Balabanova All Over

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[Vienna, Austria, Dec 29, 2019] Vienna has a special place in my heart – it was the first city in Western Europe I ever visited back in 1994 or 1995. My first visit back in 2015 was very special for this reason. This time around, I only had an overnight stay, but I wanted to take the opportunity to hang out with my friend Nina, who calls Vienna home. I was staying… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria, Dec 21-29, 2019] After gallivanting around Belgium and Luxembourg for a couple of days, I was ready to get to Sofia and just chill. One nice thing about already having been in Europe for a couple of days was that I was about over the jet lag and I could also get to Sofia at a normal time, during the day. When I come directly from the states, flight schedules… Read More

[Dinant, Belgium / Luxembourg, Dec 20, 2019] My second day was entirely taken up by a bus tour to Luxembourg I booked on GetYourGuide.com. This is where being an early planner almost got me in trouble. When I originally looked for tours to Luxembourg back in September, nothing was on the schedule for my dates yet. I wasn’t sure if it was just too early or they don’t do tours in the… Read More

[Brussels, Belgium, Dec 19, 2019] Visiting the European Parliament and the area around Grand Place took up most of my morning. I decided to spend the second half of the day in the upper part of town following a 90-minute walk described in my guidebook. It started at Royal Place, a square just a 15-minute walk uphill from the Maneken Pis statue, where I had ended my lower town sightseeing. I had… Read More

[Brussels, Belgium, Dec 19, 2019] Armed with Rick Steves’ Belgium guidebook, I left my hotel shortly after 8 am. It was still dark – sunrise wasn’t until 8:43 am. I stopped for a coffee at the cafe right next to my hotel and headed for the European Parliament on the east side of the city, about 25 minutes away from the city center by bus. The European Union as you know it… Read More