Today we’re saying goodbye to our cozy London studio flat, and are hopping on a train to Scotland to start our trip from London to Paris by way of Eastern Europe. While two weeks would normally be a decent amount of time, we’re passing through 5 separate locations and covering over 2,100 miles, so I expect it will be a little frantic.
Along the way we’re hitting up:
Home to kilts, haggus, scones, and a host of tough man stereotypes! Mrs. Selfish and I plan on hitting up castles, pubs, Arthur’s Seat, and the Royal Mile. For our three nights in Edinburgh, we’re staying at the Hilton Grovesnor hotel. It’s slightly pricier than I’d like (about $120 a night), but with Mrs. Selfish’s gold status we should be getting wifi and free breakfast every morning – so not too shabby!
The Lake District
Next, we’re taking a train from Edinburgh and heading toward England’s beautiful Lake District for three days. We’re staying at a few B&B’s, which I believe is customary in the region – so I expect plenty of tea, scones, and good English breakfasts! Perhaps I’ll even persuade Mrs. Selfish to go on a hike or two, though she’s set on canyoning and other extreme sports. Should we not hurt ourselves it’s on to London before hopping on a plane to…
Home of dainty desserts and daintier people, and the original home of the croissant (which apparently Marie Antoinette popularized). Vienna appears to be stuffed to brim with museums, palaces, and parks. As such, it’s also an extremely expensive city. I booked us at the Ibis Wien Messe hotel, which was having a 40% off sale. Since I have platinum status there, we’ll hopefully get a room upgrade, but who knows? After that it’s on to…
There are quite a few sites to see here as well – should we get the chance we may even escape Munich for a day and hit up the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle! However, Mrs. Selfish and I are showing up right in the midst of Oktoberfest! We’ve always wanted to go, but we really have no idea what to expect. Over-priced beer? Streets lined with trash (or worse)? Drunken soccer hooligans fighting in the bars? How can we know?
Hotels were crazy-packed, so I booked us into the Westin Grand Munich for 33,000 SPG points. The room was going for over $580 a night, so we got an amazing redemption value of .0527 per point, which as a travel nerd was pretty exciting. I ended up booking us in a “Grand Deluxe Room” since they were out of the normal ones, though whether it’s actually grand or deluxe will have to be determined. Last, but not least we’re moving on to…
Mrs. Selfish and I know very little about Switzerland other than that it is beautiful, cold, and home to great chocolate and fondue. Switzerland has the reputation as being a great place to live, but a boring place to visit so we’re only staying there 2 days. As a travel hacking enthusiast, I was excited to be able to book us at the Park Hyatt Zurich!
The room cost us a total of 44,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for two nights, but otherwise would have run $1515. In the real world, Mrs. Selfish and I rarely spend above $120 a night on a hotel, but I love the idea of spending points to allow us to share experiences we’d otherwise never have. I have platinum status here, which apparently gets us free internet and a “preferred room” so I’m interested to see what we get. Once we’re done luxuriating (and likely cheaping out on breakfast), it’s on to…
The City of Lights and Romance, but more importantly: croissants, macaroons, wine, cheese, pate, escargot, duck confit, and mulles frites (to name a few)! After our fast two week stint through Europe, we’ll be moving in to our Paris apartment for 6 weeks – soaking in the sites, sounds, smells, and tastes of French culture.
So what do you guys think? Does this sound as insane as I think it does? More importantly, does anyone have any recommendations for any of these places?