In September 2012 Cathy and Paul Vaughan finally achieved their dream of travelling to Paris and spending time in Europe. This was possible through the great assistance provided by Classic Getaway Club. Our travel contact for this as well as previous journeys was Kylie Cornish, an International Consultant par excellence. Kylie help us realised our dreams through a series of contacts – by email and the occasional phone call. Every request was dealt with promptly with enough options presented to make informed choices, with an enthusiasm that was infectious.
Spending 5 nights in the city of love was a great start to our European experience but we really needed another week for Paris then some more weeks for the rest of France. While not quite the Orient Express the Thalys fast train was truly an experience not to be missed – the scenery was beautiful and lush.
The next 2 weeks were spent in a floating hotel, the MS Amabella, part of the APT fleet of luxury five-star river ships that started in Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands with all the windmills in Holland, through to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. In between we experienced many western European sights through The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary. It’s hard to choose a favourite dozen locations as there were so many WOW moments. It is often said that the staff make the journey and this was oh so true for the magnificent crew who catered, cleaned, served, captained, escorted and mostly entertained us. The history and architecture of Europe was something to see, with Roman ruins everywhere … “What did the Romans ever do for us?”. It was astounding how many villages we visited where the local tour guide waved a dismissive gesture at the modern buildings that were only 400 years old. It has certainly whet our appetite to see more of Europe. Viewing Europe from the waterways allowed for an alternate perspective that we do not see in Australia.
All this was possible through the consistently good advice from our International Consultant Kylie Cornish of Classic Getaway Club who ably assisted our choice of APT as a great touring company, deserved receiver of multiple awards. APT’s offer of fully-inclusive tours meant that you didn’t have to do the sums to see what optional excursions we would take up as all were included in the cost of the package, with sufficient choices each day to cater for most tastes. Kylie Cornish was able to coordinate the entire holiday so that if felt like it was one big seamless journey.
At the end of every day we consolidated digital photos to bring home 4,000+ memories. We have 3 photos that represent memories that distinct areas that stood out: The Arc de Triomphe along the Champs Élysées in Paris – a city that we will never forget nor stop planning to return to; Melk Abbey is a Benedictine monastic site built in the Baroque style; and Vienna, the capital of Vienna, is a well presented and maintained jewel of Europe.