Happy Friday Everyone!
I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like this has been a bit of a long week. I am looking forward to a weekend with friends, my grandparents, a few workouts (got that denim jacket to work towards) and some general relaxation. I so cannot wait.
For today’s Friday Fab Five, I’m going to dive into the world of travel. I have always liked traveling. I remember going on wonderful road trips for 2 weeks every summer with my grandparents until I was a teenager (they were young, hip grandparents, and truthfully, they still are…even with my grandfather being in the midst of Alzheimers, he still has a youthful approach to things). My approach and love of travel, however, was never fully realized until I did a Conitki tour almost 9 years ago to the day.
My bestie D in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles
Needless to say, the trip was LIFE CHANGING. I met so many wonderful people who became my friends–one of which is one of my best friends and most favourite travel partner. I saw beautiful buildings, churches, artwork and scenery. I went sledding down the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland. I drank wine in a chateau in Beaujolais. I saw Lenny Kravitz perform in a castle in Vienna. I had Elvis’ back up singers sing acapella blue suede shoes to me at the top of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin because my middle name is Marie. I drank a martini while winning 50 euro on a slot machine in Monaco. I avoided getting struck by lightning while I roamed the Vatican.
I was gone for 17 weeks and saw a number of countries. I was in Ireland (including Northern Ireland), England, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Monaco, Liechtenstein, the Vatican, and Belgium–though only in transit.
Favourite picture of the trip. On a ferry from France to England, during a storm, with a bit too much Gravol
There are many places I would love to go back to, especially now that I’m a bit older, a bit wiser, with a better camera and a bit more $$ to spend. If I were to back to Europe and had to visit five places again, these are the ones I would pick and why:
1. Paris, France. I was ridiculously hung over while we were in Paris. I had just met my Australian friends, with whom I immediately bonded and well, we are still great friends today. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a drinker and I ended up paying the price and spent my first day in Paris vomiting in the bathrooms of every major tourist attraction (L’Arc de Triomphe–, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Le Louvre). That all being said, it was still rather amazing and I would love to go there and explore as an adult. There are also a number of things I didn’t get to see that I would really like to go back and check out–specifically Musee D’Orsay (gosh this looks weird without accents), Sacre Coeur/Montmarte, The Moulin Rouge, The Latin Quarter and go for a run down the Seine.
2. London, England. I LOVED this city and felt that my two days checking it out wasn’t nearly enough. I powered through a lot of the city’s finer tourist attractions, but I would love to take it at a much slower pace. I would also love to see some shows–I have only ever seen three shows in London–Guys and Dolls (the day after Ewan McGregor took off–le sigh!) and Jerry Springer the Musical (I was talked into it), and a play that featured Aaron Eckhart and Julia Stiles. I would also love to do some of the day trips out of London like Bath, Stonehenge, etc.
3. Italy. I’m not putting a particular city because we went to several. On this trip we were in Verona, Florence, Rome, Trieste, Venice and Pompeii. They were all amazing, but our time was so short, we really only got the highlights. I would’ve loved to just take it all in at a slower pace. Spend some time with Michelangelo’s David (just the most awesome sight–it was mind-blowing to see it in person–especially since they just finished a restoration several weeks earlier for the 500th anniversary), eat delicious pasta and gelato and just, simply take it all in.
4. Germany. My tour group spent very little time in Germany and I feel like we sorta missed out. There is a lot of history there that I would’ve liked to have seen/learned about/experienced and a lot of beers I would’ve liked to have tried. That being said, I did have beer for breakfast one morning in Munich, while checking out the Glockenspiel, so I guess that’s not too bad.
5. Ooh…number 5 is a tough one. I think I would like to go back and visit Spain. We only went to Barcelona, but I LOVED it. I would really love to go back again and enjoy the cafes and paella and wine and go see the Picasso museum (sadly it was closed when I was there) and check out the infamous mosaics (my friends and I were drinking sangria and eating tapas on La Rambla (pardon my spelling).
Oh and as a partial addition…a 5*, if I could go back, I would also like to add a few new countries as well–namely Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden.
Where would you like to go today, if you could? Did you ever take a trip that was life changing? How and why? Let me know in the comments.
Much luv and Happy Friday!