Through Ablania I Must Go

AlbaniaAlbaniaA country I never thought I’d ever visit is Albania. The quickest way to get to Montenegro and Croatia is through Albania so my Topdeck tour had me driving through Albania and staying in Tirana to experience a little taste of a fairly new country with a complicated political, religious, and communist past. If I weren’t doing a Topdeck tour, I wouldn’t visit Albania on my own; however, I am happy that I got the opportunity to visit a place outside of my comfort zone. Albania is a country that was once war-struck, yet is the country where Mother Theresa came from (Tirana’s airport is named after her), a country that has 27 different words for mustache (funny), and a country where surprisingly, 90% of the population drives a Mercedes (who would have thought?). Albania is working actively toward erasing its tainted history, and the tourism industry is growing each year, especially with more and more Topdeck buses (among other tour operators) driving through. The 20th century has brought many positive changes to Albania. My quick visit in Albania was an eye opening experience. Continue reading

The Best of Greece

GreeceMy short trip in Greece didn’t give me much time to explore, but it gave me enough of a taste of the fabulous wonders in the country to know right away that I love it. I can’t wait to be able to explore more of the incredible sights in Greece. Until then, I have the memories of sailing the coastal mainland while absorbing the best of what Greece has to offer. Continue reading

Sailing Greece’s Turquoise Coast

GreeceGreeceMainland sailing in Greece was everything I imagined it to be. Waking up as the sun rises, sailing the most beautiful turquoise water I have ever seen, swimming in the salty shimmering sea, and watching the sun set each night is an experience I will have with me forever. Although I wasn’t able to visit the Greek destinations I imagined, I was still able to get a sample of what Greece can offer. I can’t wait to see more of the one place my heart holds a special space for. My favorite part was seeing the coast in the distance from the sailboat. The sights I saw along the way were stunning and magical. Continue reading

European Turquoise Bucket List Destination: Greece

Greece

GreeceOne of my European turquoise dream bucket list destinations was Greece! I’ve always wanted to see the turquoise waters that surround the Mediterranean country. Finally, in 2014, I’ve made my way from Ancona, Italy to mainland Greece. After an 18 hour ferry, I landed in the one place I always dreamt about and seen in magazines and movies. I was lucky enough to pick a Topdeck tour that included stunning turquoise destinations like Nice, Venice, Dubrovnik, and of course Greece. Although I won’t be able to visit the islands I have dreamed about visiting, like Santorini, I still had the opportunity make it to Greece. Good things come to those who wait. There is always time to return in the future with my boyfriend who also longs for a vacation in Greece for an island hopping adventure. Mainland sailing of Greece is a dream come true. Continue reading

Overnight Ferry to Greece

Ancona, Italy to Plateria ,Greece

When I was told I would be taking an 18 hour overnight ferry journey from Italy to Greece I never expected to be sleeping on a floating city:

Greece

The World’s Smallest Country: Vatican City

Vatican City

I always wanted to visit the Vatican City to see the smallest country in the world and the set of famous movies like The Da Vinci Code and Twilight series (among others). The Vatican City was never one of my top must see destinations, although I wanted to see it if the opportunity arose. Being in Rome made visiting the Vatican possible due to the vicinity of the city’s border within Rome. I loved Vatican City more than I expected to. That’s my favorite part of traveling! Opening myself up to opportunities allows me the opportunity to experience things I otherwise might not expect based on prior assumptions and misconceptions. My informative guided tour within the city’s walls enabled me to learn more about European history and to put things into perspective. Continue reading

The Mighty Mighty Colosseum and Roman Ruins

RomeWhere do I even begin when writing about Rome’s Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum? These ancient archeological sites are world famous and extraordinary. The massive sites take hours to explore (if not days and days), yet it’s an experience hard to put into words. My exploration of the ancient Roman ruins was a dream come true and something I waited my whole life to see (and I wasn’t even sure if I would ever get the chance to see it). From the Arco di Tito, Piazza di Veneree Rome, Foro di Casare, and Foro di Augusto, I walked the grounds of ancient Rome surrounded by ancient temples and pillars. Now, I am left with goose bumps and no words when trying to express all that I saw. Continue reading