European Bucket List

July 16, 2015
Europe will always be my first love and hold a special place in my heart. Although I have traveled extensively throughout this continent, I must say that there are still plenty of places that I'd like to explore. Here are just a few of them:

1) Croatia- When I was a nanny in Italy, I lived right on the east coast of Italy, so it would have been easy to visit Croatia via ferry.  Ferries leave from Bari, Italy and go directly to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Unfortunately, the timing was never right.  Both of my sisters came and visited me during some of my breaks and we had other trips within Italy planned. Needless to say, I've never stopped wanting to go to Croatia! Dubrovnik always seems to make those lists of "most beautiful cities in Europe," and judging from the photographs I've seen, it's not hard to see why! This walled city is surrounded by such gorgeous turquoise water, and I've read that the Old Town of Dubrovnik is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other reasons for wanting to go to Croatia include the sunny Mediterranean climate as well as the Roman architecture present throughout the country. It's also supposed to be easy to go island hopping. If that's not enough, the Croatian currency is the kuna (as opposed to the Euro), so my U.S. dollars will stretch further.

photo credit: Dubrovnik Croatia - 46 via photopin (license)
2) Tuscany- I have visited Tuscany twice, but I feel like what I experienced was just the tip of the iceberg. The places I've gone to so far are: Florence (twice,) Siena, Pisa (just for a few hours to see the Leaning Tower), and Cortona. I can't really say much about Pisa, but Florence, Siena, and Cortona were all amazing places full of beautiful Medieval architecture. The Tuscan countryside, good wine, and world-famous artwork, make me want to go back and see what else this stunning area has to offer. The next time I visit, ideally, I'd like to stay in one spot for a month or longer and then take day trips to cities like Lucca, San Gimignano, Arezzo, Pistoia, and Montepulciano. Of course, going to the Chianti Classico Wine Region and to Val d'Orcia are also must-dos.

photo credit: panorama bwj via photopin 
3) Northern Europe- I feel like Northern Europe often gets overlooked and takes a backseat to many other European countries. Visiting Copenhagen was a great time, but other parts of Scandinavia are calling my name. Between the national parks, fjords, glaciers, castles, viewing the Northern Lights, and possibly participating in some winter sports, Northern Europe has plenty to offer a wide range of travelers. What has stopped me in the past is the expense, but with time to save and proper budgeting, there's no reason for me not to go.

photo credit: DSC_0369 via photopin (license)
4) South of Spain- When my friend and I studied abroad in Europe, we intended on visiting several cities in the South of Spain. We were inexperienced travelers at the time and did not know about Holy Week being THE prime time for many European tourists to flock to Spain. Since we did not book our accommodation ahead of time, we basically had to leave Spain and head out early to Portugal because there was nowhere for us to stay. This meant we missed out on seeing places like Seville, Granada, and Cadiz.  The Andalusia region of Spain has both mountains and beaches and is famous for flamenco dancing, castles, and for its tasty gazpacho and jamon serrano.

photo credit: _MG_1181-2.jpg via photopin(license)
5)  European Russia- With all of the unique architecture and iconic buildings like the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia piques my interest. I know that fewer people will speak English and it might be harder to get around since I don't know their alphabet, but sometimes I enjoy a challenge. If you're not convinced, give these two posts a read and see if you change your mind: 1) Top 10 Reasons to Visit Russia and 2) Reasons to Visit Russia.
2 comments on "European Bucket List"
  1. I would love to go to all of those places as well! Especially Croatia & European Russia.

  2. Wow, you've been to a ton of places! So jealous! I've done London and Brussels but have the travel bug to see it all (esp in Europe)! I want to plan another trip over there later this year, so I've been trying to figure out where - too many choices!