Europe Opens Up to Foreign Travel


By Scott Kendall


ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Travel writer Scott Kendall talks about his three-week adventure in Europe and shares some travel tips. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Spreaker, PodBean, SoundCloud, or Facebook.

As we all know, travel to Europe and elsewhere was shut down or highly restricted for COVID during much of 2020 and 2021. By May of 2022, we were happy to see travel opening up to a large degree. We were still required to have a negative COVID test to return to the United States, and we still had to wear masks in a few select locations. But overall, we were free to visit and participate in most activities similar to pre-COVID times.

For our big return visit to Europe after a two-year hiatus, my wife and I planned to stay three weeks in Europe. We had eight days in Italy, three days in Switzerland, and nine days in Paris. Flying from Houston to Florence, we spent just one night in Florence since we had been to Florence twice before. We did have time to stroll around the Duomo and have a wonderful Florentine Bisteca, however.

  • First Cliff Walkway middle section  - C Scott Kendall
    First Cliff Walkway middle section - C Scott Kendall

In Italy, we started in Florence, followed by a three-day trip to the Antinori nel Chianti Classico Winery, San Gimignano, Siena, Montalcino, and Montepulciano.  We then spent two days in Venice and three days in gorgeous Lake Como before taking the train to charming Grindelwald, Switzerland. In this mountain paradise, we took the Eiger Express and the Jungfrau Railway up to Jungfraujoch, “The Top of Europe.” We also took gondolas up to the awesome First Cliff Walk, an iron walkway tacked into the side of a towering cliffside with spectacular views of waterfalls, valleys, and the majestic mountains surrounding Grindelwald.

For the final leg of our trip, we journeyed to Paris, the City of Light. Staying in the delightful La Marais district, we had a wonderful time walking and taking the subway to various sites within and beyond La Marais. We also fit in a day trip to Rouen, where we dined at La Couronne, the oldest restaurant in France, and explored Rouen’s magical version of Notre Dame. We also learned more about Joan of Arc, the legendary revolutionary who was burned at the stake in Rouen.

As a former tennis coach, I was also delighted to go to Roland Garros, the site of the French Open. It was so cool to see some of the best tennis players in the world play on the storied red clay of these revered courts. Roland Garros was a fitting finale to our time in Paris.

So glad the door to Europe is open again!

Scott Kendall is Editor of  as well as a freelance travel writer, photographer, and videographer based in The Woodlands, Texas. He has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe, including several trips to Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, England, and France. In addition to writing for PlayStayEat, Scott has written for EuropeUpClose, Epicurean Traveler, Food Wine Travel Magazine, International Living, Miles Geek, Touring Bird, Travel and Talk, and other publications. His published work and videos can be seen at and Scott is a member of IFWTWA and SATW.


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About the Author:

Scott Kendall is Editor of  as well as a freelance travel writer, photographer, and videographer based in The Woodlands, Texas.

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