Right now I am suffering from the post-travel blues. I’ve returned home to the familiarity of my home and family, but cannot help but long for buzz of the Kazakhstan, the heat of the sun in the South of France or just enjoy a soak in the Baden-Baden spa in Germany.
I am lucky enough to have travelled across Europe learning new things, making life-long friends and enjoying wonderful experiences. There are some things I strongly recommend travellers must do when visiting Europe, and here they are…
Gondola in Venice
Travellers always have one experience on the top of their bucket list. Mine was that I wanted to take a ride on a gondola in Venice, Italy. Ever since I first clapped eyes on that Cornetto advert when I was a kid, which featured the song “just one Cornetto, give it to me!”, I knew this was one travel experience I had to tick off my list.
Whilst I sadly didn’t have a cornetto in my hand during the journey, it was all I dreamt it would be and more. While there was no stereotypical Italian transporting me through the city, I was in awe of the city’s magnificent architecture. It’s hard to believe that this city may one day be no more, which is why I strongly recommend visiting Venice, as it may disappear within the next 85 years.
Northern Lights in Norway
The whole world dreams of witnessing the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Until I experienced it for myself, I never really had the desire to see it. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would care that much about the colour of the sky changing to different green hues.
My travel group wanted to experience it – and knew the best place to do it was in Norway. I wasn’t really too fussed, but was happy to head to another nation and experience another culture. I remember the night we all seen the Northern Lights in Lofoten, camping down for the night waiting in the hope they wold appear. We were fortunate enough to experience the change of nature in all its glory, and it is a moment that will live with me forever.
The best time to catch the Northern lights is in December, and it’s best to visit when the weather is both dry and cold – and try to avoid a full moon as this will only make the sky paler.
If you aren’t that fussed about going to Norway and you want to try and seem them somewhere else, Iceland is well known for its spectacular light shows. A lot of people I met travelling had managed to see them here and would recommend. It also has dramatic landscapes and beautiful natural wonders so can make a brilliant alternative to Norway. You can have a look here for the best time of year to visit Iceland to see the Northern Lights.
The Coves of Trsteno
There were times during my trip when all I wanted to do was return home to the warmth of my family. Many a time I wanted to just book a ticket on the next flight, but I would hold on, hoping that my homesickness would subside. I would then visit places like Croatia and would realise that I couldn’t possibly return until I actually to.
If anyone is heading to Croatia, I encourage you to visit the coves of Trsteno, Dubrovnik, which are simply breath-taking, and you can enjoy amazing views of the Adriatic. Another wonderful place to visit has to be the beautiful is the Hvar island – which is the sunniest place in the country and boasts fantastic restaurants, hotels and clubs.
This one is about as simple as it gets, Paris is an amazing place. I wrote a post about my time in Paris and I think that everyone should strive to get there at least once in their lifetime. From the ever romantice Eiffel Tower to the Moulin Rouge and The Louvre, you’ll never be bored in the French capital. There’s really not much more to say other than to go and book yourself a flight and go and check it out in all it’s glory.
Stari Bar, Montenegro
Now, let me just say, Montenegro as a whole is a wonderful place to go and visit. However, in my two days there, I was lucky enough to visit Stari Bar and I have to say, it’s one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been to in all of my travels. Set in the southeast of Montenegro, the small town of Stari Bar has seen it’s fair share of troubles down the years. Over the centuries it was taken over by the Venetians, the Serbians, the Hungarians and the Ottoman Empire but it was finally reclaimed by Montenegro from the Turks in 1877.
A trip above the port of Bar to the old town is not a trip wasted either. If you’re there, I highly suggest you go. It’s a fascinating adventure and it can take a couple of hours to properly explore what remains of this fortress settlement so ensure you allow yourself the time to get around.
I hope to one day return to each of the destinations above, but for now I’ll settle for my sister’s party at Signature Living that offers a large group hotels in Liverpool. We’re headed there in July for her 30th and there’s a load of us staying, I’m not sure on the exact number but I’m looking forward to my first visit to Liverpool since I was treated to a stay there before I left for my journey around Europe.