Blog Archive

May 7, 2013

2006 ~ Road Trip through Europe

Our first holiday together was one great adventure. We met two months before and decided that we wanted to wing it by car to Rome. Jeroen just quit his job to start his own business and had a couple of weeks left on his car lease with a unlimited fuel pass so we decided to take full advantage!

Because of our tight budget and Jeroen not being sure the fuel pass would last (although being unlimited) we decided to take some plastic cans with diesel to be safe. We both love to travel light so we didn’t miss the trunk space.

We drove to Paris nonstop, the city of love, wine and bread. Beforehand we had booked a nice bed and breakfast for an overnight stay in the heart of Paris. I had been to Paris a few times before, but together with Jeroen this beautiful city was even more special. We walked along the Seine, the Notre Dam, ate delicious snacks and smashed a bottle of red wine. Paris was served with sun on green grass at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.


Eiffel-Tower-@-Night-Paris-2006-Sealiberty Andjena-and-Jeroen-Paris-France-2006-Sealiberty



We continued our trip to Switzerland. The Swiss customs officers where less enchanted with our spare stash of gasoline cans in the trunk and so we were nearly arrested. It took them many phone calls (which we spent tanning away beside the road) before to everyone’s great surprise we were send off with our gasoline cans! We had this good fortune thanks to our plastic cans. (which were a thank you and goodbye gift from the previous owner who kept a weed plantation on our ship) If these had been made out of steel (like true jerry cans are) we would have been a ''car bomb'' that wouldn’t have been allowed driving in Swiss tunnels according to the customs officers. I’m glad they didn’t find the ten kilos of C4 we brought for the extra flavor to our morning coffee...


We drove to Geneva which made a romantic impression in the evening as we arrived (without blowing up) and we went for dinner in town and afterwards decided to sleep in the car at the lake. In the middle of the night the mattress run out of air which wasn’t all that romantic but bathing in the morning sun made up for any discomfort.

Sleeping Beauty Geneva Switzerland 2006 Sealiberty


Italy was our next objective, en route we paused in beautiful villages where we enjoyed local appetizers, and in the afternoon we arrived in Pisa. Pisa is known for its nearly falling tower and has cute but very touristic squares, nice to have seen but in our opinion not worth more than a couple of hours.




After a couple of hours (and great pizza) we therefore drove on and on for Rome arriving on a rather unfortunate hour. We had gravely underestimated how grand Rome is and how expensive hotels are in that city especially when there is some holly party going on. Tired and in real need of a hot shower we had a shady spouse accompany us to a decrepit hotel. We were happy that we could finally get some sleep although it cost us about 20 Euro’s per hour.

The next day we found a fantastic apartment just outside of Rome. We could leave the car for the duration and traveled by bus to the center to explore Rome. Note that this is a priceless tip I’m giving you if you want to see this place and not empty out your credit card on noisy and dirty hotels.


What a powerful and vibrant city, what beautiful buildings, bridges and squares. We walked for hours and saw all the tourist attractions such as the Coliseum, St. Peter's basilica, visited the Pantheon and of course took beautiful photos at the Trevi Fountain. The old part of Rome with its narrow streets and alleys, lovely shops has stayed with me as well. It's as if time stood still there, nobody rushed or stresses and everyone greets you with ''Buongiorno”. While you enjoying a delicious cappuccino you realize how beautiful life is.

Living Statues Rome Italy 2006 SealibertyStatue-Rome-Italy-2006-Sealiberty
















It is definitely a city where you must have been once in your life. We recommend to take a few days to explore this city as there is so much to see and experience, the food and drinks are delicious and even though the Italians don’t always speak English, they are very welcoming. Italy is a country with many faces and places, and we love it so much we think about living here when we grow old.

Florence is such a place, the houses are built with a fascinating typical Romeo and Juliet balcony style with a fountain on every square and many statues of Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists. If you love art and culture, this really is heaven. The Santa Maria de Fiore, known as the Florence Cathedral, is a highlight, as well as the famous Ponte Vechio.




We drove from Florence to Venice, a city which you certainly must have seen once in your life. Since its sinking I would not wait too long.

The special thing about Venice is there are no cars and everything can be seen and done by boat or on foot. (and of course its sinking) Can you imagine it?

The streets are so narrow, picturesque bridges over canals everywhere and it feels like you've landed in a fairy tale movie.









Romio-and-Juliet-Balcony-Venice-Italy-2006-SealibertyIts swarming with people though, and if you prefer to relax as Jeroen and I do, just buy a couple of fresh sandwiches and other snacks on the market and walk to a quiet spot near the water. You can visit the cute shops, or look at the million pigeons that cover the San Marco square. Also, there are many artists who present their paintings and drawings. You can go to the small islands by water taxi, where they make the famous Burano and Murano glass works. A day trip to Lido, Venice beach, is also recommended, in short, something for everyone and one of the most beautiful places we’ve seen so far.


After Venice we headed back through Switzerland and Germany into the Netherlands, full with impressions and more in love with each other than we were and soon after that we moved in together.

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