4 Countries, 8 Days, $1000 Dollars!

So a couple of years back we took a Transatlantic poker cruise from Florida to South Hampton. It was a great cruise that was $800 for a two week cruise. These are the kind of bargains I love finding as an avid cruiser and traveler. A one way ticket to London will usually cost you about that much and this way you get to cruise the Caribbean first and cross the Atlantic in style all while making new friends and playing poker.

independance of the seas
Our ship The Independance of the Seas

The real story starts when we arrive at Southhampton. I was on a mission to see as much as possible in Europe with the 8 days we had left and keep it within budget. The first new experience I decided to try was booking in hostels. Now I had made it 40 years without trying this and was worried that I may have been a bit too old to start. I could not have been more wrong. All the hostels I stayed at were centrally located, clean and filled with friendly, like minded travelers all looking to have a great time. I paid $25 a night to stay 2 nights each in London, Paris, Munich and finally Amsterdam. For 8 days in some notoriously expensive cities, I spent $200 on lodging. This is less than one nights hotel in any of these places for the central parts of town I was staying in. All of them included breakfast and wifi which was a great cost saver and super convenient.

Hostel Breakfast
My free hostel breakfast in Munich.

So the next challenge was finding flights between London-Paris-Munich-Amsterdam. This turned out to be a nice surprise as well because regional carriers in Europe are super cheap. I never paid over $100 for a flight and most were significantly less. Carriers like EasyJet flew out of smaller airports (like Luton in London) and were very nice, new planes with great service.

$69 from London to Paris

The other fun thing to this whirlwind approach to seeing these great cities was we had no time to waste. So you may ask, did you see it all? Not all for sure because that would be discounting these amazing countries but I feel like we saw the important basics. The key was to walk…a lot! We averaged almost 10 miles a day in most places and between the savings of walking and eating at terrific local restaurants and amazing street food, I kept my daily expenses to about $100 a day. Here are some of our highlights from London.

Starting with Stonehenge
London Eye
The London Eye
London Bridge
London Bridge
Big Ben
Big Ben and a big Ramze after 2 weeks of cruising.
English breakfast
Of course we couldn’t pass up a traditional English breakfast.

We then caught a flight to Paris. Paris is a fabulous city to walk and take public transportation in. While French cuisine can be expensive, we found lots of great meals at cheap little sidewalk cafes. Here are some of the Paris highlights.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower. Looks like the one in Vegas 🙂
Mulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge in a very “sexy” part of town.
The Louvre
The Louvre
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe

Then we moved on to Munich, Germany. What a treat this fabulous city is. We dined and drank at a beer garden every night and took a Segway tour of the city one day. The second day we took a train out to Dachau concentration camp and got to see some chilling history in person. Some of the great places we saw and drank Germany’s finest.

Augustiner Keller Beer Garden
Augustiner Keller. Germany’s second largest beer garden at 7000 people.
Hirschgarten beer garden. Germany’s largest at 8000 people.
Having my German pretzel at Hofbrauhaus in Munich.
Large beer Munich
I swear I ordered the small!
Segway to Berlin Wall Piece
Segway tour stop at a piece of the Berlin wall in front of the USA embassy.
Dachau concentration camp. One of the most humbling days of my life.

We then took a short flight to Amsterdam. This city prides itself on public transportation and bicycling. It is one of the best cities in the world to just walk around and eat, drink and explore. Here are some of our favorites.

Amsterdam Fries.jpg
Yes that’s mayo and yes it was delicious!
Worlds skinniest house
If you look closely, you will see the world’s skinniest house.
Indonesian food Amsterdam
Our grand finale dinner was an Indonesian feast. Amsterdam is known for their Indonesian food from when they occupied Indonesia.

This was one of my better trips and to be able to see so many beautiful cultures and countries in so little time and for so little money, was a great success.

If you want to get in on the next one, we are planning on sailing from Tampa to Barcelona on April 17th of 2017. This 14 day poker cruise is just over $800 per person and we will be hopscotching around all new countries after we arrive in Barcelona. More info at http://www.anteupcruises.com

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