towns over our 3+ days there. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there, and will share many more memories of that time in a future post.
To round out our trip, we took a taxi from Santa Margherita to Genoa, to catch a flight up to Amsterdam. We spent our last two nights in Amsterdam, soaking up every minute of the Dutch culture that we could!
Our flight home from AMS>ATL may have been just a touch more enjoyable than the Easterly long-haul, primarily because we were in Delta One+. As always, it was an extremely professional and top notch experience.
Needless to say, it was quite a journey, and we are very excited to share more in future posts!
Til Next Time,