EUROPE TRAVEL DIARY- 2017

Hi guys! After years of dreaming of my first Euro trip, I finally embarked on a journey that I knew would change my life, or at least my perspective towards life. I took this trip with my sister which made it that much more memorable and it is definitely something we will both never forget. We did 8 countries in 15 days, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. We experienced long days and late nights, but the rush of being in a new place each day was enough to keep the adrenaline pumping and our excitement heightened. I met some really amazing people, took in different cultures, and ticked off a ton of bucket list points. It is truly an understatement to say that I had the absolute time of my life and I cannot wait to head back to Europe. I am even considering possibly moving there for a little while. We forget that we live in a bubble and that there is SO much of life and of the world that is within our reach. We forget that the small and insignificant things we bother ourselves with each day, don’t matter. There is more out there and it is important to allow yourself the experience to feed your soul with inspiration. Europe made me really, really happy and reminded me of who I am, and everything that I can do. It is all within our own reach, folks, it is just up to us to make it all happen for ourselves. Life is so beautiful, and it is meant to be lived passionately and fully…it is meant to be lived for YOU. If you have someone to share the beautiful things in life with, that is a true blessing, but if you don’t yet, share it with yourself. Learn, meet people, see things, eat food, dance, get only 3 hours of sleep per night, drink lots of wine, take tons of pictures, and do things you wouldn’t normally do. That was Europe for me, and I can honestly say that in 15 days, I learned a ton about myself and about the life that I want to live, and one day share.

FIRST STOP: LONDON

I LOVED London and was sad that we only had one day to experience it (although that is a reason that I must head back).  The city definitely drew me in with its charm, history, and London style. In this day, I was able to see a lot of central London. Buckingham Palace was a dream, and probably as close to royalty that I will ever get. The London Eye, Picadilly Circus, experiencing the tube, and my personal favourite, Big Ben. Fun fact, Ben is not actually the real name of this tower, it’s official name is the Elizabeth Tower, and it is the clock within it that is named Ben!

 

 PARIS

As a true romantic and fashion fiend, you could imagine my excitement arriving in Paris.  It is true what they say that Paris is a feeling, because it truly was just that. I would love to sit here and try to explain it in words, but Paris is something that every person should experience and feel for themselves. So I will leave it at that. When I turned the corner and saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time, I will admit a tear or two was shed. It’s crazy to see Paris in pictures and in movies, but seeing it in real life completely takes you by surprise. We had two full days in Paris and although I wished it was longer, my time there was absolutely incredible and everything I hoped Paris to be. I experienced the Eiffel Tower, The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Musee du Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, The Tuileries Garden, and the Love Lock Bridge. I had macarons at Laduree, cafe’s and crepes in front of the Eiffel Tower, fresh french baguettes on the street, experienced Chanel on Rue du Cambon, escargots & champagne, saw the Mona Lisa, and then experienced Parisian night life with my new friends at a Cabaret show, and then a really cool French club.

 

LYON, FRANCE

After we departed Paris, we headed to Lyon, into Beaujolais which is the wine-producing region in France. Here we stayed at a French Chateau right where they produce Beaujolais wine, which we were lucky enough to taste with cheese accompaniment. The best wine tasting one can possibly experience.

 

THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Next stop was the South of France. I am especially excited to share this with you guys because this was my favourite stop on the tour. We headed into Nice, with it’s narrow streets, long pebbled beaches, and the best mussels that I have ever had. My day in Nice was perfect. I spent it lying on the beach, then shared an amazing lunch outside with my sister as we people-watched, followed by a long walk through the markets to Fenocchio, a gelato spot with 99 flavours and then headed over to Monaco for the night. In Monaco we experienced what true luxury is. We drove along the F1 track, went into the Montecarlo Casino, and experienced a view I would literally kill to wake up to everyday.

 

ITALY: PISA, FLORENCE, ROME, VENICE

Naturally, I loved being in Italy. I was happy to get to a place where I knew how to speak the language and can carry a conversation in Italian; I loved feeling my culture in its rightful home. What is not to love about Italy? The leaning tower of Pisa, the view from Ponte Vecchio, making three wishes in the Trevi Fountain, seeing the Colosseum, the Pantheon, being blessed by the Pope at the Vatican, a true gondola ride in Venice, the Florentine view, Canals in Venice, the shopping, the pasta, the pizza, the wine, the cappuccinos and nutella croissants, and of course, the two gelato’s I consumed a day! Also went to the coolest karaoke bar and had one of the best nights of my life.

MUNICH, GERMANY

I didn’t know what to expect when it came to Germany, but Munich is actually in my top 3 favourite spots on the tour. It’s home to buildings that are centuries old and is known for Oktoberfest, as well as its beer halls including Hofbräuhaus which we were lucky enough to have a beer in. My favourite thing about Munich though, was the bike ride we did through the city. It was incredibly peaceful and liberating and inspired me to buy a bike of my own here at home, it was definitely one of my favourite parts of the entire trip. We rode to a park that houses a beer house which was incredibly cool. It was basically a large outdoor cafeteria where you can get all the beer you desire, paired with all the German delicacies such as sausages, sauerkraut, fries, and pieces of pork bigger than my head! I especially loved the wine tasting we did in Rhine Valley because it is the original home of Riesling which happens to be my absolute favourite wine!

 

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Amsterdam was the last stop on the tour and although I did know what to expect, I was quite curious to witness hotspots such as the Red light district, and the “coffee shops” the city is notorious for. Although I experienced these things and more, including a sex show which was insane, there is a lot more to Amsterdam that makes it beautiful. It’s many canals are not only picturesque, but resemble the history of trading behind the city, complimenting the very narrow houses which all plays a role in Amsterdam heritage. Cycling is also key to the city, as there are a ton of bike paths and cyclists have the right of way. As a pedestrian, you must watch out for them because if you don’t they will undoubtedly knock you over and not think to look back. I did a bike ride through Edam, and experienced a cheese tasting which was also one of the best experiences for me on this trip. I tried 12 different cheeses and still cannot tell you which was my favourite because I loved each one. Amsterdam is also home to some amazing museums that I had the privilege to visit such as the Van Gogh Museum and the Banksy Museum. I enjoyed coffee by the I Amsterdam sign, and the highlight of the spot for me was the Dutch fries; thick-cut fries in a cone, covered in mayo and ketchup! I was overly-excited to indulge in that! We went on a canal cruise and then capped the night off at a really cool shots bar.

All in all, it was an incredible trip. History and culture by day, and ridiculous parties each night. I can promise I got no more than three hours of sleep per night, but I would do it all again. Thank you to my sister especially for coming on this journey with me, and everybody I met that contributed to making this trip unforgettable. To the late nights, early mornings, Tom’s speeches, the playlists, Simone’s legendary driving, all the partying, dancing, eating, drunken heart-to-hearts, and all the memories we made together. Thank you.

Until next time,

V.

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