There is no doubt that Europe is huge. It’s also diverse, historic, exciting and it is jam packed with culture.
If you’re like me, then you’ve possibly only travelled to one or two cities in Europe for a holiday.
Perhaps you’ve flown over to visit family in Croatia or you went on a trip with friends to Greece in your youth! Maybe you did have an OE however spent too much time working and not nearly enough time exploring.
Well, that’s how I felt. And I thought that it was high time that I did something about it. I wanted a taste of a little bit of everywhere. I also wanted to see where struck my fancy. So, I went ahead and ‘bit the bullet’, booking myself a spur of the moment 30-day European Adventure!
The package that I chose was a coach trip that took in some of the most important stops on my Euro travel list. Mainly Venice and Rome, the French Riviera, Barcelona, the Alps, and London. I thought it would be much more fun to go in a group and hopefully meet some new friends whilst on my journey too.
In the end, the trip covered England, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain – as well as a fun stop over in Hong Kong on the way over.
The Trip Begins
As I boarded the plane in Auckland, I was brimming full of excitement to get the journey started and after touch down in Hong Kong in the evening, I slept soundly in the hotel. It was definitely a welcome introduction getting a Hong Kong sampler – the city is like a modern playground set on a picturesque port.
After seeing so much of London on the small & big screen over the years, it was a thrill to finally get to see it in person. Since I had adjusted my sleeping schedules, I only experienced slight jet lag once we got underway. Highlights of London were the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, with the changing of the guards, and seeing all the quaint London pubs that looked just like they do in the movies.
After London, we headed through Holland – complete with an amazing canal tour of Amsterdam which was so picturesque and decidedly Dutch – and then travelled to beautiful Lucerne in Switzerland. This city blew me away, with the backdrop of the Alps and the stunning Reuss River. If you ever get the chance to do the cable car ride up to Mount Titlis I highly recommend it; there is no better view than one from above!
After a few more stops (Rome and Pisa, anyone?) and some mighty gorgeous countryside, we arrived in Florence, which I can now safely say is my favourite city in the world to date. The architecture around the city is exquisite, with the Piazza Signoria a personal highlight. I could’ve stayed in Florence for weeks in order to feel like a local and will definitely be returning. Oh, and the food – simply bellissimo.
Barcelona has always been on my must-travel list, as I’ve been mesmerized by Gaudi’s works for a long time and have always wanted to travel to see the unfinished cathedral (La Sagrada Familia). Let me just say that this stop on our journey did not disappoint. We took in several Gaudi works, and they are just as mind boggling and stunning in person as they are in pictures. In fact, even more so.
We travelled to Madrid, Burgos, and Bilbao too on our Spanish leg, which helped strengthen my love for tapas as well as the Spanish lifestyle.
With so many highlights from the trip, memories that will last a lifetime, some new friends, and a couple of cities that I’m determined to return to and explore more, I would have to say that my 30-day European Adventure was well worth it.
If you’ve ever dreamed of doing something similar, then my advice to you is to go for it and enjoy the ride!
For more information call 0800 267 672 or [email protected]
Or click here to read more about this and other 2017 GrownUps Group Tours.