Seeing as I’ve been home for several months, it might be time to do a little round-up of my trip through Europe. Probably.
(Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Almería, Granada, Cádiz, Seville, Madrid)
How long? Four weeks.
Favorite Memory: The moment I discovered that space heaters underneath tall, round and tableclothed tables was a thing. My feet were overjoyed and warm.
Another Favorite Memory: Becoming best friends forever with my Couchsurfing hosts in Madrid. I love it when you just click with strangers.
Notable Blog Post: Photoessay: Carneval and Cádiz
If I could go back to Spain, I’d… see what Northern Spain is all about and embark on a Camino de Santiago.
When you’re driving somewhere and the road is blocked… goat figure.
(Dublin, Galway, Aran Islands)
How long? One week in Dublin, one day in Galway, two weeks on Inishmore.
Strangest Moment: Um, that moment I woke up and had a buzzcut? Or maybe the time I became best friends with a donkey. Or maybe the time a sheepdog actually guided me to one of the old forts on Inishmore, by leading the way. A lot of strange things happened in Ireland and I liked it.
Notable Blog Post: The Ridiculous Story of My Buzzcut
If I could go back to Ireland, I’d… just road trip around the entire coastline, since I’m obsessed with coastlines and rock beaches, and then end with some time in Belfast and Northern Ireland.
How long? Four days.
Favorite Place: I really loved the cafe at the top of Tate Modern Museum (and the Afternoon Tea that came with it!).
Notable Blog Post: On Falling in Love With London
If I could go back to the UK, I’d… probably still spend the entire time in London despite any efforts not to.
How long? Four days.
Favorite Memory: My friend and I snuck into a long-term Catholic hostel, stealthily climbed five or six flights of stairs and sat on the roof. We watched the sun set over the city and Eiffel Tower. Fo free ninety nine.
Notable Blog Post: Photoessay: Paris in Spring
If I could go back to France, I’d… not have a fever and maybe budget a million times more money so I could enjoy all those expensive things the city has to offer.
Poor Oscar Wilde.
(Berlin, Dresden, Halle an der Saale, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg, Weimar, Munich)
How long? A week in February, three weeks in April, one week in July.
Strangest Moment: Seeing my mom speak German was pretty strange. Seeing my dad jump on a street car. Basically just the whole thing with my parents being expats was strange at first. (Now it’s gloriously wonderful!)
Notable Blog Post: True Life: My Parents Are Expats
If I could go back to Germany, I’d… I AM! Over Christmas. Bring on the frozen cobblestone streets. I plan to wear a lot of scarves. It just feels kind of German to me.
Also: One of the most interesting tours I’ve ever taken happened in Nuremberg. I toured the secret tunnels underneath the castle walls, where soldiers hid out in case of attack, and as a bonus to my pride, understood the entirely-in-German tour.
How long? One glorious, pierogi-filled weekend.
Favorite Food: Pierogis.
Second-favorite Food: Umm… Pierogies.
(Geneva, Lucerne, Basil, Brienz, Interlaken, Thun)
How long? One week.
(Graz, Bad Radkersburg)
How long? Not nearly enough. One week.
Favorite Memory: All of the old friends I was reunited with and the hugs that came with them. I know those are technically multiple memories. But they all lump together into a big happy feeling for me.
Notable Blog Post: My Austrian Homecoming
If I could go back to Austria, I’d… stay there longer.
Also: If you get the chance, go to the Zotter Museum outside of Graz. Best. (Most Chocolaty.) Tour. Ever.
(Zagred, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik)
How long? Ten days.
Favorite Place: A certain beach on the island of Hvar, between Split and Dubrovnik, comes to mind. I biked down the coast and found a beautiful, quiet place to lay out by myself and fall asleep to the sound of waves rushing over the rocks.
Notable Blog Post: Photoessay: Ugly Beautiful Zagreb
If I could go back to Croatia, I’d… pick an island and stay there for a while. And eat less pizza. I ate way too much pizza.
Also: When I got off the bus to Dubrovnik, I listened to the first old man trying to sell me accommodation and got into his car to see the rooms. They were perfect. I ended up staying another two nights, making friends and enjoying the incredibly beautiful back patio area when I wasn’t in the city. Trust.
How long? One limp-tastic day. (Got sea urchin in my foot while swimming in Dubrovnik.)
Strangest Moment: Relying on a German guy I’d just met to help me limp to and from the restaurant. He told me about the time he biked from Germany to India. It was strange in a cool way.
If I could go back to Montenegro, I’d… visit Kotor. We drove through it on the way to Budva and it looked breathtakingly beautiful.
(Tirana, Saranda, Girocaster, Dürres)
How long? One month.
Favorite Memory: It took me a while to get used to the cold water (which warmed up later in the season and wasn’t actually that cold, I’m a wimp) but once I did, swimming in the ocean felt amazing, especially once I built up a little strength and could stay out for a while.
Notable Blog Post: Photoessay: Albania Blooms
If I could go back to Albania, I’d… try to volunteer somewhere. I’d love to hang with Albanians more.
How long? Barely a day in Bari, five days in Rome.
Favorite Food: Gelato. I was skeptical of everyone saying the gelato in Italy was soooo good, but my first cone turned me into a believer.
Notable Blog Post: iPhone Photoessay: Giovanni’s Mother’s Cooking
If I could go back to Italy, I’d… take my time seeing more cities and spend time in the heel and the toe.