Lately, I have been reminiscing about a few of my favorite travel moments in Europe. I have been fortunate to visit many great European cities, and just wanted to share some of my favorite photos from a few of my favorite cities…Enjoy!
London always feels like home to me. Maybe, because it was the first European city I ever visited (along with my first flight!), or because I have had the privilege to visit London over a dozen times over the years and have wonderful family friends that welcome me into their home every time I visit. For whatever reason, London and I will forever have a love affair that will stay in my heart for eternity!
These mystical stones have lured visitors to the Salisbury Plain for centuries and historians have long pondered the existence of Stonehenge. With its enormous stones (believed to be brought from over 150 miles away) and the interlocking joints, this collection of stones is unlike any other prehistoric stone monument! I think the mystical stones were working in my favor on the day I visited, as the brilliant “rare” autumn sun shined brightly above!
Read about my visit: Visiting Stonehenge
What can you say about Paris, other than “Paris is always a good idea!” Both times that I have been to this lovely city, I find myself more in love with French culture. Whether sitting at a quaint café watching the world go by or casually strolling the many arrondissements, Paris is the perfect city to lose yourself in the history, culture, and French lifestyle!
Home to the European Union, this unassuming city is often overlooked by travelers. Brussels is a charming city, easily navigated and walkable. This compact city has wonderful architecture, friendly locals, and a great food scene with Belgium classics like frites (fries), waffles (I ate my fair share with loads of yummy toppings!), Belgium chocolate shops, and great Belgium beers. After visiting a few of Europe’s larger capital cities, Brussels offered a slower pace and allowed us to enjoy the Belgium charms!
Bruges is about an hour train ride from Brussels. We enjoyed watching the Belgium countryside out the train window, and arrived to this perfectly kept European village. With beautiful cobblestone streets, and wonderfully preserved medieval architecture, the historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many canals carve their way through this beautiful city, with plentiful swans, ducks, and other birds swimming beside boat tours. With a great café culture and lovely historic relevance Bruges is the perfect day trip from Brussels!
Barcelona, with its Spanish charm, lures visitors to adopt the Spanish way of life. Eating tapas, drinking cold local beer, taking a siesta in the afternoon, and dining after 10pm, we slowed down and became Spaniards for the week. Casual strolls through wonderful neighborhoods, marveling at Gaudí architecture, overlooking the city from Montjuïc and Parc Güell, enjoying fresh foods at La Boqueria Market, and dipping my toes into the Mediterranean Sea, I became mesmerized by Barcelona’s charms!
Amsterdam quickly became one of my favorite European cities. With beautiful architecture, brilliant museums, friendly locals, and breathtaking canals, we spent our days exploring neighborhoods and marveling the canal system. Taking a boat tour, or renting a paddle boat (like we did) is a great way to view this beautiful city. The wonderfully restored Dutch architecture looks similar to the way it did in the 1600’s during the Dutch Golden Age! Rent a bike, and pedal your way around the city like the locals, just make sure you can identify your bike! There are thousands of bicycles throughout this city. Amsterdam is the perfect city to experience old-world history, chat with locals, and enjoy a slower pace of life!
Keukenhof is located about 45 minutes by bus from Amsterdam. This beautiful spring garden is only opened seven weeks per year, and has over 7 million planted bulbs! With vibrant colors, wonderful fragrances, and paved paths to let visitors stroll through this amazing garden, I was in heaven at Keukenhof! Every color of the rainbow is represented in various bulb flowers, and there are 800 varieties of tulips on display! Any garden or nature lover will appreciate the beauty of this inspiring garden and be in awe of this wonderful natural environment! I was so happy here, I never stopped smiling and I was skipping around like a child! Keukenhof has beautiful flowers that welcome visitors, fragrant smells which fill the air, and a magical environment for nature lovers! If you are visiting Amsterdam in the spring, a trip to Keukenhof is a must!!
Stay tuned for the addition of more European photos!