I can honestly say that it was love from first sight! The first day when we arrived to Amsterdam and the taxi took us to our little apartment I couldn’t stop looking out of the taxi window. I loved everything from the little streets, charming houses, museums, street markets, cozy coffee shops by the canals….. Amsterdam was our starting point where we spent few days and then took a train to go to Paris where we spent 5 beautiful nights. After Paris everything went way too fast and I felt at times that my head was quickly spinning from all the beautiful places we visited. There was Venice, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Rome, Vatican City, Madrid, Toledo, Segovia and Barcelona….. and each place took my breath away. So what exactly made me fall in love with Europe?
Europe has an endless amount of history, art, architecture … I was fortunate to visit some of the most amazing sights filled with very historically important art exhibits. I loved Louvre and gardens of Versailles in Paris, I admire Michelangelo’s David at Accademia Gallery in Florence, the ceiling painted by Michelangelo at Sistine Chapel in Vatican City was something from out of this world and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona left me speechless. There are so much more to it – there is no end!
Food is absolutely exquisite in Europe! I am actually extremely mad at myself for only taking couple photos of the food. It was hard to worry about photos when beautifully decorated plates were placed in front of you. Here are my recommendations of what you should try when in Europe:
Paris – chocolate croissant with coffee.
Spain – jamón ibérico which is a type of cured ham.
Italy – gelato and risotto (eat these separately…haha). If you ever in Venice visit Osteria Ai Do Gobbi. My husband had seafood risotto and he claims it was his best meal ever, I had pasta with black truffles which was very delicious.
Netherlands – besides my favorite Gouda cheese you should try traditional Dutch appeltaart (apple pie) and coffee which is amazingly tasty there.
Obviously these are not the only deliciousness you can try in Europe – there are so much more but these dishes hold a special place in my heart or stomach.
Europeans take their love for wine very serious! No meals should be eaten without a glass of wine. I loved how easy it was buying alcohol in Europe – there was no designated stores and you didn’t have to break your wallet when purchasing it. A bottle of water or a bottle of wine in some restaurants were almost the same price!!! So many times I thought I was ordering a glass of wine when the waiter would bring the whole bottle (I think the cheapest bottle in the restaurant that I paid for was 3 euros which is $3.35 considering current exchange rate). Europeans do not realize how lucky they are!!
One amazing thing about Europe is that you can visit as many countries as you want all by just taking a train. European trains are nothing like the ones we have in US it’s like something from the movie Fast & Furious. European trains were taking us to the beautiful places at the speed of 300 km per hour (which is equivalent to about 186 miles per hour) and did I mention that my eyes were always glued to the windows you just can’t stop soaking up all the scenery.
No need for cardio at the gym – prepare yourself for walking, stairs climbing and if you decide to do some shopping then you going to be doing all that with hands full of bags! During our trip we climbed so many stairs and so many domes at times we had to stop to catch our breath. If you do not like to walk or climb stairs than your days in Europe would be definitely exhausting. We had an app that would tell us how many steps we made and the average would be 25-30K a day with at least 40 flights of stairs (we climbed it all from tower of Notre Dame to tower of The Alcazar of Segovia). I was really on the mission to see everything possible in the time frame we had.
Back to the question why I fell in love with Europe! Maybe it’s the fact that you can visit all these completely different places with different languages, culture, food, history just by taking a short ride by train? Or maybe it’s the feeling you get wandering through museums, cathedrals or parks with your love one holding hands of absolute serenity and piece? Or that deep feeling that comes and absolutely blows your mind that some people are so fortunate to live among the most historical remnants like Roman Forum or Colosseum, living inside of walls of Lucca that goes back to 200 A.C. or seeing Sagrada Familia from the window of your apartment?
Everyone has a bucket list – the things you want to do before you die. I believe that by traveling to Europe my list got shortened by half! The sharing kiss on the top of the Eiffel Tower, holding hands riding a gondola in Venice, climbing the tower of Notre Dame, wonder inside of Rome’s Colosseum, “holding” leaning tower of Pisa, say a prayer inside of Segrada Familia, take a picture with Michelangelo’s David or silly selfie with Mona Lisa in the background……. My trip to Europe was full of those dreamed moments that I always thought about!My friends and family know about my passion and love for traveling and I am so glad to share it with my husband.