You stand in front of the guidebooks in your local bookstore with a sinking feeling of despair – how can there be so many; and all about Europe? The visions you had of quiet walks alone along canals with frequent breaks to sip lattes in abandoned street-side cafes are being shattered with a loud crash as you realize that you’ll hardly be alone this summer.
Crowds of camera-toting tourists shove their way into your dream and you succumb to the realization that “it’s all been done,” especially in Europe. Snap out of it! If you’re willing to leave that guidebook in the hotel sometimes and make the “road less traveled” your highway to adventure, there are still LOTS of untouched places in Europe with smiling locals ready to introduce you to their local brand of latte.
1). Meissen, Germany
Along the Elbe River, almost all the way to Dresden, sits the fairytale castle town of Meissen. Even in late July, the height of the tourist season, we had this town to ourselves. The Schloss Albrechtsburg was the first castle built to house royalty in all of Germany. It’s at the heart of what became Saxony and has been restored to its former glory. It’s well worth a long afternoon’s wander: Picnic in the park next to the cathedral overlooking the river and enjoy the flutist who frequents the spot.