The Best of The Best

It’s hard to believe I’ve been back from my European adventures for over a month now. The saying, “the older you get, the faster time goes by”, or however it’s worded, is absolutely true. My trip flew by and now I have an entire month and a half of being back in the States under my belt and I really don’t have much to show for it (except a couple domestic trips). Nevertheless, I’m not writing to talk about what I’ve done since being back State side, I’m writing to talk about my all time favorites from my trip. Obviously all of it was fabulous, but some places, food and events stuck out more than the others. Plus, the biggest question people ask me is, “What was your favorite place?” I figure I’ll finally tell you which was my favorite along with a bunch of other things. Since it’s hard to narrow down to just one, I’ll give you my top three of each…

Cities/Towns ๐Ÿ™

  • Paris, France: the city of love that I fell in love with! It felt very European, but also reminded me of some of the cities back in the States. If I moved out of the country, Paris would definitely be a place I would live.
  • Heidelberg, Germany: small, but has so much packed into it. Many hiking trails, castles and just so much history. The perfect three day outdoor adventures getaway.
  • Naples, Italy: absolutely true, they have the best pizza (must try the fried pizza if you make it to Naples). Small cobblestone streets with clothes hanging high above. The essence of Italy.

Architectural Places ๐Ÿ› (really every place had awesome architecture, but these are the three that, if I have to choose, stuck out the most)

  • Munich, Germany: all historic – details of some of the buildings were unbelievable.
  • Prague, Czech Republic: a mix of modern and historic and a plethora of color – no two buildings exactly alike
  • Venice, Italy: all historic – it’s Venice, the fact of its being is enough to be on this list

Scenic Views ๐Ÿž๐Ÿ‘€ (it’s all Italy ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ)

  • Venice, Italy: the canal and the sea views definitely make Venice a winner. There is just nothing like it.
  • Portofino, Italy: colorful and mountainous with miles of sea to stare at.
  • Amalfi Coast, Italy: from Minori to Positano to Sorrento (or vice versa). Driving on the edge of cliffs all you have to do is look out your window to see straight down the side of the cliff. Plus endless amounts of sea. Oh, and there are lemon trees EVERYWHERE!

Places to Re-Visit ๐Ÿ”

  • L’Aquila, Italy: a small town about an hour and a half from Rome and is surrounded by mountains. It had an earthquake nearly 10 years ago and is still recovering. Few businesses have been able to reopen as a majority of the buildings remain under construction. Once it has been rebuilt, I’d like to go back to visit. And, I’d like to go back when it’s less rainy (it rained nonstop while I was there, which I was told was very abnormal).
  • Amalfi Coast, Italy: while it was definitely gorgeous while I was there, I must go back when it’s warmer and more restaurants and shops are open. Many places close during the off season, so I’d like to experience the full version of Amalfi Coast.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: I didn’t get to see the city as the weather caused all flights and trains to be cancelled the day of my travel. I ended up in Brussels for the two nights I was supposed to be in Amsterdam. However, I did have to get to the airport in Amsterdam to catch my already booked flight to Munich, so I’d like to go back to actually explore the city.

Dirties Places โš ๏ธ

  • Naples, Italy: yes, it’s one of my favorites cities, but it’s also the dirtiest city I have ever been to. Although it was very dirty, I’d still recommend any one to visit.
  • No more, just Naples

Castles ๐Ÿฐ

  • Mont Saint Michel, France: it sits on an island off the Northwest corner of France. It’s surrounded by a little village. All of this takes up the entire island.
  • Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany: it sits in the mountains. Also known as The Fairy Tale Castle. It wasn’t completed before the king who began construction died. Even though it’s not fully complete, it’s still worth seeing and the story behind it is an interesting one.
  • Heidelberg Castle, Germany: much of it is in ruins now, but it is the largest castle in Europe and it also holds the world’s largest wine barrel (holds up to 250,000 gallons of wine).

People

  • Apennine Mountains Airbnb Host and Locals: L’Aquila, Italy – everyone I met was amazed there was a tourist in town. I went out with my Airbnb host one night and met some of his friends. Also, met a couple of girls while in line for the bathroom and they introduced me to their friends. By the end of the night I think I had met everyone in the bar. All of whom were probably the friendliest people I had ever met.
  • Sir Toby’s Hostel Friends: Prague, Czech Republic – it was a small hostel so pretty much everyone that stayed there hung out with one another during the entire duration of their stay. We hung out at the hostel at night playing games and singing karaoke. And during the day some of us would go exploring together. One of my favorite hostel experiences.
  • PLUS Florence Hostel Friends: Florence, Italy – met some great girls at my hostel in Florence. Explored with a few. Also, had a girls night in with two girls from the States that I had met. That night felt like hanging with old friends back home. It was fabulous.

Meals ๐Ÿค๐Ÿฅจ๐Ÿ•

  • Some restaurant in Paris, France: Salmon covered in a cream sauce with steamed broccoli and mashed butternut squash. Paired with a red wine. And, of course, dessert afterward.
  • Some restaurant in Munich, Germany: Weiner schnitzel perfectly breaded. Served with French fries and a raspberry sauce on the side. Paired with a water. It’s was the first time I had eaten that day (yes, I skipped breakfast), so I thought it’d be best to stick to water.
  • L’Antica in Naples, Italy: Pizza!!.. duh. Paired with water again. The place was packed, so we were in and out pretty quick. This is the pizza joint Julia Roberts atelier in Eat. Pray. Love.

Drinks (can’t really narrow down b cause they’re obvious)

  • Coffee: I love any and all coffee from everywhere โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‹
  • Wine: France and Italy – nothing specific, it was all fabulous! ๐Ÿท
  • Beer: Belgium and Germany – the lightest beer I’ve ever had; not in terms of alcohol content, but in terms of not filling (no beer belly for me) ๐Ÿบ

Food (different from meals, but like drinks hard to narrow because they’re obvious)

  • Feel good meals (healthy/seafood): France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท
  • Meat and Potatoes: Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช
  • Pizza and Pasta: Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

When asked what I would change about my trip, my response is, “Nothing. My trip was perfectly imperfect. Everything that happened, every person I met and every emotion I felt was much needed.”

“Every experience I have is perfect and necessary for my growth.” – unknown

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