Oh Europe.

So I still can’t believe that I went to Europe in 2016… It was such an amazing trip to go on and to see so many different places in the span of 2 and a half weeks. Now I haven’t put up photos of every place I went to because there were lots of little places that we ended up staying an hour or two in. At first when I glanced at the map of where we were going I was so excited to see all of the cities and countries that I had always wanted to go to, however I was so surprised at how gorgeous all the little towns we stopped in. They had lovely people and had such character.
For example on the way to Bordeaux  I think we stopped in this little town called Carcssonme and went to this place where there was this massive castle that you could go inside, but also little shops and restaurants around it as well. Me and a few other people from my contiki stopped in this tiny restaurant and I decided to have a chocolate crepe with banana for lunch. After we finished I decided that I would just go off on my own and explore the little clothing and nic nac stores. It was amazing to be on my own and just look around at my own pace and just be in the moment and fully grasp the face that I was actually there.
Now these photographs are not in order but this was the order that my trip went in : London – Calais on the ferry then it was all bus rides to Brussels – Amsterdam – Rhine Valley( Germany ) – Switzerland – Munich – Venice – Florence – Monaco – (day trip )- Nice ( France ) -Barcelona – Bordeaux – Paris.
It was alot of driving – not by me by the Contiki bus driver haha, now every place we went to we had to cram some activities in and then we got free time to explore before going back to our accommodation for dinner ( or out for dinner ) Although this trip  was good value for money , I do wish we were in each major city for 3 nights max. That way we could have explored more of each place.

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Basílica de San Marcos –  20160718_153954Venice Italy ( both photos taken in the Historical Centre )
I loved Italy so much , I’d have to say that it one was of my favourites .. even though I really can’t fault any of the places we went to. Venice was unbelievably gorgeous with its architecture  ( then again all of the architecture in every place we went to was breathtaking)
But there was a different vibe to the buildings in Italy, they were so grand and elegant in a way. Even the way you get around the historical centre ( where we spent most of the day) was amazing in the cute gondolas. Just looking at all the restaurants, little boutiques and gelato shops and in general just people watching while walking around, and again trying to take in all the gorgeous architecture. And yes I did have gelato a lot while I was in Italy. 🙂

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Mount Titlis, Switzerland

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Mount Titlis , Switzerland

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The Duomo Cathedral , Florence

Switzerland was so breathtaking, driving up to Mt Titlis resort where we were staying was scary and stunning. I really commend the bus driver for this particular drive .. and we did multiple times by woohooing after every difficult turn up a steep hill. It was ridiculous , trying to get this quite large bus around these narrow hills with oncoming traffic. But yes the views were so beautiful , even though it was freezing  it was worth it walking around the resort and breathing the Swiss air.
Now Florence was a completely different type of stunning, it was elegant and luxurious, and this photo above I am so proud of. I got such a good photo, with all the detail you can see in the building. Just gorgeous colours and patterns! Now the photo doesn’t do it justice of course, the pinks are more pinky and the greens were a little darker. But what can you do, it’s still a stunning building.

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa

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Nice, France

It was quite an odd feeling driving into this tiny town in what seemed to be in the middle of nowhere in Italy. Because I knew what we were going to be seeing that day as the name of the town was Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa ( not sure if that all need capitals , what is grammar)  But for whatever reason I thought that the tower would be in a bigger town or city in Italy.  Nevertheless it was amazing to see and how much it does actually lean! There were soo many people ( as you can kind of see in the photo) and along the path to the attraction a lot of locals I assume had set up drink , food and nic nac stands with the usual magnets and stickers etc.

Now Nice was so stunning, all of the different coloured buildings and it was crazy how much it felt like such a chilled out town. Even though the events that happened only a few days before we arrived, the Bastille day bombing. It really hit me seeing all of the flowers, candles and photos of the deceased all over the pavement of the walkway near where it happened. As a result of that there were a lot of soldiers pretty much on every street with huge guns, which was very scary as that’s something I don’t ever see where I live, let alone somewhere like Adelaide (which is the biggest city near me )
Other than the confronting images and feelings of what happened that day, we had a lovely time in Nice and had amazing food and just enjoyed the weather.

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Brussels.

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The Effiel Tower, Paris

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The Champs Elysees, Paris ( not taken by me, i wish)

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On top of the Eiffel Tower at night, Paris.

Brussels architecture was so sharp and gothic looking and it was really different to all the other types of buildings I saw around Europe. But one thing stood out in Brussels was the food! It was amazing , and the few things that stand out for me was the food we had at this certain restaurant which I don’t remember the name of, but for entree we had crumbed mussels with butter soaked in them which were so delicious. For the main was a steak cooked however you liked with a huge dollop of garlic butter on top served with salad and chips ( fries, for you american people 🙂 ) So of course I couldn’t go to Brussels and not have some sort of waffle. Which may I say was probably one of the most if not the best belgian waffle I have ever had, if I remember correctly I’m pretty sure it had some strawberries and nutella on it.

Now coming to the last place we visited in Europe, the all mighty and stunning Paris, France.
I was so excited to visit this amazing city because I was obsessed with anything french or pairs/Eiffel tower themed when i was around 10/12. Driving around the city was just so breathtaking, all of the white crisp buildings, it was just like a dream. Especially when we were in the bus going to see the Eiffel tower later on in the day, I think it would have been about an hour or so before it started to get dark. I remember just seeing the top of it in the distance and quietly freaking out and trying to take photos but they weren’t any good haha. So once we got there we all spread out and started taking photos of this amazing structure. And if seeing the Eiffel tower wasn’t amazing enough, seeing it at night when it sparkled was so gorgeous I can’t even explain. I’d always seen it in photos and videos but it’s nothing like seeing it in person, I freaked out a little and ended up taking a crappy video of it so I could show my mum when I got back to Australia.

Earlier on in the day we had the pleasure of walking around a bit towards the Arc De Triomphe and from there we were able to do our own the for a couple of hours and then meet at a certain spot across the Seine river. So I decided to join a few people who were going to the Lourve and we spent so long in there seeing all the amazing artworks including the Mona Lisa which was really cool to see , however I was a little disappointed at the size of it. People it’s literally smaller than an A4 piece of paper.
Even though it was a lot smaller than I had expected I really tried to take in the fact that I was actually inside the Lourve.

After looking around and getting lost, we walked to the Champs Elysees which is a shopping area and I bravely decided to walk and shop around on my own which til this day I am still so proud that I did that. It was so refreshing to walk around at my own pace ( which is not that fast, because I have short legs. I am 5ft1 haha. )  and just look in the shops that I wanted to look at for however long. I had a really delicious lunch at this little cafe and spent a lot of time in Zara and Sephora which is where I did most of my damage in Europe haha.
All in all Paris was definitely one of the highlights of the trip and I cannot wait to hopefully one day take my mum there.
Thank you so much for reading this monster of a post 🙂

All photos are my own , taken by me except the one of the Champs Elysees in Paris, I unfortunately couldn’t get a decent photo.

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