EuroHopping: 5 Countries in 5 Days

Stockholm, Berlin, Ljubljana, Skopje, Istanbul and Munich. All in under a week. Quite a ridiculous itinerary but I definitely maxed out the value of those tickets.

  • Maximizing award redemption value. Sortof.

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    There are lots of different ways to maximize the value of award redemptions. Some folks look only at the cash value of the ticket were it purchased directly. Others look at the cabin of travel. Or the total distance covered. Or the number of points required. I’ve used all of those metrics at one point […]

  • In flight: Newark to Stockholm in United BusinessFirst

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    Any trip that starts with a dozen folks hanging out in the lounge, enjoying a few drinks before the flight, has strong potential. That I had already been in the lounge 2+ hours when the others started to arrive didn’t hurt the situation either. And the fact that my upgrade into the BusinessFirst cabin on […]

  • Checking in: Radisson Blu, Stockholm SkyCity

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    I love the arrivals service offered as part of the BusinessFirst service from United Airlines at most of their legacy Continental routes. I’m a firm believer in the power of a shower and a beer to help reset the body clock towards something approximating normal and the arrivals facilities generally make that work out quite […]

  • Stockhom’s Vasa museum: Sailing tales from the 17th century

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    The Vasa set sail in 1628, laden with cargo, cannons and sailors for her maiden journey from the Stockholm harbor. She made it about a mile before succumbing to the sea, sinking before ever seeing the open ocean. The canons were apparently recovered relatively early on following the disaster, but the rest of the boat […]

  • How did a cemetery make the tour list??

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    I actually generally enjoy touring cemeteries. They offer a great view of history and also are generally quite peaceful places to visit. A short ride on the metro south of Stockholm sits the city’s most famous cemetery, Skogskyrogården. The space was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 thanks to its unique landscape […]

  • A visit to city hall, Stockholm-style

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    Stockholm’s city hall, situated on the waterfront more or less in the center of town, presents an image of great history and heritage. This belies its real age – only about 100 years old – but the work is impressive. The building is used to conduct the business of the city, of course, with the […]

  • Checking in: Frey’s Hotel, Stockholm

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    Like many of my stays these days my goal in Stockholm was to find a room which balances a convenient location and decent price with being clean and functional. I didn’t have too much to go on in terms of guidance, other than knowing that the western-branded chains were asking far more than I normally […]

  • In flight: Stockholm to Berlin on SAS

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    A trip from Stockholm to Istanbul shouldn’t take 4 days. That said, it can if you want it to thanks to the joys of airline scheduling and the rather impressive route network of Star Alliance within Europe, I managed to schedule just such a trip, with stops along to way to see friends and also […]

  • Checking in: Hotel Eurostars Berlin

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    Booking a hotel on the morning of arrival can limit the options available somewhat. That said, I’ve actually been pretty lucky in general with such an approach, scanning a list of available properties and sussing out a quality hotel at a bargain price. That’s just what I discovered at the Hotel Eurostars Berlin. A beautiful, […]

  • Berlin in an hour. At night. In the winter.

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    I had a grand plan for transiting three different cities across Europe on consecutive days. Sure, I’d sleep a couple hours each night, but I was also going to spend most of the 20-ish hours on the ground at each stop exploring the town, eating their food and drinking their booze. It was a grand […]

  • A ljubly day in Ljubljana

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    As part of my planning for a day in Ljubljana, Slovenia, I read many, many stories, guides and suggestions for what to see and what to do while in town. I’m quite certain that none of the people writing those guides were ever in Ljubljana in the winter. Suggestions like “enjoy the evening breeze of […]

  • In flight: Munich to Ljubljana on Adria Airways

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    The route network of Adria Airways is a bit limited, as is their overall fleet (13 planes, 10 of which are CRJ-200/900s), but when Ljubljana is your destination, as it was for me, they’re definitely the carrier of choice. OK, fine, the CRJ-200 is a pretty miserable experience, even with the friendly Adria flight crew, […]

  • In flight: Ljubljana to Skopje on Adria Airways

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    Day number four of my January Euro Hopping trip saw the end of my visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia and another flight, again on Adria Airways, to Skopje Macedonia. Before the flight I actually had a bit of time at the airport and got to visit the observation deck café at Ljubljana’s airport. The views were […]

  • On the streets of Skopje

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    About an hour after arriving at Skopje’s Alexander the Great airport I had checked in to my hotel on the river and was out wandering the streets of the old city. Much to my surprise I saw a guy wearing a Buffalo Bills hat. I’m not sure if I was more surprised to find another […]

  • A magical winter night in Istanbul

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    I arrived in Istanbul on a crisp, cool afternoon following a short flight in from Skopje, finally finishing off my four day journey that started in Stockholm. I had managed to parlay a single one-way award ticket into a three-night adventure where every stop was wonderful in its own way. Istanbul, however, was the jewel […]

  • Celebrating a birthday in Istanbul

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    Break out the bunting and the balloons: it is time for a birthday party! In this case the birthday was of Istanbul‘s Tünel transit system, second oldest subway system in the world. The system is now 137 years old and, while it has seen a number of upgrades over the years, it is still more […]