The Ultimate ‘5 Bests’ in Europe…

EuropeAlthough I have traveled through 15 countries in Europe, I’m no expert on Europe. As fortunate as I was to be able to see 15 countries throughout Europe and Eastern Europe this summer, I only had 30 days so my time was limited. I find it fun to summarize my experiences into lists of the “best”. Are you a nerd like me and enjoy writing lists? Whether it’s lists of things-to do-or lists of things I liked, I love writing lists! Based on my experiences here is a rough guide to the 5 “best” in Europe…

The 5 Best Turquoise Destinations in Europe:
Nice, France
Budva, Montenegro
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Monaco
Greece Continue reading

7555 Kilometres Later my Heart Belongs to Europe

EuropeAfter traveling through 15 European countries in 30 days, I found out that I traveled 7555 kilometres during that time. Most of which by bus. 7555 kilometres later, I left pieces of myself all over Europe. How could I not fall in love with each destination that I visited? A part of my heart stayed in each country, but I know I will be back someday soon to retrieve the pieces (or end up leaving a different part of my heart and soul there while I am at it). I couldn’t resist the temptation of sprinkling myself all over Europe to assure myself that I would be back. I know I will. Continue reading

Europe: 30 days, 15 Countries

EuropeEurope is no longer a wish, want, or desire. I can finally say I’ve made it to Europe. Europe is checked off my bucket list, although now I have added new European countries to that very same bucket list (Spain, Portugal, Turkey, etc… I could truly go on and on). With each destination that I visit and check off my bucket list, I continue to add new places I’ve learned about, heard about, or still hope to see. All of my worries, anxieties, and excuses about Europe are now in the distance because I can say for sure that Europe is the perfect place to explore. My 30 day bus adventure through Europe with Topdeck brought me to 15 amazing countries. Continue reading

A Puppet Paradise in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic is another destination I had heard about, but never expected to visit in 2014. My European adventure through eastern Europe landed me in Prague, one of the most beautiful (and one of my favorite) cities I visited on my trip. It wasn’t just the abundance of gothic style buildings, castles, Czech beer, or Czech puppets and marionettes that made me fall in love with Prague. It’s more than that. The vibrant colours, the swans floating below Charles Bridge, the smiles of passing locals and visitors, and the laid back culture of the city are enough reasons to love Prague. Continue reading

Slovenia’s Extraordinary Postojna Caves

Slovenia

Slovenia

Red Room

Slovenia is a country I never thought I would visit, but after visiting I can say that it is a beautiful country and that I want to see more of it. I understand now why movies were filmed there including The Chronicles of Narnia. It makes perfect sense now. Aspects of Slovenia remind me of Switzerland–the flower pots beneath each window, lush green grass, orange and red ceramic roofs, and brightly coloured stucco houses (white, peach, red blue, lime green, etc…), yet it has its own unique features. Continue reading

15 Unique Things about Croatia

 IMG_6513 (Medium)Based on the 2014 edition of Like Croatia, Issue No. 3, I learned 25 amazing things that make me want to go back to Croatia. Of the many things I learned, I’d like to share 15 things with you. These fun facts give you a sense of what Croatia is all about. I hope they make you curious enough about Croatia to go and see if yourself. Continue reading

Exploring Dubrovnik’s Walled City

CroatiaAfter waking up in the Lapad region of Dubrovnik, overlooking the tranquil turquoise Lapad Beach, I instantly realized I was in one of the most beautiful places in Europe. I quickly gathered my things for the day and took public transport into the center of Dubrovnik. Before it got too hot, I headed up in the Zicara cable car to get the best panorama views of Dubrovnik as the city slowly started to come to life. At the top, I got incredible views of Dubrovnik, Old Town, and Lokrum Island. The views stretched from Cavtat to the Elafiti Islands. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best views of the Adriatic coastline. Continue reading

Arriving in Croatia’s Famous Kings Landing

CroatiaAfter visiting turquoise Budva, Montenegro I had no idea what to expect for Croatia. Would it be better? Would it be just as turquoise? What would the walled city look like? Many people have told me how breathtaking Croatia is and how I would love it, but I couldn’t fully comprehend why I would. Without a visual, I had no idea if it would be a place for me. Friends of mine went to Croatia for their honeymoon and at the time, I couldn’t quite understand why. I wondered why they hadn’t chosen Greece or Italy or somewhere alike. Driving along the rugged cliffs along Croatia’s turquoise coast I started to get visuals of what everyone had told me about previously. Even before arriving in Dubrovnik I knew I would give a part of my heart to Croatia. Continue reading

Eastern European Turquoise Getaway

MontenegroMontenegro Unfortunately, throughout my 15 country tour of Europe, I was only able to visit some destinations for a couple hours. To split up the monotony of long drives, I would stop mid-day in amazing destinations for a mere couple of hours before continuing on to the final destination for the day. Some drive days I would drive through up to four countries in one day before reaching the final destination for that day. One place that stands out in my mind as a unique turquoise destination that I was only able to visit for a short time was Budva, Montenegro. Continue reading

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