In June, heavy monsoon rains will saturate the streets of Mumbai, so I am doing what most other foreign teachers here do—leaving India for the summer. And what better place to go than Europe? In contrast to India, Europe is at its absolute best in June; the weather is warming up nicely, but the schools are not yet out for their summer break.
The last 11 months in Mumbai have, by turns, charmed, horrified, delighted, repulsed, stifled, and excited me. Now, as the end of my first year closes in—bringing with it the thick, putrid air of early May—I am looking forward to breathing clear fresh air again, if only for a few weeks.
Here’s how my agenda is shaping up:
I will start my summer break in Sweden by flying in to Stockholm and immediately travelling to Västerås—my first home in Sweden. Here, I will enjoy reading by gorgeous lake Mälaren, spending time with my other half’s family, and catching up with the first friend I ever made in Sweden. Hopefully, we will walk out to ancient viking burial grounds, enjoy a cocktail or two, eat lösgodis (delicious Swedish candy that I really should write about) and devour a plate of meatballs, or two.
After a few days in Västerås, I will take a short train ride to Stockholm where I will meet up with a colleague from India. Her visa process has been long and complicated, but hopefully India will grant her permission soon! I am so happy to discover that our trip to Stockholm coincides with the ‘Taste of Stockholm’ food festival, and we hope for plenty of good weather to enjoy a picnic in the park.
Tallinn is only an overnight cruise away from Stockholm, so we are heading to this gorgeous mediaeval city for a day-trip.
Colourful Copenhagen is next. Here I hope to call in on the Little Mermaid, hire bikes, and enjoy plenty of Danish pastries.
Hamburg is where the party starts! We have booked into Pajama hostel, which looks like a really fun base for exploring the city. Of course, I will be eating a hamburger here.
The party doesn’t stop in Hamburg, from there we move on to Europe’s party capital: Berlin. We have chosen PLUS Berlin as our base for the city—mainly because they have a pool that I hope to make use of. It has been a long time since I last visited Berlin, and this time it will be summer. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the only city on my itinerary that I haven’t visited before, so I am really looking forward to seeing a new place. If you have any recommendations for the city, then I’d love to hear them.
After Prague, I will take a short jaunt back to Stockholm where my friend and I will part ways. Then it is London for me. This part of the trip isn’t fully organised yet, but as I never spend any time in London I was thinking of taking a weekend there to check out a West End show, or visit the Harry Potter sets at the Warner Bros. studio.
Cornwall, England I will spend the remainder of my summer in Cornwall visiting my family while doubling my body weight in vinegary chips, fudge, scones, and pasties. I hope that we are blessed with the best of a British summer in the UK this year, as I want to spend time on the gorgeous beaches and in the garden with my two nephews and niece. I’ll be bringing some coloured powder I have left over from celebrating Holi in Mumbai, so that we can have our own powder party at home!
After that, I will briefly call in on Sweden again before making the long journey back to Mumbai ready for Round Two. As I see it, I have the best of both worlds—I will be out of India for rainy season, but back again when India is in her prime.
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What do you think of my itinerary? Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for any of the places that I am visiting?
Exciting plans, though I’m sorry Riga isn’t on the list! Tallinn is lovely, though, and certainly worth a visit. I’ll actually be heading to Stockholm in July so will be perusing all your old posts for tips.
I’m sorry Riga isn’t on the list too, but we are pressed for time – my friend from India is only coming for 2 weeks and she really wanted to go to Prague. Have a wonderful time in Stockholm, I’m sorry I can’t be there to show you around.