We snickered. We're in good shape, we couldn't see how steps could be a deterrent.
And then we started looking around. Boy were we in for a surprise.
|52 steps to the front door!|
|Richard standing at the halfway point|
This is a typical layout for a 2nd floor apartment (remember in Europe the ground floor is floor zero). Richard is standing at the halfway point, which in this particular unit, thankfully, there is a landing. Lots of units just have one straight run of stairs.
So if you're looking at a 2nd floor apartment, you will find 30-40 steps to your front door. We looked at a couple of 3rd floor apartments and once I got to 54 steps to the front door - we crossed it off the list. In some apartments they were much more winding, they are steeper than in the US, and in the really old buildings, they slant down slightly, so you cling to the handrail for dear life!
But everyone assured us that after 2 weeks, we'll be dashing up and down them like a pro. Hmmm.....we will see!
We did see a couple of ground floor apartments, but typically they are much darker (remember, those tall buildings block out a lot of sun!) and much more expensive.
The 2nd surprise? You need to make sure there is a place to keep your bike. Yep - your bike. Because depending where you live, you can't get a parking permit for 7-9 years. But everyone has a bicycle. And carrying it up those stairs isn't a good idea! Most of the apartments we looked at had bike racks near the front door. And navigating sidewalks with all those bikes can be a challenge!
And finally - the toilet gets its own room. The bathroom is truly that....a room with a bathtub and sink. The toilet gets its own (tiny) room, where everyone can share. Now in some respects, this is pretty practical. Do you have teenagers? They can spend lots of time showering and primping......but at least the rest of the family can use the toilet!
So for our first search, we looked at half a dozen apartments and saw some that were intriguing.
|Rooftop deck - with Astroturf!!!|
|Big kitchen - but isolated from rest of house|
|Nice rooftop deck!|
|Love the idea of a garden apartment|
|Garden apartments are dark|