|Lesia and Wendy in Bavaria, Germany|
It's no coincidence that the first two people that I feature on my blog are Black female travelers! I want readers to see examples of Black woman traveling far beyond the Caribbean and exploring the world past the Atlantic. Lesia and Wendy recently completed a trip of a lifetime, traveling throughout Europe via plane, train and automobile. Hopefully you will find inspiration in there 1,600 mile, 6 country, 10 day adventure.
|Wendy and Lesia in Venice, Italy|
Lesia and Wendy have been friends for three years, they always knew that they wanted to travel together but didn't know exactly when or where. Recently Lesia's brother moved to Stuttgart Germany and this was the opportunity they were waiting for. Stuttgart, Germany was their first stop on the European Takeover!
|Their route map. Traveling via plane, train and automobile|
After spending a few days with family ( including me, Lesia is my cousin), the ladies rented a fabulous Audi 3 and hit the Autobahn driving through the Alps towards Zurich, Switzerland. They stopped in Zurich for some scenic picture taking and lunch and hopped back on the highway headed for Milan, Italy. They spent a lovely evening in Milan, doing some small sightseeing, grabbing dinner and treating themselves to gelato. After such a long day on the road they had no energy to party, they rested up and prepared themselves for their next destination, Venice, Italy.
|Lesia and Wendy in a Venetian Gondola|
In Venice they were greeted by a lovely gentleman at the hotel who volunteered to take the ladies out that evening. After a night of disco dancing until the sun came up they saw all the sites their guide recommended the evening before. The trip in Vienna ended on a high note with amazing pizza, then they were off again. They took the scenic route, driving up and down the mountains of Austria and finally made it to Munich, Germany. In Munich they visited the Dachau concentration camp and then returned to Stuttgart.
|Wendy is WICKED with a map|
They were in Stuttgart long enough to say goodbye to the family and get some shut eye. They woke up bright and early to catch the train to Paris, France. In the days they were in Paris they did the full Parisian tour, the 400 steps of the Notre Dame, the Champs Elysee, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and even took a day trip down to Versailles, France. On the way back to the States they organized an overnight layover in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to get a taste of the city. They walked along the canals, visited the Anne Frank house and attempted a visited to the infamous Red Light District. Thousands of kilometers and liters of wine behind them, the ladies describe their adventure as “the best trip ever”.
|Great food and champs fit for a queen in a Parisian Cafe|
Trip High Points:
- While taking pictures of the amazing view in Zurich they met two Jamaican women who also lived in the US. The women were on vacation traveling from Brussels to Rome.
- Meeting Georgio and Alejandro in Venice, very handsome and scrumptious guides who treated them like queens and took them out dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
- The bidets in almost all of their rooms. They became huge fans. LOL
- Lovely conversation in a Parisian cafe with a West African dude who traveled the world and treated them to wine and cheese.
- Amazing food! Drinking champagne and wine with almost every meal.
- Driving through the tunnels of Switzerland and experiencing first hand that there is the light at the end of every tunnel.
- Meeting friends everywhere they went, locals, tourist, didn't matter they made connections in almost every city.
- Driving 189 km an hour on the Autobahn (117 mph)
|Finally at the top of the Notre Dame in Paris|
Trip not-so High Points:
- Technology failed them, the navigation system went bonkers a few times, luckily Wendy was a whiz with maps.
- Some creepy guy was following them around the city of Milan at night, they felt a bit uncomfortable but then they remembered they could protect themselves since Wendy knew self defense and Lesia knew “crazy”.
- Every morning at their hotel in Paris different guests would ask them to get them tea as they both were mistaken for the help. :/
|Wendy and an amazing view in Italy|
What aspiring travelers can learn from Lesia and Wendy
- Take advantage of friends and family who live abroad. Knowing someone in a foreign country does not only have financial benefits but emotional ones. Having a connection in a place that is foreign to you makes it a bit easier to take such a big leap.
- When visiting Europe from the States take advantage of the close proximity of the different countries. One can easily see multiple cities due to the accessibility and transportation infrastructure.
- When traveling with friends make sure your personalities and strengths balance each other out. If one person is a good driver the other person should be good with maps and being the navigator. It's about team work. Friends that you can only handle in small doses are not the ones to travel with!!!
- Set a budget. You have to travel with someone who has similar travel preferences. You don't want to travel with someone who wants to do budget travel when you have a luxury accommodations in mind. Discuss your budget pre-travel and stick to it!
- Language barriers and cultural differences were challenges that enabled these ladies to discover a new level of resourcefulness. Wendy and Lesia both agreed that there is something liberating about navigating a foreign country.
|Thanks for the great team for sharing their story!|
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