Back in September-October 2012, I went for a 3-week trip in Europe, visited several countries, experienced interesting cultures, and returned home with a bag of unforgettable memories.
It was quite ambitious to squeeze in these many cities in one go, specially when we stayed in Rome for a third of the trip, but hey, we eventually made it through our first European trip via Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Venice, Innsbruck, Mittenwald, Munich, Zurich, Amsterdam, Bruges, Luxembourg, Paris.
Some of my favourite places and moments during the trip…
We stayed in the old part of Rome, near the Tiber river/isle. This place felt very much like home, I enjoyed walking around the neighbourhood in the morning and evening, strolling through Via di San Teodoro and Via dei Cerchi. This building was right next to San Giorgio in Velabro, a small basilica where we had our wedding (I married Latte Girl btw).
This was right on Ponte Vecchio in Florence. We were walking around one night and noticed a large crowd listening to a group of street musicians, one of them had a great great voice. The night was warm, everyone was so relaxed, all around happiness.
The picturesque view from up the hills of Riomaggiore, the first village in Cinque Terre. We had a delightful lunch there before walking north to Manarola. Too bad it was only a day trip, I would love to return and stay in Riomaggiore for several days, and explore the rest of Cinque Terre region.
There was a huge storm in the evening before we left Venice, you can see the water rose almost up to the street level. The best part of Venice was exploring the labyrinth alleyways in the less touristy areas, we got lost several times. Breakfast at the small coffee shops at the less popular piazzas was a truly relaxing experience.
Innsbruck town centre from Staddturm. It was extremely windy up there, almost dropped the camera several times. Innsbruck’s vibe was very much like Melbourne, only with more European architecture, and more pastel buildings, lots more.
I took this picture from the train on the way from Innsbruck to Zurich. Check out the snow at the top of the mountain, the foggy area, the woods, and the farm field. The view along the way was magnificent, lakes, mountains, hills, cows, barns, rivers, you name it.
I was sick for the 4 days we were in Amsterdam, I pretty much slept through the first 3 days at the dodgy basement hotel to rest and recover. On the last day, I walked out for a short bit and found a small cafe / cookie shop. The picture above was the view from the cafe’s window seat.
The owner of this cafe in Bruges was a perfectionist, he carefully positioned the plates and utensils, the furnitures, everything was properly aligned. The food was top notch, easily the best soup I’ve ever tasted, and quality tea too. There was a comic book shop nearby with a large poster of Herge, one of my life heroes!
Saint Marcel!!! We stayed at a small rooftop apartment while we were in Paris, and this was the view from its tiny balcony. Paris was awesome, I really enjoyed the bookshops, the antique shops, the architecture. And to those who think that Parisians are rude, the secret is to start with Bonjour Madame/Monsieur along with a smile, it will all be ok.